Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on “AfghanistanAfter the U.S Withdrawal” by Mr. DaveedGartenstein-Ross on Thursday, 5th December, 2013 at 6.30 PM in collaboration with Takshashila Institution. Mr. Anand K Arni, Former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GOI chaired and moderated the discussion.
In this presentation, DaveedGartenstein-Ross addressedthe issues that are so critical to comprehending Afghanistan's future. He said that as the United States of America draws down in Afghanistan, the country stands at an important junction. He discussed about relative stability, or backslide into civil war and anarchy that may erupt in Afghanistan. He also discussed about the re-emergence of al-Qaeda network as a potent force in the region.Under these circumstances, he explained about the attempts of other States like Pakistan and China to exploit this situation.
Covering a long span of turning points in the history of Afghanistan, culminating with the withdrawal of USA from there, Mr. Gartenstein-Ross felt that there was not much possibility of a country-wide civil war or a complete Talibanisation of Afghanistan. In his observations, Mr. Arni agreed with this speculation, but felt that the Pashtun people’s issue had potentialities of unrest.
During the highly interesting interactive session, both Mr. Gartenstein-Ross and Mr. Arni felt that India could at best play a secondary role in Afghanistan and that India’s best interest would lie in supporting a stable central Government in Kabul.