Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, February 27th, 2020

Afghanistan-India Relations: A Good Example amongst Regional Countries

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Afghanistan-India Relations: A Good  Example amongst Regional Countries

Last Friday was coincided with the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations between Afghanistan and India. Many Afghans believes that these relations have been strong, unlimited, stable and friendly and can be mentioned as a good example in the region. According to public opinion, India has always proved its good-will and good friendship with Afghanistan, especially in last two decades. In addition to construction of Afghan parliament, Salma dam, multiple roads, India has built over than 200 public and private schools, sponsored over 1,000 scholarships, hosts over 16,000 Afghan students. In April 2017, the Afghanistan’s ambassador in India said that India “is the biggest regional donor to Afghanistan and the fifth largest donor globally with over $3 billion assistance. Though Afghanistan is not directly or geographically connected to India, may Afghan trust India to go there for study, business, treatment and so on. Overall, India has a high place in the heart of Afghan people because of its constructive friendship and relationship with Afghan people.
If we compare the peaceful relationship of India-Afghanistan with those regional countries who try to impose their puppet regime on Afghan people, it will be a good lesson and example for them. Afghan people will remain appreciative and grateful to those who chose true ways of friendship with Afghan people. It is extremely expected from government of Afghanistan to prioritize the Indian company, Indian goods and Indian services in Afghanistan. We must not be merely the receiver of donations and financial supports; we should also prove to be a good friend. The prospect of Afghanistan-India relationship seems very shining. India is a one emerging economic and political power and it can trustfully support Afghanistan in the fields of education, health and reconstruction of the country. On the other hand, Afghanistan is a geographic corridor between south Asian and central Asia which is very important for India as a growing economic power.
Nevertheless, the government of Afghanistan should note that there is a long competition between India and Pakistan. Therefore, both countries may try to continue its rivalries through soil of Afghanistan while Afghanistan should play its peaceful corridor role in the heart Asia. In fact, it is one of the key responsibilities of the Afghan government to prove its impartial role in heart of Asia.  No country must be allowed to continue its competition from soil of Afghanistan or misuse from relation with Afghanistan threatening the interest of other countries, especially Pakistan. Therefore, both countries should build their constructive relationship with Afghanistan just on the basis of mutual relation not affecting any third party. Neither the presence of India should be considered as threat to Pakistan and nor the presence of Pakistan should be considered as a threat to India.
If we look back at the last two decades, the Indian projects have always been under threat in Afghanistan. Pakistan as a traditional opponent of India did not seem happy from the widespread presence of India in Afghanistan and it has repeatedly and overtly expressed its concerns regarding the presence of India in Afghanistan. In regard to this issue, it is the responsibility of foreign policy apparatus of the country to listen to the concerns of Pakistan and ensure that Pakistan is not threatened from soil of Afghanistan. But if the presence of India in Afghanistan does not harm Pakistan and not threatened Islamabad, it must not allow itself to choose our friends or enemies. Afghanistan as an independent country has the right to establish or abolish its friendship with any countries in the world provided that not threatened any third country in the world. So far, there is no serious evidence that Pakistan has been threatened from the soil of Afghanistan.
Therefore, the relation between Afghanistan and India has been considered constructive and it can be a good example for many countries in the region. This shows if any countries want to play a constructive role in Afghanistan the people of Afghanistan would be thankful and will try to compensate in a friendly way. If we compare the relationship of the two countries in the public opinion, majority of the Afghan people believe that the relationship between India and Afghanistan has been friendly and helpful but Pakistan has been blamed for imposing its puppet regime in the country. As a result, the bosom of Afghan people has been more open to India and so day-to-day the mutual relation has been increasing between the two countries. However, Pakistan is also one of neighbor countries with wide border with Afghanistan. It has sheltered millions of Afghan people and many Afghan consider Pakistan as their second home. 
Given the current peace process, Afghanistan is in the eve of serious changes. It is hoped that the forty years of destructive war end in the near future. Afghan people expect the neighboring countries and also international community to play their positive role in the peace process of the country. Afghan government and people are strongly committed not to allow any misusing from the soil of the country. So, it is in the interest of all countries to put an end to the senseless war in the country. Instead of political competition, the regional countries can benefit from Afghanistan’s geo-economic location. As an insecure Afghanistan can be harmful to the regional and world countries, a peaceful Afghanistan can be useful. If the regional countries had played their positive role after the defeat of Soviet Union, now terrorist groups would have no chance to threaten anyone through Afghanistan.   

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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