India will be the most affected country if "jihadist Islamism" gains impetus in Afghanistan, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has warned.
Neighbours of Afghanistan should join hands to chart out the future of the war-torn country, rather than depend on unilateral US efforts, he said.
After all, countries in the region including China, India, Pakistan and even Iran could be adversely hit if Afghanistan were to end up with a fundamentalist regime, Kissinger said in a keynote address at a conference organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) here last Friday.
"In many respects India will be the most affected country if a jihadist Islamism gains impetus in Afghanistan," the 87-year-old elder statesman warned.
Kissinger said he has supported the Obama administration's policy in Afghanistan, but it will have to merge at some point into some kind of political end game.
"A unilateral American role cannot be a long-term solution. A long-term solution must involve a combination, a consortium of countries in defining, protecting and guaranteeing a definition of a statehood for Afghanistan," he said.
The effort must merge at some point with the reality that there are many countries in the world that have a more immediate national security interest in the future of Afghanistan than the United States, not an abstract interest in prevailing against aggression, but a specific national security interest, he said.
"The presence of a terrorist-producing state in that geographic location will affect every country," Kissinger said in his address titled 'Global security governance and the emerging distribution of power'.
"For Pakistan, it will undermine whatever order exists today. Even Iran, as a Shiite country, if it can ever move to think of itself as a nation rather than a cause, can have no interest in a fundamentalist regime in Kabul.
"In many respects India will be the most affected country if a jihadist Islamism gains impetus in Afghanistan. Even China, with its problems in Sinkiang, cannot be indifferent," he said.
He also noted that the centre of gravity of world affairs has left the Atlantic and moved to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.