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VISIT OF AFGHAN PRESIDENT – INDIAN STAKES
The forthcoming visit of the Afghan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani to India aaccompanied with hiswife is likely to be an important occasion in India’s foreign policy establishment.There has been an uneasy phase in Indo-Afghan relations since the presidential elections in Afghanistan at the end of last year. President Ghani is somewhat indebted to Pakistan because of its support of Dr. Ghani during the elections. Also, the rivalry between the pro-Pashtun and pro-Tajik+Hazara forces continues in Afghanistan manifested by the makeshift power sharing between Pashtun backed Dr. Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah with back of rival parties. Taliban has not been neutralized and unlikely to be anytime soon. IS also has supports from fundamentalists. Hints are that the US is likely to retain a division strength force in Afghanistan permanently. All this makes Afghanistan a volatile territory.The visit will allow Indian side to assess the future configuration of Indo-Afghan relations. India will not be able to stop the growing Afghan-Pak proximity at the political leadership level. Indian National Security Advisor is in Afghanistan to prepare the agenda, at least covering the security issues, for the ensuing deliberations between President Ghani and Indian establishment. President Ghani is likely to play a balancing game using India and Pakistan – as some other neighbours of India do with India-China or India-Pakistan.