The elephant in the war: India and the Afghan-Pakistan link

Heine, Jorge; Ghosh, Partha
January 2011
Canadian Foreign Policy (CFP);2011, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p50
Academic Journal
Nine years running, the Afghan war is by now the longest in U.S. history. It is also one in which Canada has paid a high price in human lives, with some 150 fatal casualties, proportionately one of the highest of any North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) country. The widely used term "AfPak", now discarded, reflects the extension of the war theatre to both countries. This article explores India's interests in Afghanistan, the policy she has followed since 2001, and the triangular relationship between Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. We argue that India's role in Afghanistan is critical not just in terms of India's own foreign policy objectives, but also for the long-term stability of the larger Central and South Asian region. For that to obtain, however, significant changes need to occur in terms of how India's role is perceived by the United States, Canada and other NATO powers, and in Indian policy towards Afghanistan itself.


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