Let’s Talk

Should India do business with the Taliban?

What’s at stake for India?

September 4, 2021


About the event

Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan shocked the world. For India, the house-of-cards collapse of the 20-year-old Afghan democracy represents a strategic setback.

Does this mean an end of trade relations with Afghanistan, a critical strategic ally for India in South Asia? The Indian government has made significant investments in the war-torn country over the past two decades and provided the government with much-needed developmental assistance in terms of investments and bilateral trade. The Taliban seizing control in Afghanistan presents a bleak future for such projects in Afghanistan. Moreover, India has not had a working relationship with the Taliban in the past.

While India is currently following the ‘wait and watch’ approach, the bigger question is whether India should engage with the Taliban now?

Hear all about it from our expert panellists in this Let’s Talk Policy session – Navtej Sarna, Former Diplomat & Author, Suhasini Haider, Diplomatic Affair Editor, The Hindu, Amitabh Mattoo, Professor of International Relations at JNU & University of Melbourne and Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza, Founding Professor, Kautilya.

The event was moderated by renowned journalist, Nidhi Razdan.

‘Let’s Talk Policy’ is a panel discussion series initiated by Kautilya School of Public Policy,, that brings forth a select group of panellists, sharing differing views on key issues of national and global relevance, and building the dialogue into a conversation for the student community.

The series aims to unravel major themes around democracy, politics, and human rights, and explore the challenges and rewards of implementing practices. We aim to create a cohesive platform and call on thematic experts to foster a healthy dialogue around the most-pressing issues.

About the panellists

Nidhi Razdan

Visiting Faculty, Kautilya &
Fmr. Exec. Editor NDTV


Nidhi Razdan (Moderator) is an award-winning journalist, author and the former Executive Editor of…

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Navtej Singh Sarna

Former Indian Ambassador to the US & Israel


Navtej Singh Sarna diplomatic appointment was as India’s Ambassador to the …

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Suhasini Haidar

Diplomatic Affair Editor
The Hindu


Suhasini Haidar has previously served as the Foreign Affairs editor and prime time anchor for …

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Amitabh Mattoo

Prof., Int’l Relations
JNU & Univ of Melbourne


Amitabh Mattoo former Vice Chancellor of University of Jammu, has a Doctorate from the …

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Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza

Founding Professor,
Kautilya School of Public Policy


Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza is Founder of Mantraya; Visiting Faculty at the Naval War …

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  • Young Indians, passionate about bringing about positive change and building India
  • Those aspiring to build a career in public life, public policy and administration, social sector, media, journalism and communications, politics, and other related fields
  • Academicians, researchers and journalists working in or following the fields mentioned above
  • Those watching the unfolding Afghanistan crisis closely – and are keen to hear from experts with relevant experience at the highest level