India's military czar concerned about US pullout from Afghanistan

Published April 15, 2021
Indian army chief Bipin Rawat. — Photo courtesy The Hindu/File
Indian army chief Bipin Rawat. — Photo courtesy The Hindu/File

India is concerned about a vacuum developing in Afghanistan following the proposed withdrawal of the United States and Nato forces from the country, the chief of the defence staff said on Thursday.

General Bipin Rawat told a security conference that the worry was “disruptors” would step into the space created by the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. He declined to name the countries that could act as spoilers.

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that US troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan starting on May 1 to end America’s longest war, rejecting calls for them to stay to ensure a peaceful resolution to that nation’s grinding internal conflict.

“Our concern is that the vacuum that will be created by the withdrawal of the United States and Nato should not create space for disruptors,” Rawat said.

India’s big worry is that instability in Afghanistan could spill over into occupied Kashmir where it has been fighting for three decades.

It is also concerned that Pakistan will gain a bigger hand in Afghanistan because of its long-standing ties with the Taliban, who are expected to play a dominant role once the United States leaves.

“There are many people looking for an opportunity to walk into the space being created,” Rawat said.

India invested $3 billion in Afghanistan on roads, power stations and even built its parliament following the ousting of the Taliban in 2001.

Rawat said India would be happy to provide more support to Afghanistan so long as peace can return.

Biden, in his announcement, also said that US objectives in Afghanistan had become “increasingly unclear” over the past decade.

Opinion

Editorial

Taliban anniversary
15 Aug, 2022

Taliban anniversary

A YEAR ago on this day, the Afghan Taliban rolled into Kabul as the Western-backed government fell like a house of...
Extreme measures
Updated 15 Aug, 2022

Extreme measures

Government has overreacted to a degree that has given ammunition to the PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’.
A depraved society
15 Aug, 2022

A depraved society

IF the extent of sexual violence against women and children is any measure of a society’s moral degradation, then ...
Taking stock
Updated 14 Aug, 2022

Taking stock

There are numerous reasons behind our predicament, and many of our wounds are self-inflicted.
Medicine in short supply
14 Aug, 2022

Medicine in short supply

THAT rising import prices of pharmaceutical raw materials and increasing production costs of manufacturers have...
Police excesses
Updated 13 Aug, 2022

Police excesses

Crass thuggery and victimisation of ordinary citizens are unlikely to earn govt plaudits from any quarter.