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India does not want to get involved militarily in Afghanistan, says defence expert

Gurgaon, Mon, 18 Jun 2012 ANI

Gurgaon, Jan 18 (ANI): The news of the Taliban praising India for not bowing to American tactics is being viewed with caution by experts.

Defence analyst Sushant Sareen has said New Delhi does not want to get militarily involved in the affairs of Afghanistan.

"India is definitely not ready to get involved in Afghanistan in the way the U.S. wants," Sareen told ANI.

"Now, America wants that India should play the role which it wanted earlier. But now that exit policies are coming for the foreign forces, maybe India does not wants to get involved in this. It wants a role but India will itself decide the type of role. Secondly, how much would India invest there in terms of material and money, there is no decision taken on that matter. That is an open question as of now. But this is why India did not give any positive reply to U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta at which Taliban gave such a statement," he said.

Sareen also mentioned that the Taliban might be doing this to project a new image for itself in the region in case it comes to power again.

"As far as the Taliban's statement is concerned, there are a few aspects to it. Firstly, it may be an effort for the future that in case the Taliban ever forms a government in Afghanistan, then their relations with India would not be such as had been before. We had no relations in fact. So this may be a signal from that where they want to show that it might be a different Taliban government after all in the future," added Sareen.

He further said that the problem now before India is to what extent the statement of Taliban could be reckoned on a serious note.

"Our problem here is that how seriously should we take this statement. One angle may be that it has been given out so that India never plays the role that America wants it to play now. It may be like this because Pakistan is worried for the kind of role America is offering to India. Secondly, maybe the Taliban is trying to give a pinprick to America and firing the gun from India's shoulders. But I don't think that India would fall for that or America would fall in it either," said Sareen.

He also observed that if India looks into the past record of the Taliban, then it does not inspire confidence to ever trust the violent outfit.

"If we note their (Taliban's) past and their behaviour then, then it does not inspire confidence that it would lead to an enlightened government in Afghanistan, or if it would lead to more stability in the region. It seems more likely that Afghanistan may again become an epicentre of militancy which go against India's interests," said Sareen.

In an unusual comment, the Afghan Taliban issued a statement where the outlawed militant outfit praised the Indian government for resisting the efforts of the U.S. to involve India on a major scale as was intended during the recent visit of Panetta to India.

The Taliban statement praised India for being a significant country in the region and praised its government for resisting the U.S. offer for greater military involvement in Afghanistan. (ANI)

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