India’s re-calibrated Afghanistan strategy included recent visit of Joint Secretary J P Singh of its Ministry of External Affairs to Kabul, desire to reopen Indian Embassy and offer to train Afghan army under Taliban regime in India. In an interview to CNN-News18, Afghan Defence Minister Mullah Yaqoob has shown willingness to send his troop to India for training. Taliban regime’s flexible approach towards its not-so-trusted neighbour India and the west is understandable. Afghanistan has been suffering in terms of political recognition, economy and social deprivation for being a chessboard of foreign and regional powers. Their just fight for their rights and state sovereignty has been widely labelled as terrorism by the west and its ally India.

On one hand, India is extending hand of friendship towards Taliban while on the other hand continue to brand them Pakistan’s proxy, terrorists and unworthy of trust. To earn the goodwill of Taliban regime, Indian media is widely showcasing about Indian Investments in Afghanistan and contrary to this deporting large number of Afghan refugees notwithstanding that Afghanistan is married with severe humanitarian crisis.

The change in India’s strategy seems to be an acceptance of the fact that the Taliban government is unchallenged and engagement with Taliban is imperative. For India, Afghanistan was and will always be a theater of competition with Pakistan and it is unlikely that Delhi will show any sign of abating this competition.

As the adage goes, “A sweet tongue, but a hand ready to stab in the back”, is how Indian style of diplomacy goes.

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