Stand firmly by Afghans

Given the political dynamics, it's more than likely that the Taliban were behind the kidnapping.

Six Indian engineers working on a power project and their Afghan driver were abducted at Baghlan in northern Afghanistan on Monday. This is a matter of serious concern for us. Since India is deeply involved in running development projects across Afghanistan, Indian experts, technicians and advisers of all kinds reside there despite the obvious risks of living and working in that country. The external affairs ministry is in touch with the Afghan authorities, but so far it appears that contact has not been established with the abductors. We can only hope that our kidnapped compatriots are safe, and that negotiations can soon be begun for their early release.

Given the political dynamics, it’s more than likely that the Taliban were behind the kidnapping. Pakistan opposes India’s presence in Afghanistan. Its proxies in the shape of the Taliban or the Haqqani group have earlier attacked, killed and abducted Indians. Pakistan realises India’s development activity in Afghanistan earns it goodwill with the people and the government, which in turn makes for leverage in relation to both Islamabad and Beijing.

It’s in recognition of this factor that China recently agreed to do a joint economic project with India in Afghanistan, much to Pakistan’s annoyance. This abduction could be an expression of Islamabad’s frustration with this emerging arrangement. But New Delhi must remain steadfast in standing by the people of Afghanistan. In the long term, this foreign policy commitment has considerable value from the security angle, and from the economic and commercial perspective with Afghanistan as well as the countries of Central Asia around it which are resource-rich.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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