Should the new Indo-Afghan deal worry Pakistan?
Modern warfare is about isolating your adversary with diplomacy. India is doing exactly this with Pakistan.
Afghanistan, being a sovereign country, has every right to do what is best for her interest, as long as no other state is harmed by her actions. The recent strategic partnership deal signed on Oct, 4 2011 after the Afghan President Karzai paid a visit to India has indeed harmed the sole purpose of the efforts made by the Pakistani government, military, and above all the price that the nation has paid over the past decade.
The agreement between President Karzai and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acmes training and equipping the Afghan security forces to maintain stability in the post withdrawal period, offering scholarships for Afghan students and facilitating bilateral trade. Other than the strategic agreement, two more deals in the form of memoranda of understanding on hydrocarbons and exploration of mines were made.
This move by Karzai followed the allegations he made against Pakistan for assassinating Burhanuddin Rabbani and failing to eradicate terrorist networks that are active near the western border.
First of all, I don’t see the US or ISAF withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014 or beyond. So, the justification about giving Indian training to Afghan security forces is vague because President Karzai hasn't pay any heed to the request of the Pakistan Army to help train Afghan security forces in the past. We cannot afford Afghan soldiers with an Indian mindset across our western borders. Secondly, giving India the access to explore mines is going to serve their strategic and economic interest. This will increase Indian hegemony in the region.
The first point clearly resembles the nature of the United States. The lack of trust in Pakistan to combat militancy, the false accusations of being involved in and supporting extremism, the extension of “strategic and economic” ties with our adversary, India, all explains that Karzai’s remote control is in the hands of the United States. He is forgetting that once both India and the United States fix their boots on the Afghan soil, she will lose her culture, heritage and identity. Furthermore, the Indian and American influence might agitate the fundamental Taliban who would seek safe havens across the border in Pakistan. This would mean that our security forces would need to be strengthened further, a situation which our current economic status will not allow.
In the economic and strategic sense, by enclosing Pakistan on the Eastern and Western front with a rising power, US and India might be seeking to reduce the Chinese influence in the region which is threatening to both of them. Our leaders are being naïve by taking this agreement lightly. They should not be fooled by Karzai’s diplomatic statements, calling Pakistan his “brother” because diplomacy is an American weapon after all.
If we look closely, it will be revealed that the only country getting affected by the war on terror is Pakistan. This is a reality in the military, economic, political, regional, and strategic sense. The international community is shifting its direction towards collective security in Afghanistan.
It is said that modern warfare is about isolating your adversary with diplomacy. India is doing exactly this with Pakistan.