Monday, 22 August 2011


India and Afghanistan have shared history and relations for a long time. Taxila, the famous Indian learning center lies in India, while during Maurya period, large area of Afghanistan was included in India, later many Afghan dynasties like Suris and Khilji ruled India. During colonial rule, while Pakistan was a part of British empire, the British rule had troubled rule in Afghanistan. After Independence, India signed a treaty of Friendship with Afghanistan on January 4, 1950. The internal condition of Afghanistan had influenced Indian policy in Afghanistan. India was the only South Asian country, who recognised Soviet backed Democratic Republic in Afghanistan in 1980s. While relation between the two became very close during Soviet support, the assumption of power by Pakistan and US backed Taliban in 1996 and subsequent civil war strained India-Afghan relations. India did not recognise the Taliban government 1996-2001 and instead backed its opponent Northern Alliance. It was the only period in the history (1996-2001) when India did not had diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. Some other anti-Indian activities of Taliban like destruction of Bamian Buddha statute and hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight 814 to Kandhar in Afghanistan by terrorist with the tacit support of Taliban and Pakistan, further strained the relationship between the two countries. Since the intervention of the US forces and fall of Taliban Government in 2001, India has reassumed her diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. At present, though India is involved in the process of Security and Stability in Afghanistan, she is playing an important role in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan. In the US strategy of Afghanistan (AF-PAK) India is not assigned a major role and Pakistan continues to occupy a central place in this design. India is trying to regain her rightful place in Afghanistan and protect her vital interest through economic diplomacy and engagement.

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