Will India recognize Taliban in Afghanistan ?

 September 1996. In Afghanistan, it was the pre-winter season. The weather in Kabul is pleasant at this time of the year. A few months later it is a snowing season. It was at this time that the Taliban shook the world and entered Kabul. And then the horrible thing happened. Though Former President Mohammad Najibullah (who is known as "Butcher of Kabul") was a favour in India, he was killed along with his brother Shahpur Ahmedzai and hanged at a traffic post next to the presidential house in the city.

Najibullah had been hung like this for two days. The Taliban prevented their relatives from burying them in Kabul.

It is known to all India had a warm relation with Najibullah. The Soviet Union, the old ally of India, deteriorated in those days. After resigning in 1992 after being attacked by the Mujahideen, Najibullah himself thought of sending his wife and daughter to India. The UN wanted that too. India also sent a plane. In the end, the initiative was not successful due to the obstruction of Uzbek leader Abdur Rashid Dostum.

Najibullah's wife and daughter heard the heartbreaking news from New Delhi for forty-eight hours. Thus the historic Taliban regime began.

Najibullah did not even seek refuge at the Indian embassy in Kabul. He was taken from the local UN office before being killed.

Najibullah's brutal assassination has been seen as a historical rivalry in India's side with the Taliban for a long period. But the world wants to be with the conqueror all the time. The more the political equation in Kabul favours the Taliban, the more New Delhi seeks to rebuild relations with the "same Taliban". But why is it important?

Will India recognize Taliban?

Indian prisoners were released by the Taliban?

One of the main Indian reasons for being interested in the Taliban is, of course, Pakistan. The next chapter of the India-Pakistan conflict is shifting from Kashmir to Afghanistan. Pakistan thinks its influence in Afghanistan in the future could be monopolized by its old ties with the Taliban. This will change the balance of power in South Asia.

India is ready to cease this situation at any cost. As a result, they have the only option and that is "friendship with the Taliban". India still does not accept the Taliban's claim to be the old 'legitimate government' of Afghanistan. But even then, the Indian foreign minister spoke on an online video link during the Afghan government's talks with the Taliban in Doha on September 12. This is the first time the Indian minister has met face-to-face at an event with a Taliban presence.

A delegation led by JP Singh, a senior official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Afghanistan, was also present on the occasion.

The Taliban are also behaving intelligently. The last Indian detained has also been released before leaving for Doha. In May 2016, they picked up the workers of an Indian company from Baghlan province.

However, Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar thanked Pakistan, Russia, Iran and China for signing the agreement with the United States in February, but New Delhi was not on the list. The message is clear. Even then, of course, India is not upset.

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Will India Change their view for the Taliban?

India is the second-largest donor in today's Afghanistan. A Taliban-free, prosperous Afghanistan was India's strong desire. NATO did not live up to that expectation.

The United States is no longer willing to pay for this war. They were looking for a dignified farewell. This setback marked the beginning of India's troubled times.

The Taliban, after 19 years on the battlefield,  know now, for sure who has supported the Afghan government outside of NATO. In particular, India's support for the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance was public and overwhelming.

India has to break the ice with the Taliban now. The realist Taliban may not be interested to present the past forward. They would rather be interested in bargaining; which will again put them ahead in the negotiation table with Pakistan.

From these calculations, it is possible that India may recognize the Taliban soon. The United States wants the same. That is what Zalmay Khalilzad, the chief guardian of the United States, may have said when he arrived in India for peace talks on September 16.

The demands of the United States are clear. They need to take a step forward in Afghan peace talks before the presidential election. For this, they want to involve all the players in the region in the 'peace process'.

They especially prefer a crucial power like India. However, BJP's majorities and cow-centric politics are major obstacles to India's changing Afghan policy. A portion
of the Afghan people is angry over the Modi government's various decisions surrounding the Muslim community.

Demonstrations have taken place in several Afghan cities this year to condemn anti-Muslim riots during the National Citizenship Movement in Delhi. So much anti-India has not been seen in Afghanistan in the past.

Although Muslims are badly portrayed in Bollywood movies, there has been an immediate reaction in Afghanistan lately. In this situation, none of the Taliban seems to be more biased towards India. But even then, Washington does not want to leave Afghanistan in the hands of the Pakistan-Taliban alliance.

Needless to say, there will be opposition from Pakistan and Chia. Part of the Taliban will also show hostility towards India on behalf of Islamabad and Beijing. But there are also advantages for India.

The Afghan government is as eager to get their side as ever. Women's representatives of the country's minorities and civil society also prefer India's assistance negotiating with the Taliban.

If the peace talks had been held in Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates instead of Qatar, it would have been a little more advantageous for India. The Modi government is having excellent relations with these two countries. But the Saud and Zayed dynasties are not in a warm relationship with the Taliban these days.

But whatever the obstacles are, mutual recognition of the Taliban and India is imminent. And whenever there is a direct meeting between these two parties, it will be a strong moral victory of the first party.
That moment must be extremely painful for Najibullah's family.

From September 1996 to September 2020, they are now the only spectators to mourn the turning point in India's foreign policy. This is the reality of geopolitics.
Especially when there is fierce competition between China-India-Pakistan-Iran over Afghanistan.

How can India give up their desire for reaching Central Asia?

Averting Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan were India's alternative reliance on defending their interests in Central Asia. China's influence has suddenly increased in both countries. The first option was recently missed.

Iran recently dropped India from the deep seaport of Chabahar. There are also rumours that China has made a number of proposals to the Taliban to develop Afghanistan's infrastructure in the future. They want to build a six-lane road network across Afghanistan.

The Taliban cannot ignore such offers to run a post-war government. But how can India overcome the desire to reach the vast expanse of Central Asia that stretches across the northwest of the map? So they must have friendship with the Taliban.

It is hard to imagine how enjoyable these diplomatic scenes have become for the Taliban leadership. History is a ruthless worshiper of power! Najibullah's wife Fatima Najib and his three daughters have no value in this scenario!

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