As U.S.-Pakistani relations have been circling the drain in recent weeks over the connections between Pakistani intelligence and the Haqqani network, Pakistan made a major show of its friendship and strategic partnership with China (never mind the Pakistani connections of jihadists in China’s west).
Now, as Afghanistan pushes back against Pakistan for its double game, which has been instrumental in destabilizing the country, allowing the Taliban to regroup, and allowing al-Qaeda to survive, it has boosted its relations with India. There are, of course, many more economic, cultural, and strategic reasons for Afghanistan to cultivate that relationship, along with signaling that it has alternatives to the status quo, as Pakistan attempted with China.
But Pakistan, which is slowly destroying itself by allowing itself to be overrun by jihadists and Islamic supremacists amid its dual obsession with fighting India over Kashmir and projecting its influence into Afghanistan, can’t have that. Kabul is to be a docile satellite of Islamabad, or else.
“Pakistan warns Afghanistan after pact with India,” by Munir Ahmed for the Associated Press, October 6:
ISLAMABAD (AP) “” Pakistan warned Afghanistan to behave responsibly Thursday following Kabul’s move to sign a strategic pact with Islamabad’s archenemy, India, at a particularly sensitive time in relations between the two countries.
Afghanistan’s interior minister recently accused Pakistan’s powerful spy agency, the ISI, of being involved in last month’s suicide bombing in Kabul that killed former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani “” an allegation denied by Pakistan. Rabbani was working as chief envoy in peace talks with the Taliban.
Pakistan’s protests along these lines always include the complaint that it is the worst possible time for whatever provocation has irked them. When would be a good time?
“At this defining stage when challenges have multiplied, as have the opportunities, it is our expectation that everyone, especially those in position of authority in Afghanistan, will demonstrate requisite maturity and responsibility,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua told reporters.
“This is no time for point-scoring, playing politics or grandstanding,” she said in her weekly press briefing.
Then go back to your office.
Her comments seemed more confrontational than Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement Wednesday that Afghanistan and India have the right to maintain bilateral relations as sovereign nations. His comments were reported by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan.
The agreement, which was signed Tuesday, outlined areas of common concern including trade, economic expansion, education, security and politics. It was the first of its kind between Afghanistan and any country.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai tried to assuage concern over the pact Wednesday, saying it was not intended as an aggressive move against Pakistan. He said the agreement simply made official years of close ties between India and Afghanistan’s post-Taliban government.
You can’t choose your relatives:
“Pakistan is a twin brother. India is a great friend,” said Karzai during a visit to New Delhi, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. “The agreement that we signed yesterday with our friend will not affect our brother.”
But Karzai’s words likely carried little weight in Pakistan, which is sandwiched between Afghanistan to its west and India to its east. Pakistani officials, especially in the country’s powerful army, have long viewed policy in Afghanistan through one lens: countering the perceived danger of Indian influence in the country.
“The agreement will heighten Pakistan’s insecurities,” said Talat Masood, an analyst and former Pakistani general. “Pakistan has always felt that it is being encircled by India from both the eastern and western borders.”
Pakistan and India have fought three major wars and have been at each other’s throats since the two were carved out of British India in 1947.
Pakistan carved itself out, and has kept wielding the carving knife against everyone on its borders, not to mention the former East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have also been rocky, and many Pakistani officials view Karzai as too close to India, where he attended university.
Is that why someone tried to have him whacked?
To check India’s power in Afghanistan, Pakistan has historically supported Islamist militants like the Taliban who are also opposed to its majority Hindu neighbor. Islamabad has also allegedly backed militants who have carried out attacks in Kashmir, an area claimed by both Pakistan and India.
Pakistan maintains it cut off ties to the Taliban and other militants following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. But Washington and Kabul say otherwise….