IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 26th Sep 2020

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. – C.S. Lewis

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.


EDITORIAL HUNT #158 :“Tough Roads into Heart of Asia | UPSC

Tough Roads into Heart of Asia | UPSC

D. Suba Chandran
Tough Roads into Heart of Asia | UPSC

D. Suba Chandran is Professor and Dean, School of Conflict and Security Studies and Peace Research Programme and Science Diplomacy Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru


The Doha-Kabul journey as a road to nowhere


There is an element of naiveté among those who feel the Taliban will find middle ground with the Afghan government



There is an element of naiveté among those who believe that the Taliban is transformed and will find middle ground with the Afghan government. Critically Analyse -(GS 2)


  • Issues within Afghanistan
  • Consequences ; Post Withdrawal of Troops


Finally, after numerous false starts, the representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban could meet in Doha.

  • PARTIES : It was a tough road from Kabul to Doha for all three actors involved — the Afghan government, the Taliban, and, most importantly, the United States.
  • CHALLENGING ROADS : The road back to Kabul will be more challenging, given the inherent differences on the Afghan endgame among these three actors.



  • WHAT AFGHANS WANT : Afghanistan with democracy as the basis, with liberal values and equal rights for everyone, including the minorities and women.
  • FUTURE IN AFGHANISTAN : Taliban’s version of an Islamic emirate will be in direct contradiction to what the Afghan government wants in terms of democracy, human rights and equal rights for women and minorities.


  • US EXIT : The U.S. endgame in Afghanistan is not aimed at a political settlement in and for Kabul.

U.S. looks at an exit from Afghanistan, as early as possible, preferably before the forthcoming U.S. presidential elections.

  • INTRA-AFGHAN TALKS : The U.S. should remain committed to the intra-Afghan process and ensure both sides, especially the Taliban, sticks to the political plot.


  • NEUTRALISER : The al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is neutralised, the Taliban has severed its relationship with all external actors.
  • DEMOCRATIC TRIUMPH : The killing of Osama bin Laden, elections and democracy in Afghanistan, and, finally, an intra-Afghan dialogue.

The American exit from Afghanistan – physically and politically, would rupture the intra-Afghan dialogue process.

  • TALIBAN VS AFGHAN GOVERNMENT : The Afghan government has not only been reluctant from the beginning to engage with the Taliban but is also divided within in terms of how it sees the Taliban.
  • POWER SHARING : While leaders are on the extreme side in terms of how they would loathe sharing power with the Taliban.
  • LEADERSHIP CRISIS : The Afghan leadership was pressurised by the U.S. and even threatened with an aid cut, to get on to the road to Doha.

Afghan government organised recently on the subject was under American pressure, to create a consensus in starting a dialogue with the Taliban.

  • AFGHAN PEACE COUNCIL : This is what the Afghan Peace Council has been tasked to and has been grappling with — to find an answer and a middle ground.
  • RESERVATION : Outside the Afghan government, there are reservations among multiple sections – the minorities and women.
  • LOOKING BEYOND : The last few years and elections have created certain institutions of democracy and liberal notions.


  • WHAT TALIBAN WANT : Is it looking forward to sharing power in Kabul and taking part in an electoral process ? or just working with the Afghan institutions .
  • EGALITARIAN SETUP : Is it looking at creating an equal and egalitarian society in Afghanistan ?
  • SPACE TO MANEUVER : For the Taliban, it would be nothing short of an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
  • LONG WAIT : Taliban has been waiting for the last two decades for international troops to leave.

Once the Americans leave, it would go back to the strategy that has yielded maximum dividends — violence.

      IASbhai Windup: 


  • REGIONAL GREAT GAME : Pakistan, Iran, China, Russia and India all have stakes in Afghanistan, and have made it clear through the multiple dialogues on Afghanistan (bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral).
  • AMERICAN INTERESTS : As long as American troops and interests remain in Afghanistan, their role would remain limited.
  • COMPLEXITY : If the road from Kabul to Doha was tough, the return would be even tougher and more complicated.

It is also possible that the Doha-Kabul journey could be a road to nowhere.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Tough Roads into Heart of Asia | UPSC


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