Afghan reality: India may talk to ISI, Taliban

March 8, 2010

IBN Live

New Delhi: The top levels of the government are debating opening talks with Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Afghan Taliban to ensure India remains relevant in Afghanistan.

CNN-IBN learns the precarious security situation in Afghanistan–highlighted by the terrorist attacks targeting Indians in Kabul on February 26–is prompting a gradual but significant rethink in New Delhi.

Sources confirm that the government is debating opening up a channel of communication with the ISI and engaging sections of the Taliban–an idea India abhorred till now.

India is also considering paring down its presence at reconstruction projects in Afghanistan. Projects underway may be wrapped up quickly and there may be even a freeze on undertaking new projects.

These policy options were debated at a meeting of the National Security Council, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired on February 12.

India won’t scale down Afghanistan operations
The government has been forced to think to rethink its Afghanistan policy because of cold, hard reality. Indian officials acknowledge that the political and military situation has deteriorated in Afghanistan.

President Hamid Karzai is politically weak and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar and his men could return to power in Kabul. Security analysts perceive Western powers have lost their will to stay in Afghanistan, and there’s a tremendous increase in Pakistan confidence.

The advice to engage with sections of the Taliban and start a limited and regulated dialogue with the ISI came from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The advice is controversial but stems from India’s need to ensure Afghanistan is not handed over on a platter to Pakistan. In line with that thinking, India is also considering helping prop up a friendly political alliance and intensively engage with Russia and Iran.

Not everyone is convinced about India’s new Afghanistan policy. “It’s not the same Afghanistan–there’s no Ahmad Shah Masood. It’s not the same old Iran either. It’s also not the old Soviet Union. We now have Russia and the Central Asian States, so we need a new way. What that will be, we don’t know,” says former diplomat K C Singh.

Indian officials say there may be a change of approach but India remains determined to stay relevant in Afghanistan.



  1. Isi donot let indians to live there . Even in construction work . india nature is like a snake . its nature never change . Pakistan army remain neutral . its our time to reemerge in afghanistan . these indian tauts and cia must escape from afghans

    • This story is nothing to be proud of..if anything it suggests ISI is running the goverment

      • hahaha…well what do you think? matric fail raza gillani is? or mr 20 percent asif zardari is? hahaha…president musharraf appointed ashfaq kiyani for a reason. to ensure that stupid civilians do not ruin this country. they know that. in any case, the indians will need to speak with the ISI or with the taliban. they have no option at this point. pakistan has the upper hand right now.

      • Huma, I think you need a reality check.
        This is the real world, CIA, KGB, Mossad, RAW, ISI etc. always dictate their terms. You will be run over by your enemies if your first line of defense (ISI) crumbles. If people like “Ghadari” was running the show in Pakistan, then you will be a province of India in 96 hours, like gen. Kapoora said.


  3. No matter what india thinks and try to be relevant in afghanistan but the reality bites and the indians who were talking hostile against taliban and ISI is now thinking of talking to these guys – what a shame but india has no shame if they had they would have kept their words and promises on kashmir the world’s body called UNO but the liar india has no morality and day in day out lies coming out of india. Well no matter what india does to stay in afghanistan they will not succeed as the brave afghanis have kicked the russians out and now nato is finding ways to get out what is india kya piddi aur kya piddi ka shorba. Lalaji you have to get out of afghanistan and taliban and ISI will make sure that you do otherwise you will be kicked out with peshawri chappals. Very scary!!!! india is thinking of sending troops to afghanistan the very troops who are fighting against unarmed kashmiris but it is not scary for afghanis but scary for indian troops to be in afghanistan as the afghanis would not let them stay the banya army there and will be looked at as an enemy and then india’s image in afghanistan will always be tarnished forever.

  4. The geopolitics are changing fast in the region.

    I am waiting to see Indian scuttle from Afghanistan. The bunya is in trouble.

  5. For Pakistan there is no middle way. Either we have to declair nautrality on Afghanistan and stop the NATO supplies or get 100% involved inside Afghanistan and protect our assets anda strategic interests.

    • Easy said than done.
      The misfortune for Pakistan is that people in power are so self centred that Mr.Riaz Ahmed Khan,a very senior diplomat was fired from the post of Foreign Secy,as he had opposed taking Benazir murder case to UN.

      Under the present back channel diplomacy,a former four star general,who is held in high esteem by Saudi and America, has gone from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia,which is also a stakeholder.So let us wait for the outcome. InShaAllah,good will come out.

  6. why you guys forget Bangladesh. 1971 surrunder of 90,000 paki soldiers in from of Indian army

    • …and you forgot 1947 when you were kicked out of Lahore,Karachi and Peshawar etc!!.The greatest mass movement in history that the Britsih Indian’s in the 1930’s said would only be possible over “our dead bodies”.They were correct because Pakistan was established on atleast ONE MILLION dead Indian bodies!

      • guys sorry if i wrote someting in patriotism but the fact remains that cursing india all the time on blogs and websites is insane tell your fellow brothers to go to school develop your economy buy your weapons from your own money*(instead of american help who kill your own citizens )and then fight with us you know the word “dignity”……you see america who built pak defence wants to be our buddy cause it doesnt want China to rise today AMERICA IS WITH US TOMMOROW FOR THE SAKE OF ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE CHINA WILL BE WILL US THEM WHOM WILL YOU GUYS GIVE BLANK CHEKS.–I HOPE YOU WILL UNDERSTAND ONE DAY..BYE NOW

  7. nice post

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