(This article forms a part of the View From India newsletter curated by The Hindu’s foreign affairs experts. To get the newsletter in your inbox every Monday, subscribe here.)
Last week marked one year of Taliban rule, a rather grim anniversary for Afghanistan that the Taliban celebrated as victory day, even as many Afghan women came out bravely to protest, calling for freedom and for jobs for women.
Where does Afghanistan stand today, a year after the dramatic fall of Kabul to the Taliban? Suhasini Haidar, The Hindu’s Diplomatic Affairs Editor, tackled that question in this week’s World View. Haidar explains that the Taliban has not only clamped down on the rights of many sections of Afghan society, but has also broken several promises it made to the international community.
Meanwhile, India has been slowly but surely stepping up engagement in Afghanistan. The newly reopened Indian Embassy in Kabul is expected to increase its operations in Afghanistan, with the “technical team” posted there in June focusing on business and trade opportunities and distribution of food and medical aid. This month, Afghanistan’s Ariana airlines will follow Kam Air, which has been operating weekly flights every Thursday between Kabul and Delhi since July, and begin a weekly service as well, indicating that they expect more goods to be transported via the air cargo route. However, the embassy, which has 60 to 70 personnel so far, has not opened any visa facilitation services yet, and only a “limited number” of visas have been issued to Afghanistan citizens through the e-visa route, disappointing hundreds of students and patients requiring treatment in India.
India and the Rohingya
The Indian government’s approach to Rohingya migrants from Myanmar was laid bare this week in a curious turn of events. Hours after Minister for Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted that all Rohingya migrants from Myanmar living in a camp in Delhi will be shifted to flats, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a strong denial contradicting the Minister. The Ministry also said that it had issued orders that the shanty town where the Rohingya were now living in be designated a “detention centre”, pending the deportation of all of the hundreds of people living there.
The Hindu’s Vijaita Singh reports on the despairing conditions that nearly 350 Rohingya inmates of a camp in Delhi are living in, as they are caught in a political war between the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi. There is not a single toilet in the entire camp. “We urinate on old clothes and then either wash or throw them away,” Miza, a 20-year-old who studied in a private school nearby and can read and write English, was quoted as saying.
The Top Five
- Stanly Johny writes on the geopolitics of the latest Taiwan Strait crisis, and why if China loses Taiwan for good, Beijing’s attempts to establish regional hegemony will be dealt a blow.
- Yu-Jie Chen, in this interview, shares a perspective from Taiwan on how it is navigating China-U.S. tensions and views the future of cross-strait relations.
- Suhasini Haidar travelled to Indonesia and interviewed President Joko Widodo. As his second term draws to a close in 2024, Haidar explains how he is seeking new ideas to burnish his legacy.
- Meera Srinivasan explains why last week’s visit of a Chinese vessel to Sri Lanka became so controversial.
- Faced with Income Tax raids, exclusion from 5G telecom trials in India, and increasing restrictions on research collaborations, Chinese telecom major Huawei is downsizing operations in India, in a reflection of how the current tensions have impacted broader relations between India and China.