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جمعرات، 6 اکتوبر، 2011

Indo-Afghan agreement

Pakistan should take this agreement as one more sign of the change that has taken place, and should point out to the USA that if it continued to patronize India, it would be backing a power that posed an existential threat to Pakistan, as India wished to undo the partition. Pakistan must use this agreement as one more reason to end its own unequal alliance with the USA, which is not just backing, India, but permiting Afghanistan to pursue policies unfriendly to Pakistan.

The strategic partnership agreement signed up by Afghanistan and India was not all that unexpected. It was for long in coming. All the portents were there ever since the US led the invasion of Afghanistan, ousted the Taliban and installed its proxies in office. The CIA, which president George Bush had tasked to conduct the invasion campaign and thereafter administer the occupied state, had established a close rapport with Taliban’s adversary Northern Alliance when the two were pitted in a civil strife. The Indians also had actively sided with the alliance in its fight against the Taliban, providing the technicians and air force personnel to maintain its planes, and even establishing a base hospital for its injured in Farkhor in Tajikistan, where commander Ahmed Shah Massoud too was reportedly rushed after the fatal suicide attack on him. Once the Taliban were driven out of power, the CIA brought up its Northern Alliance allies to cobble up a deep state of Afghanistan, throwing the inevitably necessary element of inclusiveness out of the window to induct exclusiveness in the power system decisively. Irrationally, it packed up the deep state with Afghan minorities, principally the Tajiks, and kept shunted out the Pakhtuns, alienating irreversibly this majority community traditionally occupying the pedestal of kings and kingmakers. And the Northern Alliance, on its part, set out to pay back the gratitude to the Indians by putting the deep state of Afghanistan at its service. It provided all the space to the Indians to embed and entrench in the post-Taliban Afghanistan. The deep state enabled India to build infrastructure of New Delhi’s special strategic interest, including an expressway linking Afghanistan with the Iranian seaport of Chabahar to render redundant Kabul’s dependence on Pakistan as a transit route for trade and commerce with the outside world. With its powerful position in the post-Taliban Afghanistan, the alliance inducted a number of Indians in key posts in the state’s bureaucratic leviathan, including the president’s own office where sat one Indian advisor even to advise on cabinet affairs. For reasons so obvious, the alliance was out to hurt Pakistan’s interest in Afghanistan in every manner. It ganged up with the Indians to subvert and destabilise the Pakistani polity and the Pakistani state. In a joint venture with India’s spy agency RAW, believably at the behest of its godfather CIA, the Tajik-dominated Afghan intelligence service, National Directorate of Security, a CIA subsidiary in reality, infested Pakistan’s bordering sensitive tribal areas. This has been admitted in so many words by none else but the sacked Afghan spymaster Amrullah Saleh in public outburst recently. And while leaving the Indian consulates to fan subversion and insurgency in its Balochistan province, it berthed undercover RAW agents in the offices of Afghan governors in bordering provinces of Afghanistan for subversive activities in the Pakistani territory.The deep state of Afghanistan seemingly received a bit of shock when the Americans’ forays for peace negotiations with the Taliban surfaced to the public limelight. The Northern Alliance was visibly miffed, and so were the Indians. The alliance cried foul and betrayal. It left no doubt about it that neither was it happy over the planned pullout of the American and NATO forces, which it wanted to stay on for years longer; nor was pleased at efforts for peace with the Taliban that potentially threatened its existing position of primacy in the post-occupied Afghanistan. The Indians too were opposed to peace with the Taliban; and only belatedly expressed a half-hearted support conditioned on many stipulations, none of which could be acceptable to the Taliban, palpably now in surge. With the frustration of failed peace attempts of the Americans and President Hamid Karzai, who the Taliban in any case view as mere puppet and no authority competent enough to talk peace with, their interests now seem to converge with the alliance. They all the three now appear on the same wavelength. It is unclear if the strategic partnership deals of India and Afghanistan carries the support of the United States, which itself is hankering for a strategic deal with Afghanistan, though as yet failingly. But it should not be forgotten that the outgoing US top military commander Mike Mullen had once famously stated in a Kabul press meet that India “has a military role in Afghanistan”. And lately US Congressmen, belonging to India caucus, have been calling for India’s prominent role in Afghanistan.Indeed, sometimes ago when the Americans were debating hotly the question of troops surge in Afghanistan, the Indian media was afloat with reports that the Indian military establishment was pressing the government to deploy two divisions of the Indian army, as a force independent of  the coalition armies. But some independent defence experts and farsighted political observers warned the Indian government that with this deployment it would surely get entangled in the internal strife of Afghanistan and its troops may return home with greater humiliation than had its expeditionary force met in Sri Lanka in fighting the Tamil Tiger insurgents. The sane counsel apparently prevailed. Yet India has deployed in strength its Indian-Tibetan border paramilitary specialising in espionage and subversion. This strategic agreement is thus sure to ratchet up the security concerns in Pakistan, and not unreasonably but quite legitimately.
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