India’s role in post-2014 Afghanistan

Posted by Admin On Friday, 26 April 2013 0 comments

Through a pre-emptive strategy, India is trying to convince the world ingeneral and Afghan neighbors in particular that, its collaboration with later aims at securing its soil from foreign invasions and attacks. In this context, the statement of Indian external Affairs Ministry spokesperson is very evident once he said, “[T]here is a history of Afghan soil being used for terror attacks on India. We can’t have that again.” While recounting the historical facts, the statement has credence. It was all Indian Territory east of Afghan soil, as there was no country in-between. Since those attacks and invasions, the geopolitics of the region has changed largely. There is a new country, a new geographical reality, with the name of Pakistan ever since 1947. Now Islamabad has taken over the status of former Delhi, having a geographical contiguity with Afghanistan, which India lost in 1947. Thus, the New Delhi-Kabul nexus in practical shifted to Islamabad-Kabul nexus. Now there cannot be attack on India directly from the Afghan soil. Therefore, the India assertion for its influence on Kabul for the sake of its security may not be a valid argument.
Historical relationships between Delhi and Kabul were because of Muslim rulers in India and because of Pahtun population and inhabitation of the same tribes on either side of the Indo-Afghan border. Both factors now have been changed in physical terms. India however, maintained its relationship with the successive Afghan rulers from Zahir Shah to Hamid Karazai, except for the brief sway of Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001. The postcolonial New Delhi-Kabul nexus have mostly been driven by the common enmity of both against the State of Pakistan. Again, this antagonism was Indian driven, rather Afghan to undo the very foundation of Pakistan, which then India leaders took as a great setback, since they never desired Indian partition.
In the process, India has truly followed the strategy of its ancient military strategist, Kautilya who believed that, “immediate neighbours are considered as enemies, but any state on the other side of a neighbouring state is regarded as an ally”. Pakistan indeed is experiencing the unfolding of this strategy of Kautilya by his modern Indian followers ever since. Initially, India provoked the Kingdom in Kabul to create a new Pashtun state through the merger of KPK and FATA, in a bid to cut the Pakistani in size. Failure to that, it successfully disintegrated Pakistan by creating insurgency and later through a physical attack on the East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. India has not given up its grand strategy of further destabilizing and disintegrating Pakistan.
For the implementation of its reprehensible designs, India with the help of United States has created for itself sufficient space in Afghanistan. Being among the top few donors, India has invested over $2 billion in the garb of Afghan reconstruction in last 11 years. It has created a lot ofgood will among the political lot, most of whom are India graduate and its funded too. India is providing military training to 200 Afghan officers per years. It has contributed a lot towards training of Afghan intelligence services. How can one expect that, Indian trained military officers and intelligence services would be friendly to Pakistan? Then, Indian Embassy and its consulates in Afghanistan are hub of its intelligence agency; RAW.
Indian agents are harbouring, funding and providing arms and ammunition to militants in Balochiatn, FATA and even KPK. After all, this is what Kautilya’s philosophy is all about. Otherwise, even a layman can visualize that what love affairs India has with the people of Afghanistan. While keeping its own over 35% population below the poverty line, how can India justify investment in Afghanistan? Besides, India has interests in the mineral resources of Afghanistan and its neighbourhood; the Central Asian states, through the concept of extended neighbourhood.
While the US and NATO forces will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the situation inAfghanistan is become uncertain. India is considering for itself the role of successor state of United States. It intends controlling Afghanistan or at least influencing it politically, economically and security wise. The scenario would be unacceptable for the Afghan neighbours, especially Pakistan. Besides domestic factors, the growing uncertainty may create a situation in the country that plunge the country into a regional conflict. Very recently, the British historian and writerWilliam Dalrymple has warned that Afghanistan could be ‘second Kashmir’ once the US forces pull out of the landlocked country. Based on his historical knowledge, he predicted that, “there might be another proxy war between India and Pakistan.”
For a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, United States and NATO need to ensure before they leave, that, Indian role is curtailed according to the diplomatic norms, rather taking over the State affairs of Afghanistan. Afghan should be the masters of their own destiny. They should decide future of their country by incorporating all the factions, groups, ethnicity and sects. Pakistan believes in the independence, sovereignty and integrity of Afghanistan. It supports an all-inclusive political set up, chosen by the people of Afghanistan.
—The writer is Islamabad-based IR analyst.
Dr Raja Muhammad Khan


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