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Better to realize late than never

The National Unity Government has realized now that overlooking India, in the initial months of coming into existence, was a mistake. Yet another mistake was heavily relying on Pakistan. To correct that mistake a need was ever felt that Kabul must increase defense ties with India, but again the government couldn’t kick start such a program because of inexplicable reasons. But now that National Security Advisor to President Ashraf Ghani, Hanif Atmar, along with Deputy Foreign Minister, Khalil Karzai, are expected to visit India to urge the country to deliver combat helicopters to improve its aerial defense power, all eyes are on India. New Delhi expectedly will give Afghanistan four Russian-made combat helicopters. Security deterioration over the past months, the fall of Kunduz city to the Taliban, and how it was recaptured by security forces, made it explicit that Afghanistan needs its own aerial defense system. Kunduz, a strategically located province, connecting Afghanistan to Central Asia, has been a restive province and its fall not only unnerved Kabul but also Washington DC. It made the US President Barack Obama to rethink his pullout plan. After the review, American troops will remain by the end of 2016 in Afghanistan, even through to 2017. Afghan security forces will call for help from American air force, which is not the solution. Afghanistan needs its own improved aerial defense. Former President Hamid Karzai worked on the idea of India playing an enhanced security role, but the then Congress-led coalition government in India was treading carefully. And when the situation looked conducive the governments changed in Afghanistan and India. The new government in Afghanistan started a policy of balking if not reversing because it wanted to increase ties with Pakistan—a neighboring country, which is considered to be holding the key to peace in Afghanistan, however, President Ashraf Ghani was soon disillusioned. Now Ashraf Ghani, and Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive, are too cautious when it comes to dealing with Pakistan. Resultantly, by now, they haven’t responded to the offers of Pakistan to broker peace negotiations between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban. Amid such a situation, the likely visit of Atmar and Khalil Kariza is a commendable job. Fed up with Pakistan’s policy of sweetening a fatal pill, Kabul is pushed to revise its foreign policy, keep India, Iran and China, in its Plan-B because its alliance with the West against terror is not yielding well. Ghani has been trying now to use every move from his pack of cards to improve security, but he needs to be careful in putting all the eggs in just one basket—Pakistan and think it will work out. If he, once again, pursue friendship with Pakistan, having a blind faith in her for playing a constructive role in peace negotiations, it will be suicidal. This is worth reminding to the government that it must think over why there was a sudden outburst of insecurity after NDS-ISI deal. The deal affected the government in two ways—security deteriorated and the graph of the government declined in the eyes of the general public. In India now there is a nationalist government, which is bold unlike the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in India. One of the members of UPA was the Indian National Congress, which wanted to promote democracy, physical infrastructure, however, when it comes to security, the party was too much meticulous. However, with the BJP government in India, now New Delhi can come out in full to support Afghanistan in security spheres.

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