Twin Brother and Great Friend


Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (r.) and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai pose before a meeting in New Delhi, India, Tuesday. Karzai is on a two-day official visit to India. Gurinder Osan/AP

“Pakistan is a twin brother, India is a great friend and the agreement we signed with our friend will not affect our brother,” Mr. Karzai said on Wednesday and further added that the “signing of the strategic partnership with India is not directed against any country. It is not directed against any other entity. This is for Afghanistan to benefit from the strength of India”.

However, now the questions arise that does Mr. Karzai comprehend well that the twin brother has got some major security issues with his great friend or does he understand that the twin brother might bring speed in derailing the peace process going in Afghanistan with the support Taliban as the twin brother never wishes the great friend to enjoy in Afghanistan with full protocol? Greater role to India would mean greater role to Taliban to escalate violence in Afghanistan, which would end up in greater political instability in the region.

Cautious steps are needed to be taken in making especial relationship with India, as Islamabad regards the recent Indian’s role with enormous suspicion and considers the strategic partnership between India and Afghanistan a major security threat to Pakistan.

As many believe that Pakistani establishment is obsessed with alleged Indian activities in Afghanistan, so such kind of strategic partnership would help prolong Taliban activities to keep the Kabul government off-balance.

In my previous article published on October 4 in Outlook Afghanistan newspaper, I mentioned that, it was General Zia, who took advantage of the Afghan war and used the religious militant groups not only in Indian Kashmir but also within the country in Balochistan, Sindh and Khaber Pakhtoonkhow provinces to counter the nationalist political parties for his local and regional political ends.

The success story of Afghan war brought religious militant groups closer to the intelligence agencies that seems now impossible for the intelligence agencies in Pakistan to detach themselves from the religious militant groups like Taliban, as they help them in accomplishing regional political purposes.

That’s why establishments in Pakistan never wish the civil government to get close to the Indian government to resolve the political issues especially Kashmir issue and trying their best to exploit natural resources of the small provinces with its military might and engage civilians into political and sectarian violence in order to prolong its rule over the country.

Many analysts in Pakistan view greater Indian role in Afghanistan would mean greater activities of Taliban in Afghanistan and greater insurgent activities in Pakistan especially in Balochistan and greater violence in Indian Kashmir which would turn the region into greater political instability.

The agreement signed between Delhi and Kabul would provide a framework for cooperation in the area of national security with the aim of intensifying mutual efforts towards strengthening regional peace and security to help enhance their mutual efforts in the fight against international terrorism, organised crime, illegal trafficking in narcotics, money laundering and to assist in the training, equipping and capacity building programmes for Afghan National Security Forces – something, which is likely to rile Pakistan.

Many are of the opinion that the recent bold agreements of Mr. Karzai with India shows that he himself strongly believes or might have received strong indication that US and NATO would push Pakistan hard to bring Taliban on the negotiating table before 2014, however, establishment in Pakistan knows well that loosing Taliban in Afghanistan would mean losing Kashmir and losing the role of establishment in the country and above all recognizing India as a “big brother” in the region, which seems difficult.

Pakistani establishments are fully aware of the importance of Pakistan for being on a strategic zone and the weaknesses of the west interests in this region. The United States and NATO will try their best to take more aggressive steps towards Pakistan by labelling the Haqqani network a terror group and to more sharply contain and isolate Pakistan with the coordination of international and regional allies.

However, it needs to be understood that since the US doesn’t have any alternate of the Pakistan, it seems very difficult to lose Pakistan in this region, which wouldn’t be in the interest of the west.