Mains Paper 2: International relations
Prelims level: Afghanistan
Mains level: India and its neighbourhood relations
• Recently, the US troops departed from the biggest airbase in Afghanistan after the 20-year-long war, effectively ending their military operations in the country.
• On 11th September 2001, terrorists attacked America resulted in the killing of 3,000 people.
• Osama Bin Laden, the head of Islamist terror group al-Qaeda, was identified as the man behind the attacks.
• The Taliban, radical Islamists who ran Afghanistan back then, protected Bin Laden and refused to hand him over.
• Eventually after 9/11, the US launched airstrikes against Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).
• After the attacks, the NATO coalition troops declared war on Afghanistan thus dislodging the Taliban regime and established a transitional government in Afghanistan.
Reason for US Pull Back:
• US has already achieved its realistic objectives such as killing Osama bin Laden and disrupting al-Qaeda networks.
• Besides, defeating the Taliban and Afghan nation-building was considered as the part of neoconservative ideological project which is a evident failure.
• Preparing itself for the unfolding geopolitical contest with china is of significance in the current scenario.
India and The US pull-out from Afghanistan:
• India has made huge investments and commitments ever since, which have run over 3 billion. Thus securing investments and strong economic ties is of pivotal importance.
• To prevent Afghanistan from becoming another safe haven for anti-India terrorist groups is of pivotal importance.
• Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for anti-India groups would disrupt the current trade routes via Afghanistan thus affecting the trade volume.
• Thus, to safeguard its interests, India should hold talks with the Taliban to seek security guarantees in return for continued development assistance.
• However, the Taliban’s strong relation with Pakistan should not be overlooked.
• While talking to the Taliban to protect its interests, New Delhi should also enhance aid to Afghanistan’s legitimate government and security forces and work with other regional powers for long-term stability in the country.
• India should also consider increasing its engagement with Iran and accelerating the works of the chabhar project which helps in creating direct access to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.
• Finally, India should talk with China, with the objective of finding a political settlement and lasting stability in Afghanistan.
• India should take a layered approach.
• Its immediate goal should be the safety and security of its personnel and investments.
• The long-¬term goal should be finding a political solution to the crisis.
• India, as one of the countries that would be impacted by the consequences of American withdrawal, has to work with Eurasian powers to protect its interests and stabilize Afghanistan.
Q.1) With reference to the Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, consider the following statements:
1. He received the title of Rai Bahadur in 1891.
2. Anandamath is a Bengali fiction, written by him and published in 1882.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2