The Sponsored Game in Afghanistan
By Atta Rasool Malik
The US and the Western Allied forces remained the major chess players in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region through proxies since 2001. Pakistan had no influence on Afghan policies being drawn by those powers. The main reason attributed to the turbulence in Afghanistan was exclusion of Pashtun faction from the Afghan government and Indian investment which paved way to interfere in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s internal affairs.
When President Ashraf Ghani came to power in Afghanistan in 2014, there was a renewed hope that new era of cooperation would transform Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. Afghan government did also try to address Pakistan’s concerns regarding Indian role in Afghanistan and sought Pakistan’s help to initiate dialogue process with Taliban. However, India hatched conspiracy and resorted to cross-border firing and killing of troops on both sides which gave rise to blame game and disrupted the cooperative interaction between the two states.
Apart from these attacks, members of Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan having hideouts in Afghanistan have also been sponsored by Indians which resulted planned attacks on Pakistani check posts in Chitral, Dir, Kurram and Bajaur agencies in FATA.
The Indian electronic/print media is hampering propaganda against Pakistan and Afghanistan to widen the trust deficit.
An Indian article captioned “Ghani threatened to Block Pakistan Trade with Central Asia, Nov 2017 published in a Publication of Political Research and Analysis, New Delhi highlighted Afghan President Mr Ashraf Ghani of warning Pakistan hampering its trade with Central Asian countries bordering Afghanistan.
RAW and its adjunct front organizations (Media houses) in collaboration with Kandahar based NDS (Afghan Intelligence) are patronizing a propaganda cell and are instrumental in propagating subversive/defamatory themes. The visit of Afghan President on 24 Oct 2017 to India was extensively exploited and a well-planned move to tarnish Pakistan’s image abroad particularly the time frame selected was during the visit of US Foreign Secretary of State to India.
Pakistan, by virtue of close proximity to Afghanistan played positive role in stabilizing Afghanistan and hosted 2.5 Million Afghans refugees on its soil. Unfortunately, Pakistan, role was undermined, misled and antagonized by Indians to create mistrust between Pakistan and Afghanistan.