India and Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan

Published: April 8, 2012

Both nations are unwilling to bow down to each other in terms of spy warfare and shall continue to assist insurgent operations against one another in the long run. PHOTO: AFP

For the last decade or so, the global community has been fighting a war in Afghanistan which has its roots originating from the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s. The current war has various stakeholders involved who are vying for greater influence in the region which also includes South Asian arch rivals India and Pakistan.

On a historical note, the American and Pakistani leadership of the 1980s sought to eradicate the USSR’s geo-strategic agenda in Afghanistan by training large numbers of local and foreign militants in the name of ‘Islamic jihad’. These militants were indirectly funded and trained by the CIA and the ISI under ‘Operation Cyclone’.

India, being Pakistan’s natural enemy, provided logistic support to the USSR, and also carried out various espionage operations against it through its external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). However, in the post 9/11 world, the geo-politics of the region drastically changed due to the ongoing war on terror against the same militants who were trained in the 1980s.

When the Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan in 1996, the only three countries which officially endorsed it were Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. All the planning which was necessary to bring the Taliban in control was conducted by army officials under the supervision of the ISI and late Interior Minister and PPP leader Major General (r) Naseerullah Babar.

Pakistan’s political aim was to maintain Afghanistan as a satellite state to secure the western border. However, the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States changed the dynamics of global politics; the Bush administration decided to launch a full scale invasion of Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 to topple the Taliban regime which had allegedly provided safe haven to Osama bin Laden.

A number of countries, which included Pakistan’s military rule under Musharraf, along with Afghan rebel leaders from the Northern Alliance consisting of Uzbek, Tajik and Hazara communities, later joined the offensive to topple Mullah Omar’s regime to install a Western oriented democracy under Hamid Karzai. This was the best time for India to jump into Afghan affairs as Karzai was considered a trustworthy ally.

The economic interests of India and Pakistan in Afghanistan are similar, but they differ as far as handling security affairs are concerned. Christine Fair in her assessment of Indian interests in Afghanistan writes:

The events of September 11, 2001, presented opportunities for India, which had been largely shut out of Afghanistan throughout the Taliban period. Since the ouster of the Taliban, India has worked to become Afghanistan’s most important partner for reconstruction in recognition of the country’s strategic importance for India within and beyond the South Asian region.

Post 9/11, India has reassessed its foreign policy towards Central Asian Republics, and forged a friendly alliance with Iran for economic gains. It has also started importing Indian goods to Afghanistan due to their common opposition to the Taliban. In addition, India has provided manpower and funding worth billions of dollars for the construction of Afghan infrastructure across key Afghan provinces and major cities like Kabul and Jalalabad.

However, it must be noted that  despite the removal of the Taliban, Pakistan did not weaken its hold on Afghan affairs as it also provided similar economic assistance, albeit of a lesser amount. Not only this, but it has also constructed the deep sea Gwadar port with the assistance of China in the restive province of Balochistan to facilitate trade with the land-locked Afghanistan and CARs; this also reduced dependency on the Middle-Eastern and Iranian sea ports.

Afghanistan, being rich in minerals, has become a focal point of strategic interest for all foreign stakeholders especially Iran, Pakistan, and India. The two most important multi-billion dollars projects of the entire region, ‘Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline’ and ‘Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline’, have secured partial investment from international companies, but are being temporarily put on-hold because of the lack of Indian interest, potential security issues emancipating from Baloch and Afghan insurgents and US pressure in the case of the IPI Project owing to the US-Iranian stand-off .

TAPI project’s economic potential, once achieved, can make South Asia independent in terms of natural resource usage for gas and electricity.

In terms of security, India supplied high altitude warfare equipment worth around $8 million to the Northern Alliance, and also renovated its first international airbase in Tajikistan called ‘Ayni’ to counter Pakistan from the north-west. India’s spy agency RAW has also been allegedly involved in clandestine operations against Pakistan via the  Pak-Afghan border. They are suspected of  training and supporting the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) insurgents in Balochistan and also providing logistic support to the Pakistani Taliban (TTP).

This can be further supported by a series of briefings to the local and foreign media by Pakistani generals who have portrayed India as a serious threat to Pakistan. Back in 2006, PML-Q leader Mushahid Hussain said:

The Afghan Police, the Border Security Force and customs officials facili­tate the visit of Indian diplomatic staff and intelligence agents to border areas, and help them to hold meetings with dissatisfied pro-Afghan dissi­dents, anti-state elements, and elders of the area. In this context, meetings of tribal elders are arranged by the Afghan intelligence agency (Riyast-i-Amniyat-i-Milli or RAM) at the behest of those RAW officials who serve in different diplomatic offices of India in Afghanistan.

During the London Conference on Afghanistan in January 2010, the Western Allies proposed the idea of giving Pakistan a complete role in Afghan peace talks, and allowing it to train the Afghan army on a limited scale. This increased Pakistan’s role in directly negotiating with the Afghan Taliban, but resulted in Indian dislike.

India has accused Pakistan based militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan for inciting violence in both Afghanistan and India against Indian subjects in connivance with the ISI. It is no news that India blames Pakistan for the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. According to Pakistani Journalist Ahmed Rashid:

Any sign of excessive Pakistani influence in Afghanistan would immediately prompt a reaction from India, Iran, China and the Arab Gulf states, which could include backing anti-Pakistan proxies in Afghanistan making it even more difficult for Afghanistan to achieve peace and stability.

At the same time, US efforts to forge a strategic relationship with India have caused Pakistan to rethink its relations with the US. Pakistan is particularly concerned that it has consistently fought the violence of the global war on terror along with bearing more than $67 billion economic losses, while continually being asked to “do more”.

It also accuses the US of discrimination regarding the Civilian Nuclear Deal which Pakistan believes it had the right to have on equal level with India back in 2006. Pakistan has also pressured the United States to limit India’s role in Afghanistan as it may cause economic and security meltdown of the country through global diplomatic pressure and increased intelligence operations of RAW.

Personally, I believe that both nations are unwilling to bow down to each other in terms of spy warfare, and shall continue to assist insurgent operations against one another in the long run. On the economic front, both are somewhat willing to positively invest in Afghanistan and derive the most out of local projects. TAPI pipeline is one such project that will lead to an increase in security and investment.

The national interests of both nations are largely opposing, and we may not be able to see progress in the near future regarding security dimensions, until and unless a miracle happens and their relationship changes.

M.Hassan Khan

M.Hassan Khan

Hassan is a second year undergraduate student in War Studies at King's College London and has previously served as the student councillor of the university.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • G. Din

    “The national interests of both nations are largely opposing, and we may not be able to see progress in the near future regarding security dimensions, until and unless…”

    A balanced sum-up! Good effort! Reasonable conclusions!Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Incredibly poorly researched article – in fact, I would need to rewrite it to cover all aspects. However, let’s try and touch the howlers for now:
    1. India did not provide logistical support to the USSR. How could it (you need geographical access to provide logistical support).
    2. The Northern Alliance did not ‘later’ join the offensive to oust the Taliban – they were the only resistance against the Taliban throughout that dark decade.
    3. India has had excellent relations with Afghanistan throughout the last 65 years excluding the Taliban period. It did not sense an opportunity and ‘jump in’. It has also not ‘reassessed’ its approach towards Central Asian republics and Iran, with whom it consistently enjoys cordial relations.
    4. Gwadar port is being built by the Chinese to help Afghanistan! Another is the reference to the Iran-Pakistan pipeline – could not figure out how you were helping Afghanistan with that.
    5. This can be further supported by a series of briefings to the local and foreign media by Pakistani generals who have portrayed India as a serious threat to Pakistan.. Yeah right – the most impartial source of information.
    6. During the London Conference on Afghanistan in January 2010, the Western Allies proposed the idea of giving Pakistan a complete role in Afghan peace talks – what does that even mean?
    7. It also accuses the US of discrimination regarding the Civilian Nuclear Deal which Pakistan believes it had the right to have on equal level with India back in 2006. – God given right, I presume?
    ET, I am disappointed – you should not subject readers to this level of ineptitude.Recommend

  • Shan B

    Very articulate, impassioned and informative. Thank you.Recommend

  • bdesai

    Very immature thinking and writer lacks the knowledge and backgroundsRecommend

  • kaalchakra

    Brilliant work! Very impressive, just as a Pakistani researchers should be.

    For BlackJack

    (1) Jets loaded with Soviet bombs used to fly directly from Moscow to Delhi and leave in the dead of the night, for Kabul, dropping a few bombs along the way on Pakistan. Thousands of poor Pakistanis died in those nightly raids by Indians flying to supply arms to Russians.

    (2) Pakistan was supporting Taliban only to bring peace to Afghanistan. Pakistan was also the first oppose Taliban because it was not living upto the high levels of democracy that Pakistan had set for Taliban.

    (3) Afghans are Muslims. How could Indian have ‘excellent relations’ as you said?

    (4) Afghanistan and Pakistan are brotherly nations. What is good for Pakistan is good for Afghanistan. What’s so hard to understand?

    (5) Amazing! You don’t trust Pakistani generals – whom all Pakistanis trust on matters of foreign policy. Why not?

    (6)/(7) Only Indians question Pakistan’s natural rights.

    It’s time Indians recognized Pakistan’s existence and stropped trying to destroy it. Inshallah, Pakistan, with the help of brotherly nation Afghanistan, will give India munh tod jawab.Recommend

  • MynameisKhan (India)

    The authors is trying to be unbiased but at the same time “wrong” narratives are coming in to the write up. The narrative that India is “jumping in” is completely wrong. India always had good relations with Afghanistan before Taliban took over. Another wrong narrative is that India is providing logical support to TTP. Common! If India was supporting TTP and ISI knew of this, then why can’t it stop it (or go to UN and get a ban on RAW). All intelligence agency collect information and RAW also collect information. The author is trusting the statement of Army generals who have openly apologized to nation for lying to people and manipulating the elections. The problems in Pakistan of suicide blasts, extremism if due to radicalization and incompetent government. You can’t deny army role as well in creating this mess!

    The problem is that world is skeptical of Pakistan role in Afghanistan and doesn’t want another Taliban rule. If Pakistan come clean on its intention I am sure no one will object to Pakistan’s greater role in stability of the region. I think both India and Pak should sit down and talk their differences and concerns.Recommend

  • Mir Agha

    What you need to understand is that the internal dynamics of Afghanistan will always lend itself to outside “interference”. Pakistan needs to support the groups which will make Afghanistan stable and not a territory which will be used against Pakistan. For this interactions will all groups is essential. The Afghan national resistance did it before in the face of foreign-backed forces such as the communists and northern alliance, and are well on their way to doing it again. There is either to be majority control by one force (so called Taliban) or partition of Afghanistan in order for there to be stability in central asia. The northern alliance aren’t necessarily natural enemies of Pakistan. They, in fact, should be the vanguard in reasoning with Kabul over its irredentist claims on Pakistan. Iran, China, and Central Asia are with Pakistan in recognizing the need for a stable, non-interfering Afghanistan. Pakistan’s (supposed) support to the national resistance movement in Afghanistan against foreign forces is not a sticking point in its relations with the neighboring countries. There is a common end goal for all neighbors regarding Afghanistan. What the Kabuli elite don’t realize is that their confrontational approach to Pakistan ever since its independence is going to bring a necessary reaction from Pakistan. The Kabuli elite’s confrontational approach comes from their irredentist claims over Pakistan. They could be onto something except for the fact that the people that Kabul claims ownership over (Pak Pashtuns, and inexplicably Baloch, Makranis, Brahuis, and Hazaras) have never wanted Kabul. This might be just a cover for their emotive desire for “ocean access”, of which they already have through Karachi and soon to be Gwadar (implementation pending) if they could improve their relations with Pakistan.Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    The thoughts of a young man who has read doctored history, India can do no right Pakistan can do no wrong. Life is not black and white it is mostly greyRecommend

  • agthagola

    Indeed a good and very balanced article.Recommend

  • Reddy

    inferences you drawn from Musharraf’s side kick Mushahid Hussain shows your ignorance more than anything,i will give you a better source
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/88268/pakistani-media-fake-wikileaks-cables-attacking-india-published/
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/wikileaks-fake-cables-pakistan-apologies
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2574&Cat=13
    your army created it’s own wiki leaks to give legitimacy for their laundry list ,when India gets involved in something, you will know it and we will leave the footprint behind just to spite you, if not for any other reason. don’t go on looking for something thing which is not there to start with.Recommend

  • C. Nandkishore

    The writer seems to be a kid just out of school after being brainwashed by local history books.Recommend

  • Reddy

    inferences you drawn from Musharraf’s side kick Mushahid Hussain shows your ignorance more than anything,i will give you a better source
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/88268/pakistani-media-fake-wikileaks-cables-attacking-india-published/
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/wikileaks-fake-cables-pakistan-apologies
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=2574&Cat=13
    your army created it’s own wiki leaks to give legitimacy for their laundry list ,when India gets involved in something, you will know it and we will leave the footprint behind just to spite you, if not for any other reason. don’t go on looking for something which is not there to start with.Recommend

  • Maxxx Hardcore

    I totally agree with Blackjack. This is a biased and poorly researched piece. The Afghan intelligence is called National Directorate of Security or NDS not RAM the acronym for Riyasat e Amniat e Milli, which makes it sound like a copy of RAW.

    Pakistan needs to understand that Afghanistan can play this game just as well as Pakistan. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If Pakistan deems it necessary to have a proxy in Afghanistan then Afghanistan with the help of India can send proxies to Baluchistan and it is only fair and tit for tat.

    The Great Game continues with an ever widening playing field for Afghanistan. It is about time that Afghans get to participate in this great game and not just be the playground where others played, with unsportsman like conduct. The playing field is level now for the Afghans and I say bravo to the Afghans for masterfully playing and enjoying this game.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    Afghanistan is an independent nation, not someones Jagir. Propaganda may serve its purpose but at the end of the day the way the Afghans perceive the role played by diverse nations and their goals is very important. Afghanistan has some neighbours whose role has been to control it and promote violence. Surveys conducted by independent media show the US and Pakistan to be real enemies. Iran and Russia are seen as neutral but opportunistic. By setting up Infrastructure and aid projects that benefit all Afghans, India has won a place in Afghan hearts from where it cannot be displaced unless it commits harakiri.
    Even today Afghans do not trust Muslim Pakistan and are comfortable dealing with secular India. For this Indians must give full credit to the ISI and its proxies liberal use of violence. Even the highly emotional Pashtuns are slowly realizing how they have been used and abused. Pakistan’s obsession with Afghanistan could consume and destroy it.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    I cant believe how many loopholes are there. The article is filled with a litany of unsubstantiated facts and even few conspiracy theories.

    “India, being Pakistan’s natural enemy”

    How is India Pakistan’s natural enemy? Huh? You cant come up with a word like Archenemy. Natural enemy implies that India wants something from Pakistan. If so kindly tell us what it is? India is a status quo power, unlike Pakistan which is a revisionist one.

    “the deep sea Gwadar port with the assistance of China in the restive province of Balochistan to facilitate trade with the land-locked Afghanistan and CARs;”

    How is a partially completed port in Gwadar going to help? Doesn’t Pakistan have Karachi? Gwadar is not even completed yet or not used by the Chinese for whom it was meant, who now are not showing much interest due to the instability in Balochistan.

    “this also reduced dependency on the Middle-Eastern and Iranian sea ports.”

    Iran was almost inaccessible for goods transport for Afghanistan, until India built the Chabbhar Port in the 2000s. Afghanistan had only till then one port and that was Karachi. I know more about ports in Pakistan than you, shameful.

    “They are suspected of training and supporting the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) insurgents in Balochistan and also providing logistic support to the Pakistani Taliban (TTP).”

    Non-sense. There is no such proof nor reason. And, TTP? When Baitullah Mehsud was alive he had threatened to attack India after Mumbai attacks in 2008 if India dared to attack Pakistan. He had promised to send his fighters to fight alongside Pakistan army against India. Why would India support such a rabidly anti-Indian group?

    TTP was mollycoddled by the Pakistanis and it backfired. They are too powerful not because of India support but the inane policies of Pakistanis.

    So, don’t find scapegoats for your follies. India is in no way supporting the TTP, it boggles one’s mind to think that way.

    Of course the Pakistanis who are sympathetic to the ISI will blame India, they are in denial but when seemingly intelligent people quote them it looks rather embarrassing. Grow up.

    I don’t have much problem with your conclusion, but what bothers me is the process of believing in rumours and canards and conspiracy theories. You have a responsibility to tell the truth, not this.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @G. Din:

    It is far from being balanced. It seems immature. Although the writer doesn’t exhibit inherent Islamist tendencies, his article is full of factual errors and propagation of conspiracy theories like TTP is being supported by RAW.

    You usually pick up on them. Recommend

  • Bombay Dude

    @Hassan Khan:
    @kaalchakra: I dare challenge both author and this fella here on their foolishness to the claims in the article. Clearly this is peace written by Pakistani which can only be believed by Pakistani cause they both lack the basic fundamental fo coming out of the poisonous prejudices hey are born with and do some real research outside their falsified librariies which also says great lies like Pakistan winning all three wars with India.
    Mr. Kaalchakra, your claim of russia flying over Pakistan at night to Delhi to fuel it’s plane to bomb afghanistan shows your immense knowledge in geography so I wouldnt even go there. You have to be a laughing stock of your town and absolute anguthaa chaap in general knowledge. Let me give you a hint, please find a map of world with former USSR as it was during afghan war. That should give you “aa haaaa” movement.
    India always had good relations with Afghanistan barring the Taliban regime which India never recognized and more so after the “famous” Plane Hijack which was done by Pakistani to get their terrorist released and Kandahar was used by those terrorists just because they knew India would not negotiate with the then Taliban government.
    Once again you incompetent Pakistani rant about RAW supporting Balochistan seperatist. Are you guys just going to rant or prove anything, any single evidence ??? Anything for god sake which will give you some credibility for namesake that yes you were right all along? You just rant and never ever produced any proof. Any one in Pakistan reading this has any link or material or any any article besides conspiracy theory which had veen said that Pakistani army or ISI had enough evidence to implicate India over Balochistan ? Is RAW seriously that better than ISI ? Then you guys should be ashamed that your institution which eats 23 % of your budget does not do good job. If RAW is not smarter than ISI then too you should be ashamed that ISI could not even “fabricate” false proof and implicate India. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @kaalchakra:

    Normally I dont reply to you because you are actually doing us Indians on ET a service by saying typical Islamist rubbish that most intelligent people take offense to and proving us right in the process.

    But, your point #3 and #4 in reply to BlackJack cracked me up, in a way offended me.

    You say Muslims inherently can’t like India? Then why do Bangladeshis have a better relation with India than Pakistan? What about the 150 Million something Muslims in India, who play for India, work for India,fight for India and pray for India?

    If Muslims do indeed hate India why did the Bengali Muslims cheer when Indian tanks entered Dacca, as reported by Time Magazine so many years ago?

    “As Indian troops advanced first to Jessore, then to Comilla, then to the outskirts of the capital of Dacca, small children clambered over their trucks and Bengalis everywhere cheered and greeted the soldiers as liberators.”

    http://www.amibangladeshi.org/ANationIs_Born

    I know you will rubbish my next point but Afghanistan are known to like Indians more than Pakistanis.

    Here, is what a Pakistani wrote not too long ago in this very newspaper:

    “Many Pakistanis living and working in Kabul say they feel a palpable hostility towards them once their nationality becomes known. Some occasionally pretend to be Indians, which brings more acceptability. ”

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/351722/what-pakistan-should-do-in-afghanistan/

    Clearly, you are bigoted and see the world through Islamist, conspiracy-laden eyes.Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    @kaalchakra: “It’s time Indians recognized Pakistan’s existence and stropped trying to destroy it.”We have recognized Pakistan’s existence in 1947, we have had diplomatic relations since then. Regarding trying to destroy Pakistan well you should know that all the 4 wars have been started by Pakistan and you have been sending terrorists into India for the last 15 yrs or more . So take a chill pill and relax we have only good intentions please try and see them .Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Anoop:
    “It is far from being balanced. It seems immature. Although the writer doesn’t exhibit inherent Islamist tendencies, “
    I agree. I might have been quick to pronounce. But, the bar for bloggers from Pakistan is so low that it is great progress if ” the writer doesn’t exhibit inherent Islamist tendencies”. I guess I am thankful for minuscule mercies!Recommend

  • Pollack

    @kaalchakra: ”
    Pakistan was supporting Taliban only to bring peace to Afghanistan. Pakistan was also the first oppose Taliban because it was not living upto the high levels of democracy that Pakistan had set for Taliban.”

    You live in an alternate universe. Recommend

  • hassan

    @G. Din:
    Educated, english-speaking guys from Pakistan are far more radicalised and hold this persecution complex than the urdu-only speaking less educated guys from Pakistan.

    I have met both the types in Dubai; and this herd mentality is striking. All the english-speaking guys hold the same worldview:

    1.) That the holocaust was an exaggeration.
    2.) Pakistan has an unique geographical advantage, compared to most countries in the world. I have never understood this fixation about unique geographical position.
    3.) Everyone is out to malign Pakistan; and Pakistanis are the custodians of Islam.
    4.) China is the best country in the world and the US is the evil-incarnate.
    5.) All terror attack in Pak will stop once US/India stop assisting Afghanistan.
    6.) Pakistani mangoes are the best. This will solve their economic problem.
    7.) This US aid is just meaningless. Pak can manage very well without this aid.
    8.) Anyone who plots attacks on India and the western world has to be innocent till he himself admits it.
    9.) Indians are yet to accept partition and they want to undo it by hook or crook.

    And much more. The most striking thing is that when these educated guys assemble, not one gives a dissenting view. They are so much indoctrinated that they think alike, and act alike and offer the same defenses to any criticism. When they learn that people are laughing behind their back, they vehemently embrace radicalism even further. Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma

    The body language of the two leaders summarizes the nature of the two peoples:

    PM. Gilani, with hands in a pouncing pose and PM. Singh in a fingers interlaced, close to body posture indicate inclinations towards conflict and towards maintaining status-quo respectively.Recommend

  • INDIAN

    @Bombay Dude
    @Anoop
    Cant you realise that @kaalchakra is satirical in his article.He is actaully criticising the writer for his wrong views about India and rest of the worldRecommend

  • Rajeev nidumolu

    India’s involvement in Afghanistan is closely linked to its perception of security threat to Kashmir.It doesn’t want a islamic radical regime in Afghanistan which will harbor , instigate and harbor Kashmiri militants.
    Balochistan and K-P was part of Emirate of Afghanistan till it was seceded to British by Afghan emir by treaty
    If the USA leaves Afghanistan in 2014 the following events can be predicted
    1) Civil war in Afghanistan with possible division between South Pashtun provinces and Northern alliance
    2) Indo-Iranian-Russian-Central Asian backing of Northern alliance. Backing of Pashtun faction by Pakistan
    3) Further radicalization of K-P and claims and demands by Pastuns for unification on both side of Durand line
    4) Pakistani Taliban will get boost in confidence and will claim that it defeated another superpower
    5) Eventual possibility of division of Afghanistan into its natural components for south and north . Afghanistan is an artificial country which was formed by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan (The Iron Amir) in 1897. Formation of present day Afghanistan was based on hegemony of Pashtuns and brutal suppression of other sub nationalities Tajiks,Ubzeks,Hazaras and others
    6) Present Govt of Karzai will fall after US leaves just like Najibullah fell after the Soviets left
    Post US withdrawal is a dangerous period for Pakistan which will be dragged into quagmire . Afghanistan will not serve as a strategic depth to Pakistan but will initiate centrifugal tendencies in Pakistani state. Recommend

  • alicia

    @kaalchakra
    I am a Pakistani but I couldn’t stop laughing at your post. Would you plz do Pakistan a favour and stop embarassing us with you comments?

    You said
    Jets loaded with Soviet bombs used to fly directly from Moscow to Delhi and leave in the dead of the night, for Kabul, dropping a few bombs along the way on Pakistan. Thousands of poor Pakistanis died in those nightly raids by Indians flying to supply arms to Russians.

    Do you kow what you wrote? So Indian planes used to just randomly fly over Pakistan dropping bombs killing thousands of people and our airforce was sleeping? They might be asleep when America attacks but are usually extremely sensitive to India. Also how come there is no record of these bomb droppings?

    (2) Pakistan was supporting Taliban only to bring peace to Afghanistan. Pakistan was also the first oppose Taliban because it was not living upto the high levels of democracy that Pakistan had set for Taliban.

    Again what are you talking about? Pakistan only opposed taliban when USA called musharraf and threatened him it had nothing to do with democracy.

    (3) Afghans are Muslims. How could Indian have ‘excellent relations’ as you said?

    Go to a website called pashtun forums. You can see how much love your muslim brothers have for you. Also the pashtuns there are yet to accept Pakistan as a country rather than India. They don’t recognise the Pak-Afg border and are dreaming of a greater Pashtunistan.

    (4) Afghanistan and Pakistan are brotherly nations. What is good for Pakistan is good for Afghanistan. What’s so hard to understand?

    Brotherly nations!!! pakistan has destroyed Afghanistan for its advantage.

    (5) Amazing! You don’t trust Pakistani generals – whom all Pakistanis trust on matters of foreign policy. Why not?

    Only you can trust the generals who hid OBL in their sleeves all these years. Who have embarassed us in battlefields since the creation of this country

    Recommend

  • http://India vasan

    People boasting brotherly afganistan are advised to read the book “My days with Taliban” by ex taliban ambassador to Pakistan to get a glimpse of what Taliban think of Pakistanis. About the other half, the NA’s opinion about Pakistan, the lesser said the better it is.
    People who keep boasting about Afganistan being Muslims and should have natural relationship with Pakistan are to be reminded of decade old Iran Iraq war between “brotherly muslim” countries. And to talk of Turkey’s efforts to join the EU which is predominantly christian. When will people come out of religions bigotry? That is when Pakistan will see the sun rise.Recommend

  • IsKalchakraSatarical

    @INDIAN: It is very very difficult to identify satire from some pakistanis commenting what they are taught.Recommend

  • INDIAN

    @IsKalchakraSatarical:

    Yes, I think I was wrong in the first place. I could not fathom that anybody could be so illogical and post such comments.Only after reading some other comments by the same person could I understand the person actually meant what he had writtern ,no pun or satire .My apoloties to @Bombay Dude and @AnoopRecommend

  • Maxxx Hardcore

    @ Rajeev Nidumolu

    You are totally off on all your assessments. Afghanistan was created by Ahmad Abdali in 1747 not by Amir Abdul Rahman Khan in 1897. The Tajiks, Uzbeks and the Hazaras are part of the Afghan mosaic of peoples and they were never brutally suppressed by the Pashtuns.

    Your narrative about Afghanistan breaking off into North and South is way off because the Pashtuns are very well integrated throughout Afghanistan as are the other ethnic groups, which makes partition a moot point.

    Drawing parallels between Najibullah and Hamid Karzai, another blunder because Hamid Karzai is backed by USA and they are not about to abandon Afghanistan like the Soviets did. Recommend

  • Rajeev nidumolu

    @ Maxxx Hardcore
    Excerpt
    “Historic discrimination

    Historically, the minority Shi’a have faced long-term persecution from the majority Sunni population. From the 1880s onwards, and especially during the reign of Amir Abdul Rahman (1880-1901), they suffered severe political, social and economic repression, as Jihad was declared by Sunnis on all Shi’as of Afghanistan. As the Pashtun Rahman started to extend his influence from Kabul by force to other parts of the country, the Hazaras were the first ethnic group to revolt against his expansionism. Pashtun tribes were sent to the central highlands to crush the revolt. Thousands of Hazara men were killed, their women and children taken as slaves, and their land occupied. To strengthen the forces against the Hazara rebellion that followed, the Rahman played on Sunni religious sensibilities and even attracted Tajiks and Uzbeks (both Sunnis) to help the Pashtuns against the Shi’a Hazaras. Those who survived the initial period of the raids managed to escape to the north while a significant number fled to then British India. Apart from Pashtuns, Uzbeks are also thought to have conducted slave raids on the Hazaras in Bamian and elsewhere.

    Abdul Rahman’s suppression of Hazara ranged from issuing unwarranted taxes and to assaults on Hazara women, massacres, looting and pillaging of homes, enslavement of Hazara children, women and men and replacement of Shi’a mullas with their Sunni religious counterparts. Hazarajat was occupied by Rahman in 1893 and it is estimated that 60% of the Hazara Population was wiped out by him,

    The persecution of Hazaras continued throughout the 19th century and during the Monarchy (1929 onwards) when during the process of “Pashunization” Hazaras were made to conceal their identities to obtain state identification. It is suggested that until the 1970s some Sunni religious teachers preached that killing of Hazaras was a key to paradise.” “http://www.minorityrights.org/?lid=5440&tmpl=printpaRecommend

  • Rajeev nidumolu

    @Maxxx Hardcore

    Do not be surprised that Americans will desert Karzai just as it did with South Vietnam leadership at the end of Vietnam war. The Afghan war is deeply unpopular with American public. American strategic thinkers now are questioning the need for involvement in Afghanistan as it is peripheral to US interests once OBL was eliminated.
    Karzai and Afghanistan do not have resources to sustain level of military Afghan National army which has built up by US.
    Please read “Pushing partition in AfghanistanIs retreating from the south a solution to the stalemate?”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/sep/13/afghanistan-war-partitionRecommend

  • Reasonable

    @ET

    Nice job good that this was published just to show Pakistanis that this is a Pakistani site!!!
    @Author,
    Excuse all Indians, at least you got the last para right!!! If Iam not wrong your last but one para suggests that you personally dont believe in all of that you have written and you have just reproduced what ever is the popular narrative in your part of the world!!!! Recommend

  • gp65

    @G. Din: “Good effort! Reasonable conclusions!”

    Were you being sarcastic. I have seen many of your posts and they are usually very reasonable. I cannot believe that this Individual’s venom against India based on doctored history won your approval.Recommend

  • Abbas, ZA

    @kaalchakra:
    Hope you recognise its existence…because thats the real problem..Recommend

  • Abbas, ZA

    @hassan: outstanding sum up dude!!!!Recommend

  • Devils Advocate

    I don’t know whether to yawn or laugh at this no-brainer. Perhaps I could read this note after I watch a chick-flick with my gf on a lazy sunday easter weekend. It seems the author hasn’t even graduated yet and is cutting pasting from some essay he is writing for his degree. Poor research, poor writing, anti-Indian and it appears the author “thinks” he has all the inside information.Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Devils Advocate

    Truly, words from the Devil to the East, misleading Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @hassan

    You put me in splits.It’s difficult to choose among the 9 points,but the 8th is the best me think.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    One needs to read the article with a pinch of salt. The guy has made an effort to write an article about India and Pakistan role in the fate of Afghanistan. Let us examine the history and one will notice that both India and Pakistan are regarded as aliens, one almost in between their legs and the other one at far distance! Yes aliens, all those who do not speak either Pashto language or Dari are aliens, the one who speaks only Dari are looked upon suspiciously.

    .Yes, Afghanistan does not recognise the durand line border. Should they after resisting the brits for a century and since their departure, have not experienced any amity with the muslim neighbour, The diplomatic relations with each other have been at arms legnth. Pakistan has just maintained status quo with its backyard foreign country. Afghan nomadic tribes have brought over the porus border hand wovn carpets, the timber, sheep skins and dry fruits without any authorization of the Kbul administration and on return carried tea and sugar supplies etc. for their families
    .The yanks and the NATO rag tag armies have been defeated by the so called Talibans, and they are likely to be cleared out in 2013, not 2014. This has been the demand of Mr Karzai; no one is closer to Taliban leadership than Mr Karzai.
    .The Pashtuns or Talibans do not negotiate, but simply state their demands. The enemy must meet them or confront them on the battle ground.
    .I would not worry about the partition of Afghanistan, the Talibans are well positioned and control today almost the entire territory of Afghanistan and beyond.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Reluctant Fundamentalist

    US apologized India for detaining SRK for 2 hours at the airport but she didn’t care to tender apology for blatantly killing 26 soldiers on the Salala checkpost…!!!!Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    @Reluctant Fundamentalist: The effect of being a strong trading partner pre 1990 there would have been no apology for SRK also.Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    @alicia: Bhains ke age been bajanaRecommend

  • Kanishka

    @Rajeev Nidomulu

    You are reading a biased narrative propagated by the enemies of Afghanistan and misinformed Orientalists.I am an Afghan and none of what you stated in your post is relevant today. Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks,Turkomans, Pashais, Balochis, Pamiris, Kazakh and Kyrgyz have lived harmoniously for centuries and will continue to do so.

    Amir Abdul Rahman Khan might have been a brutal monarch who suppressed some minorities but his exploits were exaggerated by the British Raj to foment rebellion and undermine his authority because they feared his ambitions of expansion, which would have eventually encroached upon the jewel of the crown.

    Drawing parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan is like comparing apples to oranges, the apple being Afghanistan. Vietnam was aided by China and Russia in its war against the US. China and Russia are not involved in Afghanistan and Pakistan has its own problems to tackle.

    Lastly, NATO is not about to abandon Afghanistan and the upcoming summit in Chicago will ensure that Afghanistan receives funding for its armed forces beyond 2014.

    You are also discounting the will of the Afghan people to become a strong and progressive nation despite all the trouble created by its neighbors to keep Afghanistan from developing into a modern state with a strong army to defend its borders and to develop institutions and industrialize the country.

    Naysayers can keep on spouting negative narratives but the master narrative in Afghanistan is a testament to the fact that partition is not a popular idea and ethnic rivalries and power sharing can be reconciled.

    Too bad you don’t understand Pashto or Dari or else you could watch some engaging political discourse on Afghan television stations and gauge the political climate in Afghanistan and the progressive path most Afghans want to follow. Recommend

  • Vikram

    Pakistan treats Afghanistan as its own backyard. Pakistanis have destroyed Afghanistan by playing talibans there. Pakistanis were creating problems in Afghanistan even before Russians decided to come in and help Pakistan government.

    Mullah Zaeef, a former talibans ambassador to Afghanistan said this about Palistan. “Pakistanis can get milk even from a bull. They have two tongues in one mouth, and two faces on one head so they can speak everybody’s language; they use everybody, deceive everybody. They deceive the Arabs by using the name of Islam, they milk America in war against terrorism and they have been deceiving Pakistanis in the name of Kashmiris, but behind the curtain they have been betraying everyone”.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Rex Minor: “The Pashtuns or Talibans do not negotiate, but simply state their demands. The enemy must meet them or confront them on the battle ground.
    .I would not worry about the partition of Afghanistan, the Talibans are well positioned and control today almost the entire territory of Afghanistan and beyond.”

    Talibans are cowards who fight as Islamic suicide bombers.Recommend

  • Unknown

    Pakistan was created by the British and Pakistan is part of the attacks in Afghanistan.Recommend