Social Media Buffs Engage in Afghan-Indian Antics

Published September 16th, 2021 - 03:17 GMT
Afghan residing in India protest against Taliban rule.
Afghan residing in India protests against Taliban rule. (AFP File Photo)

ALBAWABA – India’s relationship with Afghanistan is coming under the spotlight, trending in the social media with many talking about Delhi’s relationship with Kabul under the Taliban and how it is likely to move forward.

But the situation for India is complicated by its tense relations with Pakistan which is friendly with Taliban. However, the talk in social media cyberspace tends to be didactic with lots of threads and trends which is difficult to focus.

What is needed now is for India to reopen its embassy in Kabul having evacuated its staff there when the last of the American troops have left the country on 31st August. This is because of the Indian investments in Afghanistan that amount to $3 billion all in infrastructure projects. This big investments.

India might be unduly worried as it is suggested by the Taliban who are trying to build relations with many including India, China, Russia and even the West. Taliban denies its "cold-shouldering" India Delhi is skeptical but may be they shouldn’t because of two things: The historical nature of the relations between India and Afghanistan over the past decades and centuries.

This is pointed by the fact of the burgeoning Indian community that have come to exist in Afghanistan from at least started in 1947 when generations of Indians came to live in the country. Although official statistics are scarce, it is suggested there were 20,000 Indians living in Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Ghazni by 1972, their number shot up to 500,000 by the 1980s and went down in the 1990s to 45,000. However, the number increased to 2500 by 2017.

With this also came Indian aid and financial assistance to Afghanistan throughout the years from the early 2000’s till today. In 2016 for instance Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged an additional $1 billion making India’s grant to Kabul at $3 billion.

Thus in a tweet by the External Affairs Minister S. Jashankar he said India’s approach to Afghanistan has always been guided by its historical relationship with its people, and that will continue to be the case. He adds that Delhi is concerned about the situation in Afghanistan.

But if this is the case many of the comments on the social media don’t reflect that believing that there is an element of destabilization going on. But if this the case, Indian would certainly have too much to lose. Yet there are interesting angles to this.

First it is suggested India is trying to create a civil war in Afghanistan but how is that happening is anybody’s guess! Secondly, and this related to Pakistan as it is “always falsely claim[ing] that India’s consulates in Afghanistan” are “the source of violence in Pakistan”. But there are no Indian consulates nor embassy in the country as everyone has gone home because of the crisis.

The situation becomes more ridiculous. We are told India is the “spoiler” in Afghanistan and is “trying to derail efforts for peace in Afghanistan. But isn’t the Taliban who is in total control of the country and has just formed a government in Kabul.

The Indian take continues as the country has gained a significant foothold in the country in the post-US invasion. But it may have done that in the past but not anymore surely. Then, and maybe now according to the social media posts, India has “successfully been waging war against Pakistan from Afghan soil.” All social media pep talk maybe. It is anyone's guess. 


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