There is dismaying talk in various informed quarters that seeing the rapid Taliban advances in recent weeks and the apparent ANA helplessness India should not get involved in that country.
It is not good advice.
If this country feels that Afghanistan is an important geostrategic prize then it will have to get involved. Not peripherally but actively.
What does active involvement involve. Backing the Afghan government to the hilt with support commensurate to its resources. Seeing India's standing in the world and its size these are not insignificant. .
Ab initio India will make it clear that it will not send boots on the ground. Other than that It will stand by the Afghan government through thick and thin with full-fledged support..
Concomitantly India must take the warlords in its fold assuring them with full support for their shortfalls and needs with the proviso that once fulliy kitted they will undertake to flush out all Taliban incursions within 100 km radius of their bases. India will be placing retired military officers as liaison officers with them..
India is the only country that the vast majority of Afghans admire, respect and trust. The government of the day in New Delhi is the heritor of the two great visionaries of the last few centuries who were mindful of India's security. Both Maharaja Ranjit Singh and later Lord Curzon at the beginning of the twentieth century realised that the defence of India and in the case of Maharaja Ranjit Singh,
that of the Sikh Empire,
had to rest on the Hindu Kush in the West. They both achieved their aims. In the case of the Sikhs by conquest up to the Khyber Pass and in the case of Lord Curzon and thereafter his successors by ensuring that whoever ruled Afghanistan remained under India's influence..
Time remains of the essence. Should New Delhi continue to hesitate or tarry the game will be over for India even before it has begun.Should the government act boldly and with speed it can be sure that all Western governments who had troops in Afghanistan would go all out to assist India in their mission. The same goes for Japan.