Indian Anti-Pakistan Role in Afghanistan
A recently released video by Washington Free Beacon pointed out that the US new Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel disclosed during a speech at Oklahoma’s CameronUniversity in 2011, “India has always used Afghanistan as a second front” and “has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.”
Earlier, the then NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. McChrystal had revealed: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”
These remarks are quite sharp to some of American top officials who had been accusing Pakistan of cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. During his trip to India and Kabul, last year, US ex-Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta revived similar old blame game against Pakistan. He also encouraged New Delhi on October 26, 2012, saying that India has vital role to play in Afghanistan and it will be helpful for peace and stability in the region, adding, “Our new defence policy hinges upon this strategy.”
The US which signed an agreement of strategic partnership with Afghanistan, has finally decided to keep around 10,000 troops and six military bases in that country permanently after the complete withdrawal of NATO forces. In fact, America seeks to obtain multiple strategic designs by controlling the energy resources of Central Asia, and weakening Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia.
In this respect, by availing the golden opportunity of the 9/11, India has left no stone unturned in getting its hold in Afghanistan by manipulating US strategy. In this regard, stiff resistance of the Taliban militants against the occupying forces created unending lawlessness in the country which has become a most suitable place for Indian secret agency RAW to implement a conspiracy to fulfill its country’s strategic designs against Iran, China and particularly Pakistan, while achieving collective goals of the US against these countries including Russia.
However, India which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011 also includes to help train Afghan security forces, while assisting Kabul in diversified projects. Apparently, it is open strategic agreement, but secretly, India seeks to further strengthen its grip in Afghanistan to get strategic depth against Islamabad.
Besides, with the cooperation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS), and with the tactical assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has well-established anti-Pakistan espionage network in Afghanistan. For this sinister move, a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Afghans and so-called Indian Muslims. Posing themselves as Pakistani Taliban, they have joined the ranks and files of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and other banned extremist outfits. In this context, India’s several secret training camps are also present in Afghanistan from where highly trained militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons are being sent to Pakistan’s various places to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations including religious leaders to foment sectarian violence.
Particularly, RAW has perennially been arranging similar subversive acts in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (God’s soldiers) and other Baloch separatist elements. India is also in collusion with the Balochi separatist leaders who took shelter in Afghanistan. For example, on July 23, 2008, in an interview with the BBC from Afghanistan, Brahmdagh Bugti had stated that they “have the right to accept foreign arms and ammunition from anywhere including India.”
Notably, in the recent years, a series of international conferences were held in order to bring stability and peace in Afghanistan before the foreign troops commence withdrawal from that country in 2013, which would be completed in 2014. For this purpose, US-led developed nations also pledged billions of dollars for the development of Afghanistan. A recent meeting of NATO defence minsters, held in Brussels, decided a sum of $6.5bn for that war-torn country.
Besides, American top officials have repeatedly agreed that without the help of Islamabad, stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan. Pakistan is also facilitating US-backed dialogue with the Afghan Taliban. Besides, NATO has started moving its equipments via Pakistani route.
Nevertheless, taking note of Indian negative approach, in the recent past, US Senator John McCain reminded the Obama administration that encouraging India to take a more active role in Afghanistan, while simultaneously criticising Pakistan could be a recipe for disaster.
In fact, India wants instability in Afghanistan, which favours its secret goals against Pakistan. But Pakistan seeks stability in Afghanistan, which is not possible owing to Indian presence in that country. Therefore, Pakistan has legitimate concerns in Afghanistan.
It is notable that that Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly pointed out Indian interference, cross-border terrorism from Afghanistan including TTP location there, but US-led NATO and Afghan top officials have taken no action. And Federal Minister Rehnam Malik has openly remarked that based in Afghanistan, RAW has been supporting subversive activities in Pakistan.
Nonetheless, in the post-2014 scenario, despite the presence of American troops on small scale, New Delhi which has been assisting the Northern Alliance against the Afghan militants will not be in a position to maintain its network due to successful guerrilla warfare of the Taliban. Afghanistan will be thrown in an era of uncertainty and civil war. In that drastic situation, foreign donors will not be able to sustain their economic aid in that lawless country.
By showing realistic approach, US and other western countries should realise that unlike India, Pakistan shares common geographical, historical, religious and cultural bonds with Afghanistan, while there is a co-relationship of stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is essential for their global and regional interests. And by abandoning its faulty strategy in this region and double game with Islamabad, especially America must check Indian anti-Pakistan role in Afghanistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power