We Can Defeat Terrorism by Upholding the Unity of Our Society
The former diplomat on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, India-Pakistan ties, and the security situation in Kashmir
Arun K. Singh was Indian Ambassador to the U.S., France and Israel, and served in various capacities in the Ministry of External Affairs, including dealing with Afghanistan post-2001. Now a teacher, commentator and keen observer of geopolitics, Mr. Singh discusses in this interview the evolving situation in Afghanistan and how it is linked to the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir. Excerpts:
The U.S. appears to be planning an exit from Afghanistan after making a deal with the Taliban. How do you assess the evolving situation?
The U.S. under President Donald Trump clearly wants to pull out of Afghanistan. This is not something new. Even under former President Barack Obama, there was a concerted attempt to pull out of Afghanistan. There is a certain amount of wariness in American society about this prolonged involvement in Afghanistan. It has now gone on for almost 18 years. There have been costs, economic and social. Obama was not able to do it, partly due to the push from the U.S. military and partly because he was worried that if there was a major terrorist attack in the U.S. after the pullout, and sourced from Pakistan or Afghanistan... that would have been devastating. The U.S. also did not want to convey the message that it lost in Afghanistan. Then there would have been wider consequences.