PM Modi is known for his unexpected way of dealing with International relations and playing his cards according to his well carved out para diplomacy. In his previous visit to USA, it was said that PM Modi and President Trump had a long discussion on the Security challenges in South Asia, specifically in Afghanistan. However no concrete action plan was carved out at that time, hence people forgot it.
However in a recent policy announcement by President Trump on Afghanistan has clearly set the stage for diverse moves on the geopolitical chessboard. India, which was waiting for such an opportunity for decades have finally decided to take a step further. India’s plans to expand its security assistance to Afghanistan by training police officers in India as part of a UNDP project must be assessed in this light.
It is an unexpected but a welcome step in itself and one that could have a significant impact on the security situation in Afghanistan and across the region. It will also send out a loud geopolitical signal. The main part of this message is meant for Afghanistan, as it indicates that India is there reliable partner and it has a continued commitment to its stability.
India is taking an important role in capacity building for Afghan security forces by training police officers and hundreds of army cadets and officers.Afghanistan saw the highest civilian casualties last year. And unfortunately, these casualties are coming not from Afghanistan’s border areas but from its cities and villages where only a professionally trained police force, and not armies, can maintain peace.
If this is not enough, India has also announced this month 116 smaller “new development projects” across Afghanistan, and this police forces will be crucial in providing protection to these irrigation, housing and school projects from the Taliban and other terror groups operating within Afghanistan and from Pakistan.
The second and the directmessage will be for Pakistan and other countries in the region that deal with the Taliban, is that India will not be discouraged from supporting Afghanistan for its security concerns.
This is a clear counter to Pakistan Prime Minister S.K. Abbasi’s recent statement that India has “zero political and military role” in Afghanistan. This message is strengthened by New Delhi’s decision to send Indian engineers to revamp several non-functional Soviet-era planes and to repair the helicopters India provided to Afghanistan last year.
Third and the most significant message will be for the U.S. and NATO forces, just ahead of avital visit by U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis to Delhi that could not be clearer: India will play a part in putting Afghanistan back on its feet in India’s own way.
The decision to augment security training comes attached with an India-Afghanistan trade fair sponsored by USAID that will welcome Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and other ministers to Delhi this week. Regardless of actual dealings made, the optics will be noteworthy, establishing possibilities of India-Afghanistan business notwithstanding of the complications in transit trade posed by Pakistan.
A declaration by the Indian government that the India-Afghanistan-Iran trilateral arrangement to evade the obstacles is on track was well-timed, and the commitment that the Chabahar port development project will be completed next year should reassure business on both sides about a sustainable trade route from South Asia to Central Asia. India and Afghanistan have lost too much time on each of these plans.
These developments will be a big shocker for Pakistan and it’s all weather Friend China, as India will be able to trap Pakistan from all the 3 Sides and could pose a serious threat the China-Pak mega project CPEC in near future.