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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

India’s relations with Afghanistan and the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia have contributed to the growing interest in the country’s ‘rise’ to global prominence. Treating them together under the label of ‘Central Eurasia’, Indian policy-makers insist that despite the obvious differences between them, the issues that frame India’s strategic interests in Afghanistan and the Central Asian states are interconnected. The chapter explores the historical contexts that frame India’s current engagement with Central Eurasia. The investigation undertakes a parallel assessment of New Delhi’s engagement with both Afghanistan and the Central Asian republics. The comparative analysis indicates that what has thwarted India’s outreach to Central Asia has become the key to its effective involvement in Afghanistan—namely, that India engages both in the context of its strategic rivalry with Pakistan.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Central Eurasia, Pakistan, India

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