Non-alignment empowers Taliban, makes Afghanistan hotbed of jihad

The evacuation of Indian staff and personnel from its consulate in Kandahar is a telling comment on the failure of the Nehruvian policy of non-alignment

Tony Fernandez |

Anti-Taliban protest

Demonstration of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan in Peshawar, Pakistan to condemn the 6th black anniversary of swarming of fundamentalists into Kabul, April 28, 1998 (Photo courtesy: Wikimedia)

The evacuation of Indian staff and personnel from its consulate in Kandahar is symbolic of India’s decreasing presence and role in Afghanistan. It is a telling comment on the failure of the Nehruvian policy of non-alignment.

New Delhi is watching the situation in Mazar-e-Sharif in the north of the country, where it has a consulate, The Indian Express reported today ( Watching what? The increasing might of the anti-India forces in the war-torn nation? The Taliban are gaining strength by the day; so is Pakistan. And now that the Taliban have also given up their coreligionists in Xinjiang and declared China as a “friend,” New Delhi must expect more hostility in Afghanistan.

“As of Sunday, there were no Indian diplomats or other staffers at the Indian consulates in Kandahar, Herat, and Jalalabad—there were only about 15-20 Afghan staffers at each of these locations,” the IE report added. “The Indian embassy in Kabul though, was still functioning with Indian diplomats and Afghan staffers.”

The Ministry of External Affairs has tried to put up a brave face, though. Its spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Sunday: “The Consulate General of India in Kandahar has not been closed. However, due to the intense fighting near Kandahar city, India-based personnel have been brought back for the time being. I want to emphasize that this is a purely temporary measure until the situation stabilizes. The Consulate continues to operate through our local staff members.”

It is unfortunate that the basic principles guiding our foreign policy are still Nehruvian, non-alignment being one of them. Non-alignment is basically an anti-Western, especially anti-American, idea; it was bad earlier, it remains bad now.

In the bad old days, America-hating Leftists, embedded in the system, never let the world’s two biggest democracies come together. Whatever proximity there is between the two countries, it is because of millions of people who have settled in the US, business between two countries, and now the common threat New Delhi and Washington see in China. It needs to be mentioned here that it was the force of circumstances—essentially, the perfidy and egregiousness of Beijing—that have led to the setting up Quad rather than the dynamism of foreign office mandarins.

And it is the obstinacy of these grandees that precluded India’s military involvement in Afghanistan. Had the Indian armed forces helped the government in Afghanistan, the Taliban would never have become as powerful as they are now, and the landlocked nation would not have become a hotbed of jihad as it has now.

Further, Indian military presence on the eastern and western borders of Pakistan would have subdued it to a large extent and moderated the toxicity it spreads in its neighborhood.

But, alas, that was not to be! Thanks to the perpetual calamity called non-alignment.

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