ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Afghanistan beyond 2014

Quest for a New Policy

Analysing the political conditions inside Afghanistan, this article looks at the challenges before the new regime in Afghanistan. Further, it looks at the increasing infl uence of the Loya Jirga and analyses the strategic implications for India and south Asia. India's policy towards Afghanistan seems to be shifting, with the Taliban gaining in strength after the presidential elections which have still not decided the winner.

The United States (US) Secretary of State, John Kerry issued his first statements after the Loya Jirga concluded its deliberations on a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to be signed between Afghanistan and the US. He called for paying heed to the wishes of Afghan people, who had sent their leaders to this historical institution that has surpassed the significance of Wolesi Jirga, or the elected Lower House of the Afghan Parliament. The Loya Jirga was called by President Karzai between 21 and 24 November 2013 to delve into the implications and concerns of the pact, which the Loya Jirga overwhelmingly approved for signing before the year ending 2013.1

President Karzai gave a runaround to the Americans by introducing his new set of demands, who were hoping to ink the pact after the overwhelming support of Jirga. He announced that the pact would be signed only after the 2014 presidential and provincial elections. The Americans found his demands perplexing, as he demanded an end to US forces entering houses of Afghan residents, ensuring “fairness” in 2014 elections and third, for “sincere” support in talks with the Taliban. They were baffled as they could not mean less than what Karzai meant from his last two demands.

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