US-Taliban talks causes jitters in India
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An abrupt turn of events in Afghanistan has worried India. Washington has suddenly announced it would directly negotiate with the Taliban militants about the future of Afghanistan. From the looks of the things the militants' presence in Afghanistan's future administration seems likely. New Delhi has conveyed its misgivings to Washington. Afghanistan will likely top the agenda in planned talks with U-S Secretary of State John Kerry who has arrived in India to take part in the fourth India-U-S strategic dialogue. Those talks, aimed at finding a long-lasting solution after the U-S pullout in 20-14, are due on Monday. New Delhi is strongly opposed to Taliban's taking any role in any possible future of Afghanistan. It maintains friendly relations with the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. India also trains Afghan security forces and gives them military equipment. It has also invested in several medical and educational projects in the neighboring Afghanistan. Under the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, New Delhi remains committed to supporting the government and the people of Afghanistan. India has never contributed any troops to the U-S-led contingents who are fighting in Afghanistan. And that has been due to Pakistan's opposition to the presence of any Indian forces fighting along the U-S-led forces. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has expressed hope that an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process kicks off in Afghanistan. He's reiterated that anything that points to the contrary will be left out of such a process. Analysts say that India needs to be very cautious about the exact role America wants it to play by next year after it pulls out it's forces in Afghanistan and avoid getting caught in a situation that will lead to further escalation of tensions in the region.