What would be the implications of the Afghan exit of USA and NATO forces on India and its neighbourhood? | Date 16.04.21

What would be the implications of the Afghan exit of USA and NATO forces on India and its neighbourhood? | Date 16.04.21

Ans: US withdrawal gives space to other powers including Russia, China and Pakistan. India must reorient Afghan policy.

Pakistan
1. For the Pakistani Army, which has always seen Afghanistan in terms of “strategic depth” in its forever hostility with India.
2. With US withdrawal, Civil war is not ruled out and with it, the flow of refugees into Pakistan once again.
3. All this at a time when the economy is flailing, and Pakistan stays afloat on an IMF loan with strict conditionalities.

China
1. China would have much to lose from instability in Afghanistan as this could have an impact on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
2. A Taliban regime in Afghanistan might end up stirring unrest in the Xinjiang Autonomous region, home to the Uighur minority.

India: time to be wary
1. India, which has had excellent relations with the Karzai and Ghani governments, would be cut to size.
2. The concern would be India-focused militants such as Lashkar- e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which the Indian security establishment already believes to have relocated in large numbers to Afghanistan.
3. Indian investment and future trade prospects will be affected.
4. Also, civil war in Afghan might lead to a flow of refugees in India also.

The First Afghan War in the 1980s led to unrest in Kashmir and insurgency which still continues. Thus another chaos in Afghan means instability in Kashmir. Also loss of connectivity, trade and economic opportunities, so India must plan in advance for such possibilities.