Strategically, Afghanistan stands of much importance to India because during the 1980s and 1990s the local and regional development has led India to lose contact with the government and people in Afghanistan.
For a long time now, Strategic Analysts in India are reviving the foreign policy establishment of India towards Afghanistan. On these grounds, New Delhi has tried to address this imbalance during the last decade enhancing its ties and presence in its immediate and extended neighborhood.
Before Invasion of Soviet Union
Afghanistan has never accepted the Durand Line (Border between Pakistan & Afghanistan). So Afghans with an intention to counter Pakistan has upgraded relationship with India and USSR which has turned out to be warm and healthy.
During Soviet Invasion (1979 – 1989)
During Soviet Invasion, India was one of the few countries in whole world which supported the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. An Indian point of view suggested a low point in its foreign policy, but India still remained a close ally of communist Kabul Government at the behest of goodwill of Afghans.
Before the startup of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, India has lent its absolute support to the communist government and after that the coalition government was also extended a continuous support by India. Taliban by that time has captured the entire Kabul and much of the part of Afghanistan. India doesn’t assure or shares any sort of diplomatic relations with Taliban and hence, India became a supporter of Northern Alliance led by Ahmed Shah Massoud with the capacity of Iran, Russia. The support to Northern Alliance was extended in the form of money, arms and logistics.
The barbaric incident of 9/11 brought The United States of America to the same page as Afghanistan/India and hence with US help Northern Alliance captured Kabul.
Strengthened Strategic Relations
India has given continuous and an enlarged support to Afghanistan in all formats be it Money, developmental projects, humanitarian aids etc. which has ensured a new levelled strategic ties among India and Afghanistan. India stands as the only emerging super power to stand with Afghanistan fighting against Taliban.
The distinguished feature of good/bad Taliban seemingly is not implied here as the complete eradication of Taliban from each section of the civil society of Afghanistan is the core agenda of both the countries.
Indian Initiatives for Afghans
In the contemporary times where Afghanistan is going through a turbulent transition phase, India has been an all-weather friend of Afghanistan. India has taken the following initiatives for the development and the prosperity of Afghanistan.
. India collaborating with the Afghan government has constructed the SALMA DAM, which ensure production of hydro-electricity for the power deficit country.
. Taken into consideration the internal security and the self defence of Afghanistan, India has been providing Military support with Russian built MI 24/25 helicopters, Indian built Cheetal are few military hardware which are transferred to Afghans to retaliate to Taliban.
. HEART OF ASIA conference hosted by India in Amritsar 2016 assured some solutions to Afghan problems. India also attended a conference hosted by Moscow to find a permanent solution for Afghan.
. With intention of reduction in the dependency of Afghanistan on Pakistan for external trade, India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed a trilateral agreement to develop the Chabahar Port and the Chabahar Airport.
. India also developed the DELARAM ZARANJ highway connecting Afghanistan with the Chabahar Port of Iran.
. Also, India has been investing heavily in the mineral sector of Afghanistan along with the various lines of credit given from time to time.
India has supported democratic process in Afghanistan and it enjoys good relations with the government and the opposition. With least of expectancy from the Afghan government, India is helping Afghanistan without any hidden agenda. India is of the opinion of forming a strong and a stable government in Kabul with Kabul not being under the influence or pressure of any sort of external military intervention of what Afghans have realized this.