News / Asia

India Ponders Future Role in Afghanistan

India Ponders Future Role in Afghanistani
X
July 26, 2013 5:11 PM
The security situation in Afghanistan was a top issue during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s talks with Indian leaders this week in New Delhi. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more on how India views its own role in Afghanistan after international combat troops complete their withdrawal in 2014.

India Ponders Future Role in Afghanistan

Aru Pande
The security situation in Afghanistan was a top issue during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s talks with Indian leaders this week in New Delhi.

In a busy shopping area of New Delhi - businesses line the streets catering to Afghans who have come to India for medical treatment, work or tourism.
 
Afghan Saeed Abdullah has seen the tight Afghan-Indian relationship up close. The Herat resident, in India for his father’s surgery, saw firsthand the benefits of Indian investment in Afghanistan as a worker on the 218-km long Delaram-Zaranj highway in Nimroz province - a $150 million project funded by India.
 
“It was three years ago. I worked with them [India] and they built a road and it was very good," he recalled. "And they have invested so much money, I have seen.”
 
India has provided more than $2 billion in development aid to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Analysts here in New Delhi say this kind of assistance and investment should continue not only to ensure a stable Afghanistan, but to ensure a stable region.
 
Delhi Policy Group Director Radha Kumar says in light of previous attacks on Indian interests both in and outside of Afghanistan, New Delhi cannot afford to walk away from the war-torn country.
 
“An escalation of efforts to target us would be, in my opinion, an almost inevitable corollary of our departure," she said. "So the presence is very much required, from purely a security point of view.”
 
But what type of presence? Abhijit Iyer-Mitra says as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan, India can no longer be passive and instead, must adopt a gutsy Afghan policy that safeguards its own vital interests.
 
The program coordinator at the New Delhi-based Observer Foundation says India’s involvement in Afghanistan has nothing to do with countering Pakistan in a so-called proxy war.
 
“What are our interests out there? It’s just a stable, independent Afghanistan, full stop," said Iyer-Mitra. "It does not have to be subservient to India, it’s not that our writ has to function there or anything like that. It’s just an independent, sovereign country.”
 
Indians and Afghans here in New Delhi say India can play an important role in Afghanistan, such as advising the country on its upcoming election or investing more in the country’s education system.
 
Kabul resident Afzal Totakhail - on a sightseeing trip to India - says the bottom line is simple:  “I hope [for] a peaceful Afghanistan; that’s my hope," he said. "And I hope Afghanistan becomes a good country like India, like America and Canada.”
 
 It’s a hope shared by many here as Afghanistan faces an uncertain future.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitcheni
X
September 22, 2014 11:42 AM
With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid