13th South Asia Conference Organised

December 16, 2021

New Delhi: The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) is organising the 13th South Asia Conference on “Return of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Implications and Way Forward” in a virtual mode, on December 16-17 2021.

On the opening day of the two-day online conference, Director General Manohar Parrikar IDSA, Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy in his Remarks, delved deeply into the recent developments in Afghanistan and their broader ramifications for the region and beyond. Describing the return of Taliban in Afghanistan as an important regional development, Amb. Chinoy said that it was up-to the Taliban to ensure that their regime becomes responsible and in tune with the expectations of the Afghan people and the global community.

The ‘so-called interim government of the Taliban’ will need to make adjustments and accept the new realities of the world, he said. Failure to do so would only imperil the Taliban’s rule, and perhaps lead to popular unrest in the future and deny the Taliban the full legitimacy they seek in the international community, observed Amb. Chinoy.

Speaking about India’s role as a stakeholder in Afghanistan’s destiny, Amb. Chinoy said that India’s historical ties with Afghanistan and their geographical proximity put a special responsibility upon New Delhi to monitor the development in Afghanistan closely. The situation in Afghanistan can have major implications and the threat of a spill-over of malevolence radiating out of Afghanistan into Kashmir cannot and will not be taken lightly, he added.

For India, the priority, however, is to preserve the goodwill of Afghan people that it has earned over years, through capacity-building and high-impact developmental projects at the cost of billions of dollars, reiterated Amb. Chinoy. Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at the G-20 Summit in October in which he alluded to the “friendship that the people of Afghanistan have for India” Amb. Chinoy said that India has committed to provide 50,000 MT of wheat, essential life-saving medicines and COVID Vaccines to the Afghan people as humanitarian assistance.

Elaborating upon the newer elements added to ‘The Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan’ that call for collective cooperation against the menace of radicalisation, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region, Amb. Chinoy stressed upon the fact that the most urgent task before the global community currently is to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan in an open and transparent manner.

Earlier, Amb. Chinoy released the Special Issue of MP-IDSA’s Journal of Defence Studies (JDS) titled '50 Years Later: 1971 India-Pakistan War' on the occasion. The release of the journal coincided with Vijay Diwas, the day when, 50 years ago, India defeated Pakistan, leading to the birth of Bangladesh.

The special issue of the JDS is a compilation of 15 articles that weave together the multifaceted aspects of the war, including the military, political, diplomatic, social and cultural aspects that collectively shaped the outcome of the 1971 India–Pakistan War. The themes have been designed to give a more holistic picture of the military campaigns that caused the collapse of the Pakistani Military’s grip over East Pakistan, eventually resulting in the creation of Bangladesh.

MP-IDSA has been organizing the annual South Asia Conference since 2007. Over a decade, this flagship conference has dealt with a number of important issues that reflect the different concerns of member countries of South Asia. The conference enables scholars, experts, analysts and people from the media to interact at the Track II level and discuss issues of mutual interest and concerns.

The Conference is being attended by experts from Afghanistan, Pakistan, US, Russia, Bangladesh, Iran, China and India.