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  HOME PAGE 06/12/2021 11:39 
20.10.2021 12:42 News >> 'Ashraf Ghani's Last-Minute Deal To Stay In Power Fell Through'

'Ashraf Ghani's Last-Minute Deal To Stay In Power Fell Through'

India’s former envoy claims former Afghan president was making deals behind backs of Afghan army, leading to its demoralization.

India's former Ambassador to Afghanistan Jayant Prasad has revealed that former Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was negotiating with Pakistan through British mediators to convince the Taliban to allow him to stay in office over the next six months.
On Aug. 15, Ghani hurriedly left to an unknown destination and then surfaced in the UAE, soon after Taliban came knocking the doors of the capital Kabul.
Participating in a discussion, Taliban Takeover: What It Means for Afghanistan, India, and World, through a video link, Prasad, who has also chaired the Indian think tank the Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis, claimed that Ghani was making deals behind the back of the Afghan army, which led to demoralization and ultimately their surrender without fighting Taliban.
"He (Ghani) was told by negotiators that he cannot stay. Afghan army did not know who is the enemy. Ghani was trying to strike deals behind their backs," he said in the webinar organized by India Writers Network.
Prasad, who served as India's envoy in Kabul in 2008-2009 said India had contacts with the Taliban by participating in the intra-Afghan talks in Doha. He said two more contacts were made in June but hastened to add that it was time for New Delhi to wait and watch the situation.
He predicted that the Taliban will form an Iranian-type supreme council body to oversee the governance structures in Afghanistan.
He said war-torn Afghanistan needs reconciliation among all ethnicities and with all neighbors, including India.
On the resistance building up in the Panjshir Valley, Prasad said that unlike in 1996, this region is not linked to the Tajikistan border and it is not possible for those inside to get supplies.
Space restored for Pakistan
Another former Indian ambassador, Tirumallai Cunnuvakum Anandanpillai Raghavan, said Pakistan has managed to restore its space in Afghanistan, which has been denied over the past many years. He said Pakistan was currently pushing the Taliban to adopt an inclusive system as triumphalism in the country has come with worries as well.
But he suggested that there are good reasons for India to engage with Pakistan, saying the events that unfolded in Afghanistan have in some senses restored balance and diluted Pakistan's paranoia about India's presence in the war-torn country.
"It is fact that the Taliban would not have been able to revive without the support of Pakistan. Taliban is made up of numerous factions, some are closer to Pakistan, some are not, and some value their Pashtun and Afghan identity more than anything," said Raghvan, India's envoy to Islamabad in 2013-2015.
He said China will not play any security role like the US in the region but said there will be a significant Chinese presence in Afghanistan if peace and stability return to the country.
Raghvan, also the author of many books -- including People Next Door: The Curious History of India's Relations with Pakistan -- said the US-led NATO alliance has received a decisive defeat.
Shakti Sinha, a former Indian bureaucrat who has worked in the UN mission in Kabul said this generation of Taliban is tech-savvy as was evident when they took over the presidential palace or the palace of warlord Rashid Dostum.
He also said there was no appetite for fighting anymore in Afghanistan and those holed up in the Panjshir Valley will not get support from anywhere.
Setback for India
Manish Chand, the head of the India Writes Network, a think tank and media-publishing platform, said the Taliban takeover has come to a big setback for India as it threatens to unravel its sustained investment in reconstruction projects that had transformed the lives of Afghans and had earned India goodwill.
"India has to engage in smart diplomacy to protect its interests under the new Taliban regime," he said.
Another former diplomat Sharat Sabharwal sought to keep quiet contacts with the Taliban to protect vital interests.
"We (India) should not abandon this strategically important space in our neighborhood indefinitely. Friendly countries such as Russia and Qatar can help. While counseling moderation and promising continued development partnership, we should judge the Taliban primarily by their security guarantees, including not allowing the use of their territory by anti-India terrorists and the ability to deal with us independently of Pakistan," he wrote in a leading English daily, the Indian Express. -



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