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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent visit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi is the latest affirmation of both countries’ shift to a deeper bilateral partnership. However, with the region’s most intense rivalry as a backdrop, India’s political and economic presence in Afghanistan is often viewed as a Machiavellian ploy aimed against Pakistan.

In a ground-breaking book, My Enemy’s Enemy: India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US Withdrawal, Avinash Paliwal takes a critical approach to this familiar geopolitical narrative, delving into what truly drives India’s Afghanistan policy. Drawing on hitherto untapped primary sources including official memoranda, diplomatic correspondence, and a series of interviews with key political actors, Paliwal demonstrates that Indian presence in Afghanistan has been guided primarily by an enduring vision for the region that requires a stable balance of power across the Durand Line. Carnegie’s Ashley J. Tellis will moderate. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Avinash Paliwal

Avinash Paliwal is a lecturer in diplomacy and public policy at the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, where he specializes in foreign policy analysis with regional focus on South Asia, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.

Ashley J. Tellis

Ashley J. Tellis holds the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security and U.S. foreign and defense policy with a special focus on Asia and the Indian subcontinent.