Afghanistan, terrorism, Indo-Pacific, climate change on Modi's US trip agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to fly to the US on a three day trip this month to hold bilateral dialogue with President Biden, attend the QUAD summit and address the UNGA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the US for three days this month. (File photo )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the US for three days this month. (File photo )
Published on Sep 06, 2021 09:45 AM IST
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By Shishir Gupta, New Delhi

Cementing bilateral ties, stabilisation of Afghanistan, counterterrorism, Indo-Pacific and climate change are expected to be on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes on a three-day visit to the US this month.

While the scheduling of programs and engagements of PM Modi will be worked out by the advance team, which is expected to reach the US on September 9, the visit will begin with a bilateral with US President Joe Biden in Washington on September 23 followed by a physical summit meeting of QUAD partners the next day. PM Modi is expected to address UN General Assembly on September 25 before flying back to India. This is the first international visit of PM Modi after he travelled to Bangladesh in March 2021.

Apart from strengthening bilateral ties, the security and diplomatic ramifications of Taliban controlled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific will be on top of the diplomatic agenda as PM Modi will hold his first physical meeting with Joe Biden after he took over as President this year. This will also be the first QUAD physical summit with Australian and Japanese heads of government even though there is a question mark on the physical availability of Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga as he has decided to step down. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed his availability for the QUAD summit.

Also read | India has good reason to worry over Taliban's rise: Ex-CIA official

Afghanistan and the role of regional players like China, Russia, and Iran will be priority agenda with Pakistan openly playing cards in the formation of the government in Kabul. While countries like UK and Germany are seeking Pakistan Army’s support in engaging the Taliban, Lt General Faiz Hameed, DG, ISI, is parked in Kabul for the past two days to ensure that a pro-Pakistan government is formed and ensuring that resistance in Panjshir is eliminated with the help of Pakistani commandoes in mufti. Amrullah Saleh, the face of Panjshir resistance, is the principal target of ISI as the former first vice president of Afghanistan has always blocked the grandiose plans of the Pakistani intelligence agency. It is a matter of concern that despite Pakistani ISI, which runs the terror factory in the Af-Pak region, running the show in Kabul with a tired international community watching the events silently.

Also read | As Taliban sends conflicting signals, India maintains studied silence

The QUAD summit will not only discuss the regional security of the Af-Pak region but also the Indo-Pacific as China will be a net gainer of the ascent of Taliban in Afghanistan via its client state Pakistan. The bilateral engagement and QUAD summit will pave the way for the decision on the legitimisation of the Taliban regime for the concerned countries individually. Despite the Taliban claiming that it will not allow Afghanistan to be used against a third country, the Sunni Pashtun Islamists refuse to disavow the al Qaeda terrorist group and are virtually run by the pro-Pakistan Haqqani Network terrorist group. The Taliban are a votary of global jihad till the world turns into Dar-ul-Islam.

Also read | Haqqani and Baradar fight it out for power in Kabul

At the meeting of the QUAD, the architecture of the four-nation grouping could be announced, a sort of rules of engagement that have been worked out by the foreign ministers of the participating countries.

PM Modi will address the UNGA with India a non-permanent member of the UNSC on September 25. While he is expected to address the core issues facing the world, the speech will be forward-looking with a focus on climate change and terrorism. It is another matter, that the UN has been found to be performing below par when it comes to critical issues including Afghanistan or terrorism.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021