India needs to be guarded in response to its dealing with Taliban


Looking at the hostile behaviour of countries around us, we have to build our military might to such a formidable extent that none will dare entertain any evil design, says V.S.Pandey

Human civilisation has an unequivocal message for every one “Those who always look back, do not move forward.” The march of humanity has been testimony to the fact that time is not static, it moves on and those who want to remain mired in the past are washed away. This is the law of nature also. The universe is in constant flux. So how can people living on a minuscule planet like earth think of regressing   rather than moving forward? The tragedy of our time is that there are   diehard forces, a smattering of them, who want to turn the clock back according to their bigoted thinking. Any ideology frozen in time will lead to doom. Such tendencies will be catastrophic as they go against the laws of nature. Nature does not spare those who try to mess around with its laws.

The current tragedy of Afghanistan emanates from this fossilised thought process. In the modern era of global  organisations, like the United Nations, which has its charter rooted in the rule of law -this  toppling of governments by  visceral force, the  brazen brutal  violation of human rights -is appalling. We witnessed a duly elected government being unseated by an armed group of radicals, with the whole world- watching this unfolding theatre of the absurd, in disbelief. The now displaced Afghan government has been telling the world leaders about the tacit support provided to Taliban, in every way possible, by a neighbouring country . The then elected government sought help from every  friendly nation to ward off the imminent  crisis . Their cries for help fell on  deaf ears . Nothing was done to prevent the crisis and now every country , including ours, is worried about the consequences of this tragedy which is unfolding in Afghanistan.

India had very friendly and cordial relations with the elected government of Afghanistan. India had invested nearly  two billion dollars there in many important sectors like education and other infrastructure projects. This is not the only stake we have in Afghanistan. With our neighbouring countries meddling constantly , a disturbed Afghanistan with militias ruling the country with an archaic outlook , creates alarming consequences for our security scenario.

Now the question of dealing with the situation, as it stands currently, confronts us. What India should have done before the catastrophe struck, is of no consequence now- with the elected Afghan government already overthrown by Taliban. Here comes the issue of principle , if there are any left? If India did not recognise the Taliban government in the nineties, why should it engage with them now? Any government which commits such egregious wrongs, fails to even give equal rights to women, treats women as inferior beings, prohibits their entry into schools and work places , treats dissent with brutality -needs to be not engaged with . Every country has its own self interest to watch but in doing so one cannot  become wilfully blind.

It is said that in international relations there are no friends but only self interests. We must  do everything possible to protect our national interest. As is evident in every conflict between nations in the past or present, ultimately the economic and military strength of individual nations  helps them overcome any crisis. Friendly countries and allies can provide diplomatic support and other kind of material help but the actual war has to be fought by the concerned nation’s forces only. So if we want to develop and prosper , we have to become a country economically and militarily strong. International community listens to only that country which is omni powerful.  Why the world listens to USA is too oblivious to state.

Looking at the hostile behaviour of countries around us, we have to build our military might to such a formidable extent that none will dare entertain any evil design. We have had enough of subversive activities at our borders, for decades .This has to stop. This will become possible only when we become a strong nation, remove poverty , remove all kinds of shortages and shortcomings faced by our population. Mere sloganeering and singing of devotional songs have taken us this far and no further. Concrete actions will have to be taken urgently in a well planned manner. Our country does not lack resources or competent manpower to accomplish all this . The only thing we lack is the political will to change things. Governments are sitting with a plethora of reports and tomes of experts advice regarding what needs to done . India has been waiting for decades for things to improve in the hope that some leader will emerge , who will have the integrity and competence to steer the country towards its  rightful  place. We have no doubt that our country has tremendous potential, which has unfortunately remained unachieved. We hope the drought  will end soon.

(Vijay Shankar Pandey is former Secretary to Government of India)


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