For the last six years, the
Taliban have been trying to get Indian reconstruction staff out of Afghanistan.
About a dozen Indians have been killed or seriously injured by Taliban attacks.
Currently, there are about 4,000 Indians in Afghanistan, working an several
major projects (road building and erecting electrical transmission lines, for
example) and dozens of smaller ones. So far, India has contributed $750 million
to Afghan reconstruction (placing it 5th among donors).
its aid workers, India has sent in security personnel. This made Indians more
difficult targets, and the Taliban have instead gone after Afghans who are reluctant
to support the Islamic radicals. Then there are the Afghan security forces and
the foreign (U.S. and NATO) troops to worry about. Thus as long as the Indian
security forces are vigilant, the Taliban don't bother much anymore. This
despite Pakistani pleas for some action against the Indians. The Afghans, even
the Taliban, resent Pakistanis telling them what to do. While all Islamic
conservatives hate the Indians (at least the non-Moslem ones), destroying aid
operations is only part of the effort to overthrow the current government, and
put the Taliban back into control. Most Afghans like the aid and reconstruction
operations, and resent Taliban efforts to halt these efforts (because such aid
is seen as giving support to the government). The average Afghan out in the
countryside cares less about the government, and more about new roads, getting
electricity and having access to medical care or emergency food supplies.
Indians supply all of that, as do aid workers from over a dozen other
aid workers have doubled in the last year, and are now running at the rate of
2-3 a month. This is miniscule in comparison to the three dozen or so attacks a
month against security forces, foreign troops and government officials. About
half (maybe two-thirds) of the attacks on the NGOs are politically motivated,
with the rest being common crime. There's a lot of bandit activity out in the
countryside. Always has been. Why do you think so many Afghan men have guns,
and so many of the country homes look like little fortresses? Afghanistan is
not a friendly place for strangers. Never has been. And that explains a lot
about what is going on there now.