Afghanistan may seek India’s military assistance if Taliban talks fail

The government of Afghanistan may, at some future point, seek India’s military assistance if talks with the Taliban fail amid a withdrawal of US troops from there, the country’s Ambassador to India has said. He, however, made it clear that the aid sought would not involve sending troops but could be in areas like training and technical support.

Representatives of the Taliban and the Afghanistan government have been holding talks amid the insurgents’ increasing control over the country even as the US looks to wind up its almost two-decade war there by the end of August. However, the peace talks supposedly taking place in Doha have largely fizzled out, and the Taliban now appear set on a complete military victory, AFP reported on Tuesday. The current situation in Afghanistan is “very dire” and “very problematic”, with the government forces actively fighting the Taliban in around 150 of the 376 districts, the Ambassador said. Leaders of Afghanistan, who have India’s backing and who fought the Taliban between 1996 and 2001 as members of the Northern Alliance, have shown some signs of initial resistance amid the Taliban’s surge.

On the civilian front, he listed the 1,000 annual scholarships India provides, the 20,000-odd Afghan students studying here now, the building of the new Afghan parliament, and the construction of dams, besides other infrastructure projects.