UPSC Current – Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan in ‘historic’ first visit to Afghanistan
Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan in ‘historic’ first visit to Afghanistan
Why In News?
- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on his first official visit to Kabul on Thursday, focusing on the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban as well as on building trust and strengthening relations between the two often acrimonious neighbours
India’s Interest in Afghanistan
- Economic and Strategic Interest: Afghanistan is a gateway to the oil and mineral-rich Central Asian republics.
- Afghanistan’s main advantage is its geography, as anyone who is in power in Afghanistan controls the land routes connecting India with Central Asia (via Afghanistan).
- Developmental Projects: The massive reconstruction plans for the country to offer a lot of opportunities for Indian companies.
- Three major projects: the Afghan Parliament, the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, and the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam), along with India’s assistance of more than $3 billion in projects, hundreds of small development projects (of schools, hospitals and water projects) have cemented India’s position in Afghanistan.
- Security Interest: India has been the victim of state-sponsored terrorism emanating from Pakistan supported terrorist group operating in the region (e,g. Haqqani network). Thus, India has two priorities in Afghanistan:
- To prevent Pakistan from setting up a friendly government in Afghanistan, and
- To avoid the return of jihadi groups, like al Qaeda, which could strike in India.