US Congressional Research Service report suggest that India’s goals in Afghanistan are to deny Pakistan strategic depth and the ability to block India from trade and other connections to Central Asia and beyond.
The report also notes that US-Pakistan relations, which deteriorated after the 2011 Abbottabad raid, had since “improved somewhat.”
The report on Afghanistan, which is prepared as research and reference material for US lawmakers, includes a brief description of India’s Afghan policies.
It notes that India also wants to prevent militants in Afghanistan from attacking Indian targets in Afghanistan.
While India wants to prevent Pakistan from regaining “preponderant” influence in present day Afghanistan, “it does not want to be saddled with the burden of helping secure Afghanistan” after the US departure, the report adds.
The report points out that India saw the Afghan Taliban’s hosting of Al Qaeda during 1996-2001 as a major threat because of Al Qaeda’s association with Pakistani groups fighting in Kashmir.
The report claims that some of these groups had committed major acts of terrorism in India, including the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008 and in July 2011.
It notes that Afghanistan also seeks close ties with India because it wants access to India’s large and rapidly growing economy – “but without alarming Pakistan.”
In April 2015, President Ghani visited India to engage directly with the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.