India-mukt Afghanistan is a recipe for disaster

ndia-mukt Afghanistan, as desired by Pakistan, will be nothing but a recipe for disaster. Even if we forget, for a moment, India’s generous humanitarian aid and infrastructural development assistance to Afghanistan, what New Delhi’s engagement with Kabul underscores is the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. That Pakistan has consistently violated that principle only enhances its value at an epochal moment when the United States, disgraced and defeated, is leaving Afghanistan at the mercy of Pakistan and its patron, the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan does not fritter away any single opportunity to marginalise India in Afghanistan. True to his style, Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in an interview with an Afghan television channel, has again accused India of using Afghan soil against Pakistan. He even went to the extent of indirectly questioning Afghan sovereignty in deciding the nature and scope of its bilateral ties with India. Though Pakistan’s political rhetoric holds on to “Afghan-led, Afghan-ruled, and Afghan-controlled” resolution of the conflict, what Islamabad effectively aims to achieve is India-mukt Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, Qureshi’s remarks have received severe condemnation from Afghan national security advisor, Hamdullah Mohib, who has earned considerable notoriety in Pakistan for his frequent acerbic comments about Islamabad’s pro-Taliban policies.

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