As Trump generates a new round political turbulence in India’s western neighborhood, India must embark on a more activist policy in the Middle East that goes beyond its hollow rhetoric.
By deepening its political, economic and military engagement in Afghanistan, and by formally signing a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016, China seems to be emerging as a long-term player in the region’s new Great Game.
Although the United States and India have had shared interests in Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban at the end of 2001, Washington, in deference to Pakistan, has generally discouraged New Delhi from an activist role there.
Despite common interests, shared objectives and similar initiatives, biased perceptions have persistently hindered dialogue and cooperation between India and the European Union in Afghanistan.
Donald Trump’s presidency presents an unexpected opportunity for India in its continued efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
After 15 years of limited cooperation, India and the EU have the opportunity to join forces on promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan.
With India’s relations with Pakistan entering a period of turbulence, Afghanistan could acquire an unusual prominence in India’s regional strategy.
A more complex phase in the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan has begun. Modi must retain strong control over the inevitable escalation that will unfold and sustain relentless pressure on Rawalpindi’s political vulnerabilities.
Afghanistan’s geopolitical situation means it must either normalize relations Pakistan or partner with India to balance it. After having attempted the former, Afghanistan is pursuing the latter.
The fact that it has taken more than a decade for India to begin work on the Chabahar port project reveals the deep-rooted internal constraints on India’s regional economic strategy.