General Awareness

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Why does India strongly support Afghanistan?

MBA Aspirants are expected to know the happenings around globe which might affect Indian foreign policy, thus impacting all of us. Today, you will read on:
Why does India strongly support Afghanistan?
Relations between India and Afghanistan have been cordial for decades. In fact, in the 1980s, India was the only South Asian country to recognize the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, backed by the Soviet Union, and today, India is the largest regional provider of reconstruction and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
To date, the Indian government has pledged Rs 124 billion (US$ 2 billion) in developmental assistance because it believes that a stable and secure regime in Kabul is vital for regional security. In addition, India will benefit greatly in terms of economic growth if the Afghan government is stable. 
John F Kennedy, former president of the United States, once said, “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder”.
Likewise, even though Afghanistan and India are joined together by history, it is necessity that has made the two countries allies. To rise as a superpower, it is important to maintain cordial relations with neighboring countries. And this is exactly what India is doing. 
India’s relations with China and Pakistan have not been very cordial in the past few years and India has had border disputes with both China and Pakistan. So, for the welfare of the nation, the Indian government has to maintain good relations with other neighboring countries, who can provide assistance in times of need. This is one of the reasons why India strongly supports Afghanistan in its political agendas and economic ventures. 
According to several international news agencies, the United States will be withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and to ensure that Afghanistan does not fall into the hands of the Taliban, the Indian government is planning to send weapons and equipment to Afghanistan to increase the military capabilities of the Afghan army. 
The Indian government has invested billions of dollars in developing infrastructure in Afghanistan to boost trade between the two countries. So, it is understandable that India will do everything within its means to protect its economic interests.
India benefits greatly from its relationship with Afghanistan. In fact, India has become a hub for patients from Afghanistan. In the last three years, the Indian embassy in Kabul has issued over 100,000 medical visas to Afghan patients and this has in turn enhanced India’s medical tourism. 
At present, twenty flights operate between Delhi and Kabul on a weekly basis and this figure is likely to increase with greater cooperation between the Indian and Afghan governments. India and Afghanistan, along with Pakistan and Turkmenistan, are developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline, which will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
India benefits greatly from its relations with Afghanistan and since Afghanistan lies at the cross roads of Asia and the Middle East, India will be able to develop a safe trade route between India and the Middle East, through Afghanistan. 
By helping Afghanistan in its restructuring programs and enhancing its military capabilities, India is not just adding another country to its friends list but it is also safeguarding its borders and protecting its economic interests.
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