New dimension of Indo-Afghan nexus

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Dr Muhammad Khan

In order to divert the attention from what India and Afghanistan are jointly undertaking as a campaign against Pakistan to promote terrorism and separatism, the head of both countries have once again pointed fingers towards Pakistan in New Delhi. In the joint statement, issued in New Delhi at the end of two-days visit of Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, rather appreciating the Pakistan’s contribution in combating terrorism, both Eastern and Western neighbours blamed Pakistan for promoting terrorism in their countries. Whereas the world appreciates the role of Pakistan in combating the terrorism, India always misleads the world.
The joint statement of both India and Afghanistan showed, “grave concern at continued use of terrorism and violence in the region for achieving political objectives” by Pakistan. They called upon Pakistan to put an end to “all sponsorship, support, safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists, including for those who target Afghanistan and India.”
For decades now, India has been blaming Pakistan for all failures of its successive leadership or else its misadventures against Pakistan. These blames are again part of Indian strategy of diverting attention of its masses from domestic issues and of international community from the resolution of unsettled issues with Pakistan. India considers this as best strategy to linger on to the unresolved issues between Pakistan and India.
Nevertheless, in the wording of Shannon L. Alder, “Blame doesn’t empower you. It keeps you stuck in a place you don’t want to be.” Had there been settlement of issues, perhaps both countries could have enjoyed the best possible neighbourly relationship without irritating each other. There would have been business and trade across Indo-Pak border, rather trading fire across LoC. For a better relationship between India and Pakistan, India was to take a lead role, rather Pakistan.
The current Indian strategy of accusing Pakistan is indeed, to divert the international attention away from the massive human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir. In last seventy-three days, Indian security forces have killed over 105 innocent Kashmiris, mostly youth, disabled 650 people and injured more than 10,000 people in IOK through the use of pellet guns. The Indian blame game is based on falsehood and to obscure her inhuman activities in IOK.
India needed a regional ally to support its nefarious designs against Pakistan and playing of power politics in the South Asia and surrounding regions. Unfortunately, Afghanistan suited India the most in its cloudy regional power play. India is using Afghan soil for training, arming, financing and harbouring the militants, especially the TTP and some Baloch dissidents, who all are sent to Pakistan for terrorist activities. India can easily dictate a weak Afghan leadership, especially the old Northern Alliance people, who have a grip over the Kabul since 2001, US invasion in that country. Afghan spying network NDS has very close alliance with Indian RAW and both are jointly undertaking the terrorist activities in Pakistan.
Some of the recent statements from Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani clearly shows Indian dictates. Just few days back, President Ghani while talking to Owen Jenkins, British special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan ‘threatened to block Pakistan’s trade access to Central Asian States (CAS) if it did not allow Afghanistan to trade with India through the Wagah border.’ This has been Indian demand for decades, rather Afghanistan asking for it. Then, Pakistan is already facilitating an indirect trade between Kabul and New Delhi through Wagah.
While issuing this threatening statement, Afghan President forgotten that, over 80% Afghan trade (both imports and exports) are through Pakistani ports, Afghanistan being a land lock country. What would happen to Afghan logistic support via Pakistan, in case Kabul block the Pakistani trade to Central Asia via Afghanistan. Besides, over 65000 Afghans crossing Pak-Afghan border every day for their jobs in Pakistan. Furthermore, around three million Afghan refugees are still living in various parts of Pakistan, would Afghan Government do something for them on priority. While making strategies for future, Afghan President also said that, “Chabahar port will help India bypass Pakistan”. This statement may be fine on paper but there are many practical difficulties in the implementation of this route. Just offering $1 billion financial assistance to Kabul by New Delhi made Ashraf Ghani so obliged to say everything against Pakistan.
Pakistan has provided every assistance to Afghan people without publicising and propagation in local or international press. Even today after the unfriendly statements from President Ghani, Pakistan said, “We stand committed to work with the Afghan government for the improvement of our relationship, on the basis of shared values.” The statements made by President Ashraf Ghani in New Delhi are indeed, “unhelpful statements” and in “complete disregard to the efforts that Pakistan has made for peace and stability in Afghanistan”.
The need of hour is that, Afghan leadership should stop playing in the hands of New Delhi and take its independent decisions in the best national interest of Afghanistan. Since Pakistan is highly concerned over usage of Afghan soil by India for subversive activities inside Pakistan and terror financing, therefore, President Ghani must take practical steps to stop these subversive activities in Pakistan, rather accusing it on behalf of India. Indeed, the new dimension of Indo-Afghan nexus is aims at defaming Pakistan and putting it in the defensive mode. The strategy has to be refuted by the political leadership of Pakistan through a strong diplomacy and dedicated political engagement at international level. Let us expose the real face of India and Afghanistan for promoting terrorism inside Pakistan and blaming it too.
— The writer is International Relations analyst based in Islamabad.