India’s Involvement In Afghanistan : only In Our Way

India’s Involvement In Afghanistan : only In Our Way

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By Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Special Forces

Alexander the Great had ascended the throne in 336 BC. Starting his Campaigns, he reached the borders of present day Afghanistan in 330 BC after conquering vast territories but had to spend four tough years to subdue the Afghans albeit partially. He could cross into Indian borders in present day Pakistan only in late 327BC through the Khyber Pass. Tough battles forced him to sign treaty with King of Taxila and only with his help he could think of taking on the formidable Porus. Alexander managed to cross Jhelum and finally defeat Porus due to some good luck. However he realised what awaited him further ahead in Punjab only and the stories about Nanda Empire beyond Punjab were awesome.

So wisely Alexander decided to return back to Persia. His troops were certainly not tired (only afraid of facing the Army of Patliputra) as confirmed by the route taken for the return journey. He proceeded along the Western bank of Indus and was in fact wounded severely in his fight with the Mallis of Punjab.He reached the town of Susa in Persia only in 324BC. A tired Army would have taken the most secured route back (also being the shortest). Alexander who died in 323 BC thus spent nearly half of his rein in Afghanistan.

The above piece of history has been narrated for the benefit of Shri Trump who is wisely deciding to somehow quit from Afghanistan, where one of his predecessors had rushed in blindly (though thinking it was a well planned move) in 2001 in the name of capturing Osama Bin Laden, so as to punish him for 9/ 11 outrage.

Since then the Americans are trying to get out of Afghanistan but are in a terrible bind, with Pakistan making full use of it. Finally realising their follies, Americans have been wanting somehow to get the Indian Army to replace the American Forces in Afghanistan. India is no fool to jump into Afghanistan blindly with its Army. The Govt of India is doing what should be done albeit at a slow pace. However if the Americans want something more, then as a first step US President Donald Trump should stop mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan, suggesting it was of no use, instead should read some history if he can.

Trump brought up India’s aid to Afghanistan during a rambling press appearance after a cabinet meeting as he defended his push for reduction of Overseas Investment by the United States of America. While stating that he got along with Modi, Trump said the Indian leader was “constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan.You know what that is? That’s like five hours of what we spend.And we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan. “

It was unclear to which project Trump was referring, but India has committed $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the extremist Taliban regime after the September 11, 2001 attacks.Projects have included the reconstruction of an elite high school in Kabul and scholarships to India for 1,000 Afghan students each year. Inaugurating the Afghan parliament building in 2015 after reconstruction financed by India, Modi promised to promote programs “empowering Afghan youth with modern education and professional skills.”

India has stepped up training of Afghan military and Police and has now opened a route to Afghanistan via Chabahar Port in Iran, thus totally by passing Pakistan. Road infrastructure has been built to connect Afghanistan to Iran and further on to Central Asia. Very soon India will be taking on the Construction of a few dams to give solid boost to water storage and Agriculture.

So as a second step, Trump Ji should ensure that not a single dollar is given as military aid to Pakistan. Even civil or commercial aid to Pakistan should be fully controlled and monitored properly.

As a third step, it should also move out all non American Forces out of Afghanistan at the earliest. Thereafter India will do all to bring Afghanistan back to normalcy, with the Americans slowly pulling out.

Afghanistan had been subdued, nice and proper only once before and that was few thousand years back, many decades before even the great epic Mahābhārata War.