Before India objects to the inclusion of Taliban in the political process of Afghanistan, the ground realities and actual Geo politics should be studied and analyzed carefully prior preparing a comprehensive strategy for India’s influence in the region.
ISIS and Taliban
First of all,Taliban and Islamic State ideologies are different as Taliban believes in enforcing a strict interpretation of Sharia or Islamic Law based on Deobandi fundamentalism and are anti-modern ie against Western Education. while Ideology of Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant is based on jihadi-Salafism focused on the restoration of the caliphate of early Islam and all Muslims are required to pledge allegiance to it and will expand the influence globally and wants the world with no borders. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi pledged to reconstitute the historical Wilayat khorasan (region comprising AFghanistan, Pakistan and parts of neighbouring countries) starting with uprooting the Taliban and the government of President Ashraf Ghani.
As Taliban had been much part of Afghanistan’s history therfore it is impossible to visualize stable Afghanistan without Taliban (Talibans cover more than 60% of Afghanistan’s territory) therefore Russia, Pakistan and Iran are reaching out to the Taliban and holding secret talks with them.Islamic State or Daesh has emerged as a grave threat to Pakistan and war-ravaged country of Afghanistan which enables Taliban as an indispensable force in fighting ISIS or ISIL.
Russia is concerned about his backyard as many Central Asian jihadist groups like Jund al-Khilafah joined ISIS, some outfits like Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Uighur-led Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and Islamic jihad Union are associated with Al-Qaeda and Taliban .
To secure a place for India at the Russia led consultations on Afghanistan is quite different from India watching its own interests viz a viz Afghanistan.For the first time India has been included in the six- nation meeting comprising Russia,China ,Pakistan, Afghanistan,Iran and India for peaceful and stable Afghanistan in which all countries accept New Delhi agreed to recognize Taliban as a legitimate political actor .
The outcome of the Moscow summit is that the Tripartite Partnership between Moscow, Beijing and Islamabad emerged to expand its conflict resolutions functions to incorporate Tehran and New Delhi for stabilizing Afghanistan.With China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan negotiating with Taliban but US has blundered by bringing Central Asia including Afghanistan on the same desk as India and Pakistan in the White HOuse National Security Council.
US President Donald Trump seems to be over burdened with the 17-year military operation in Afghanistan also goes by the opinion that ISIS is the global threat and America alone should not take the entire expenditure of combating the brutal and jihadist outfit.
What should be India’s strategy
India is better advised to fine tune its foreign and strategic policy so as to secure its borders especially when the peaceful Kashmir has been totally transformed into a conflict zone and a cautious approach should be applied not to invite more problems or players from the third country .The interests of India with respect to Afghanistan are totally different in view of the threats emanating from Afghanistan and Pakistan to India
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi desires to become a leader or an influencing person in the region than India should become an economic and military power(Naval,Air and ground forces) with strong Foreign Policy and convincing Diplomacy .Far from being expert in matters regarding strategic and ground realities that are threatening India’s security interests he lacks understanding in such matters of administration with experience of hardly two and a half years in power.