India Anxious as US Proposes Peace Talks with Afghan Taliban

The US has shown interest in holding peace talks with the Afghan Taliban has raised many eyebrows in India. After Afghanistan announced a unilateral temporary ceasefire, the US said that it is willing to hold peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. But why is India concerned with US-backed Peace Talks and Ceasefire with the Afghan Taliban?
Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the US President said that the United States of America is ready to participate in peace talks with Taliban. She further added that the US, however, cannot indulge in talks on behalf of the Afghanistan government or the people of Afghanistan. She said that any settlements must be negotiated through mechanisms and processes owned and governed by Afghanistan.

Why is Pakistan Concerned?

The US willing to address Pakistan’s concerns would keep India interested to keep a close watch. Lisa Curtis said in her address that Pakistan’s concerns in the Afghanistan peace process must be paid heed to. She said that given the fact that Pakistan has been a sanctuary to Afghan Taliban for more than 16 years, US looks forward to Pakistan’s assistance. She further said that the US understands that Pakistan’s very own security concerns need to be taken into account.

Is there a Military Solution in Afghanistan? 

The US-led war in Afghanistan to eliminate the Afghan Taliban has been ongoing since 2001. It was initially assisted by Canada and the United Kingdom and later a 40 nation coalition including member states of the NATO.

Many including Steve Brooking believe that there is no military solution to Afghanistan. Steve Brooking is the Director of Peace and Reconciliation at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. He believes that the only solution possible is a political dialogue with the Afghan Taliban.

India Wary of Talks with Afghan Taliban 

India has never approved of any talks with Taliban. India has reiterated time and again that it does not differentiate between ‘Good Taliban’ and ‘Bad Taliban’ for Taliban is synonymous with violence. Also, India has always held Pakistan responsible for the empowerment of Taliban. India would surely not be impressed by the United States’ willingness to indulge in any dialogue with Taliban.