Pakistan unnerved at time-tested India-Afghanistan bond

WebdeskJul 21, 2021, 11:09 AM IST

Pakistan unnerved at time-tested India-Afghanistan bond

Nirendra Dev

New Delhi: Irrespective of whoever is in power, Afghanistan sees India as an important regional player under the ‘decisive leadership’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


The Foreign policy for Pakistan has been more than the conventional first line of defence.


Authorities in Islamabad and mainly the military generals have been preoccupied for the more significant part of the country’s existence in an unequal contest against India.


That is why even for drawing its Taliban policy, Pak army generals had presumed that if they could gain control of Afghanistan, they would have the extra strategic depth to challenge India.


Such ‘perceived ideas’ have not changed even in the changed circumstances. Post 9/11 and even now, the ‘greater’ concern in army barracks in Rawalpindi is how Pakistan should handle India, given its growing and time-tested bond with Afghanistan.


Hence, they would bank even on the Taliban, whose enhanced influence could have a more significant impact in reshaping the entire regional dynamics.


Unlike in the past, experts in the West agree today readily that–Pakistan is not a country with an army–instead, it is an ‘army’ with a country ‘attached’.


For a long time, Pakistan tried to push a line revolving around the theory that for them, ‘the past is another country’.


This means they can easily ‘shift’ their standpoint regularly, thinking that what has been done or undone has been ‘forgotten’ by others.


In the case of its relationship with two of its neighbours India and Afghanistan, it is the authorities in Pakistan who have been at fault. And stakeholders in Delhi and Kabul have good reasons not to brush those under the carpet.


Irrespective of whoever is in power, Afghanistan sees India as an important regional player under the ‘decisive leadership’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


India has maintained a long-standing affinity with the Islamic world and is no longer a ‘mute spectator’ in the region.


Kabul appreciates India as the only country in which both the Muslims and ‘non-believers’, Hindus and other religious groups, are at peace compared to other countries.


Afghanistan appreciates India has enhanced its support in recent years in restructuring government machinery, providing medical aid, and constructing hospitals and other capacity building.


This works to India’s advantage and has left Pakistan unnerved.


Pakistan’s predicament is beyond explanation.


If analysed objectively, it is no longer a friend of Afghanistan. It is notwithstanding the Islam-brotherhood polity, and there is little faith between Islamabad and Washington.


The erstwhile Barack Obama administration displayed that when Osama Bin Laden was humbled and before that, the White House ensured Pakistan is kept out of it. The reason being, Obama knew it well that Pakistan’s army and ISI operatives maintained links to Taliban and even Al-Qaeda.


Joe Biden himself has no reason to think differently. First, he has served as Vice President during Obama days. To top it recently, Pakistan’s Supreme Court (which works in tandem with power that is) ordered the release of Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh, who was convicted in 2002 for kidnapping and killing of journalist Daniel Pearl.

The Pakistan-British man was on death row for 18 years—no doubt this must have outraged the US.


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