Sunday, August 9, 2020
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Afghanistan Upset With India?

Afghan officials are deeply disappointed that President Ashraf Ghani wasn’t invited for PM Modi’s second swearing-in. While the PM chose to go the BIMSTECrather than the SAARC way, to keep Pakistan in the isolation bay, senior Afghans feel an exception could have been made for President Ghani. The thinking in South Block though is that even if Pakistan PM Imran Khan was snubbed, the PMO doesn’t want to shut all doors to Islamabad. In fact, it appears that the government doesn’t want a political appointee as Afghan envoy in New Delhi—a post that’s been vacant since September 2018 when Dr Shaida Abdali quit to run in the presidential polls. Though senior Indian officials claim that the lack of an invite was due to the OIC meet in Saudi Arabia, which happened at the same time as the swearing-in, Afghan officials negate this claim. They feel the OIC meet could have been skipped at the last minute and also went on to say the fact that there was no invitation will be remembered for a long time. It should be noted that ex-President Hamid Karzai was among the SAARC leaders in May 2014, who attended PMModi’s first swearing-in.