Strategic Partnership Agreement, Challenges Ahead for India in AF and India՚S Role in AF in Next Few Years

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  • India՚s development partnership with Afghanistan
  • Aims to build indigenous Afghan capacities and institutions for an effective state system that is able to deliver goods and services required by the Afghan people
  • Scholarship programme for Afghan students
  • Training courses aimed at skill development
  • New programmes on capacity building in the agricultural sector
    • Agricultural research programmes
  • Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Care
  • Adopted 100 villages
  • Rebuilding of Habibia school
  • Agreements
    • Small devt prog
    • Healthcare
    • Agricultural research
  • National Institutional Building Project (NIBP)
    • UNDP programme
    • India is a donor
    • NIBP follows an integrated and structured approach to capacity development
  • Some projects
    • Zaranj-Delaram highway in SW Afghanistan near the Iranian border
    • Afghanistan՚s new parliament building set for completion by 2011
    • Salma Dam power project in Herat Province
  • India bidding for Hagijak mines (Iron ore) in Bamiyan province
  • Cultural reconstruction programme
    • Bamiyan Buddhas

Strategic Partnership Agreement

  • Signed in Oct 2011
  • India will mentor the Afghan security forces as they gear up to deal with the drawdown of foreign forces by 2014
  • SPA also spells out trade and economic cooperation in much greater detail, covering aspects ranging from assisting Afghanistan in developing trading routes to exploring for hydrocarbons and mineral ores the country is abundantly endowed with
  • Both countries will try to operationalize trilateral MoU signed with Iran to end Afghanistan՚s landlocked isolation and dependence on Pakistan to reach the sea

Challenges Ahead for India in AF

  • Taliban՚s reach and influence has been growing in the relatively calmer areas of the country
  • Defragmented nature of the polity

India՚S Role in Af in Next Few Years

  • Washington has indicated that it may withdraw its troops in Afghanistan by 2014
  • Challenges after withdrawal
    • Resurgence of Taliban
    • Peace and security
    • Economic and political development of the country
  • Political stability of the region is in India՚s interest
  • Economic ties with Afghanistan can be beneficial for India
    • India can sell technologies for development to Af
    • Bag contracts for re-construction
  • Engage all major ethnic groups. It would be in the long-term interest of India to evenly develop its relations with diverse ethnic groups of Afghanistan.
  • India՚s Afghan policy is constrained by various factors
    • Geographical limitations
    • Uncertainty in the US approach
  • India՚s likely options
    • To remain engaged and continue with reconstruction assistance
    • Focus on capacity building and human resource development
    • Need for border engagement
    • Strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces
    • Gauging varied Afghan perception
    • Important for India to constantly factor in the varying views and perceptions of the various Afghan factions and groupings.


Table 4

Porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan needs to be controlledThinks that India is trying to encircle it by gaining influence in Afghanistan
Promotes Taliban because it offers the best counterbalance against India
Pakistan՚s support to Taliban has led to increased instability in Afghanistan
Pakistan՚s tribal areas along Afghan border are safe haven for terrorists
  • After US leaves, Af-Pak-India trilateral relations will become important.
  • Transformation of Pakistan-Afghanistan ties can only take place in an overall context of improved Pakistani-Indian relations that enhances Pakistani confidence in its regional position
  • Bonn Conference 2011

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