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‘Pakistan is eating their lunch in Afghanistan Indians shell-shocked’


‘Pakistan is eating their lunch in Afghanistan Indians shell-shocked’

Some Bharati (aka Indian) analysts have gotten it right–most dont’ have a clue what hit them in Afghanistan. Ambassador Bhadrakumar has been writing about the incoming debacle for a few moths. However South Block was in too much of hubris to comprehend the changing dynamics in the Hindu Kush. Harsh V Pant in the Business Standard finds fault with the basic premise of Bharati policy–however even after supporting the Kabul Conference (which portends a Pan-Afghan solution) the Bharatis are again singing the old tune which is not appreciated by the rest of the planet.

When Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna underscored the folly of making a distinction “between good Taliban and bad Taliban” at the Afghanistan Conference in London earlier this year, he was completely out of sync with the larger mood at the conference. As a result, Indian diplomacy faced a major setback when Indian concerns were summarily ignored. The West had made up its mind that it was not a question of if, but when and how to exit from Afghanistan, which was rapidly becoming a quagmire for the leaders in Washington and London.

The diplomatic debacle at the London conference and the continued targeting of Indian interests in Afghanistan forced a major rethink of Delhi’s Af-Pak policy. No wonder Krishna was a different man at the Afghanistan conference in Kabul earlier this week. He dropped his “no differentiating between good and bad Taliban” mantra but continued to maintain that hard-line elements cannot be accepted as credible Afghan interlocutors. This change in the tone of the Indian external affairs minister reflects the bind that India finds itself in Afghanistan. Harsh V Pant. Business Standard.

  • There should be no doubt that this is Pakistan’s moment. Pakistan has been successful in ensuring that it is at the centre of negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, so that Pakistan’s core interest of containing Indian influence is not jeopardised.
  • akistan as an important player in ending the war through negotiations with the Taliban or on the battlefield. The decision to send officers for training in Pakistan is of great symbolic value and is the result of talks between the Afghan government and Pakistan’s security agencies that began in May. Pakistan has asked Karzai to develop a strategic framework that can facilitate negotiations with the Taliban. Business Standard

The US is trying to put lipstick on a pig and trying to put its best face on the quagmire it faces in Afghanistan.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that the July 2011 date President Barack Obama has set as the start of drawing down the plus-up of troops he ordered in November does not mean the United States will run for the doors.Mullen spoke directly to those Pakistanis who doubt America’s commitment in Afghanistan. “America’s military mission there will not end in July 2011,” Mullen said slowly and deliberately.

A year from now, the United States and its International Security Assistance Force partners will begin the process of handing over security responsibility to Afghan security forces.

“We will do so only as fast and as far as conditions permit,” he said. “No one is looking for the door out of Afghanistan, or out of this region.” US DOD

Admiral Mullen seems to be begging the Pakistanis for help and promising the world to the Pakistani Army.

“No one nation, and no one military can accomplish our shared goal of a stable and secure Afghanistan,” he said. “We need Pakistan’s continued help and, frankly, we still believe we have much to offer you in return.

While the US is trying to obfuscate its defeat in Afghanistan and seeks a “face saving exit, the Bharati media (and its lobbies in the West) is in high gear pulling out all the stops and waging a media campaign in the Western media. One article in the Washington Post by Rajiv Chandrasekaran tries to paint the picture that many of Afghanistan’s neighbors are apprehensive about the close Afghan-Pakistan relationship.

Nothing could be further than the truth. In actual fact, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan signed an agreement in Tehran. Then all the neighbors agreed to a Pan-Afghan solution. This agreement was signed in Istanbul. Then in London 62 countries agreed that Afghanistan should include the Afghan National Resistance (aka Taliban) into a future government. This was then validated by a All-Afghan jirga. These results were then again confirmed by 72 countries in Kabul recently.

Iran is no longer allied to Bharat (aka India) and does not share its security concerns with Delhi. Its relationship with Russia has also fallen on bad times. China and Russia want the US forces to leave and they want peace to return to Afghanistan.

Bharat is the spoiler. She is working against the sovereignty of Pakistan and wants the country partitioned along ethnic lines. Bharat wants perpetual mimetic war to continue in Afghanistan so that its irredentist and revanchist agenda can be achieved in the region.

  • The Indian government, the official said, disputes “suggestions that come from the Pakistanis that the Taliban is legitimate, they represent the Pashtuns and therefore you need to deal with them and negotiate with them. That’s the difference. We don’t think they represent the Pashtuns.”
  • Compounding India’s pique is the fact that it believed it had cultivated close ties with Karzai. India has opened four consulates in Afghanistan, even though relatively few Indian citizens live there, and invested $1.3 billion in development projects — far more than Pakistan has.
  • “The Indians are shell-shocked,” said a Western diplomat involved in Afghanistan policy. “They went in with more than a billion dollars, and now Pakistan is eating their lunch.”
  • U.S. officials are trying to persuade the Indians to abandon their traditional zero-sum logic that what’s good for Pakistan must be bad for them. “You cannot stabilize Afghanistan without the participation of Pakistan as a legitimate concerned party,” Holbrooke said at a meeting with Indian journalists here. Washington Post

The South Block doesn’t know how to handle the colossal failure of thier foreign policy viz a viz  Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, America, and China. While Pakistan has mended its fences with Iran and Afghanistan, forged a momentous strategic relationship with America, and cemented its  long-standing “all weather relationship” with China. Bharat has had a tiff with President Hamid Karzai, broken her relationship with Iran, and unnecessarily antagonized China at the Nuclear Suppliers Group. In Central Asia, Bharat has faced some big reversals too. It has been evicted from its base in Tajikistan

Rajiv Chandrasekaran describes the panic in Delhi.

NEW DELHI — Recent moves by Afghanistan and Pakistan to improve their once-frosty relationship have prompted deep concern in other countries in the region and led some to consider strengthening ties to Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s political rivals.

The U.S. government considers the Afghan-Pakistan overtures essential to combating insurgencies wracking both nations. But India, Iran and Afghanistan’s northern neighbors fear that they are a step toward fulfilling Karzai’s desire to negotiate with Taliban leaders and possibly welcome some of them into the government. Washington Post

Mr.  Chandrasekaran tries to portray Bharati chagrin as the apprehension of other countries–even though all the other countries care too hoots about the Bharati position of continued war.

The apprehension, voiced pointedly by senior Indian officials in interviews this week, has emerged as yet another challenge for the U.S. government as it seeks to encourage new initiatives to stabilize Afghanistan while minimizing fallout on the already tense relationship between India and Pakistan.

In an attempt to assuage those concerns, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, traveled here Wednesday to meet with India’s national security adviser and foreign secretary. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, arrived Thursday for two days of meetings with top military and civilian leaders.

The Indians have been riled by a series of recent meetings involving Karzai and Pakistan’s top two security officials: the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, and the intelligence director, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha. On Sunday, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed a trade agreement that allows Afghan trucks to drive through Pakistan to the Indian border. Indian officials had wanted to send their own trucks through Pakistan to Afghanistan, but the Pakistani government insisted they not be included in the negotiations. U.S. officials hailed the deal as a major step forward in the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan and a vital development for Afghanistan’s economy. Washington Post

  • India can do little but watch these developments unfold with wariness. India’s ‘soft power’ strategy has not brought it any strategic gains. Rather, India stands side-lined by the West despite
  • From the very beginning the prime objective of India’s Afghanistan policy has been to pre-empt the return of Pakistan’s embedment in Afghanistan’s strategic and political firmament
  • In order to keep Islamabad in good humuor, Washington has insisted on India limiting its role in Afghanistan. The conclusion of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) is a major shot in the arm for Pakistan as it explicitly affirms that India will not be allowed to export goods to Afghanistan through the Wagah border. Business Standard

Bharat has made a few blunders in Afghanistan. In the last elections it supported Mr. Abdullah Abdullah against President Hamid Karzai. That policy boomeranged. Mr. Karzai upset at the the US policies throw in his lot with the Pakistanis and declared that “While Indians were friends, Pakistan and Afghanistan were like inseparable conjoined twins”. Delhi diplomats hit the panic button. How could this be, after spending more than a billion Dollars? They forced Mr. Karzai to land in Delhi, when he was en-route to the SAARCH summit in Bhutan. They discovered that they could no longer pressure or count on Mr. Karzai as a Bharati proxy.

Of greater concern to the Indians is Karzai’s interest in reconciling with elements of the Taliban leadership. Because of the Taliban’s historic ties to Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Indian officials believe that such a move would give Pakistan new influence in Afghanistan. Washington Post

Delhi wants Afghanistan as Delhi’s client state and cannot fathom the international consensus which clearly describes a Pan-Afghan solution. This in plan English means reconciliation and re-integration of the Afghan National Resistance (aka Taliban) in the government of Kabul. Delhi incorrectly see a Pakistani behind every tree in Kabul. Delhi’s paranoia about Pakistan has no bounds. First it agrees to a Pan-Afghan solution in Kabul–then it continues to work against the national integrity of Afghanistan, and has tried to sabotage the peace efforts.

“we don’t think is a very good idea,” a senior  ”It’s not that there are two equal political factions, with equal legitimacy, that have a right to political power. Karzai is the elected president. Not the Taliban. It should not be a question of negotiating a place at the table for them.” “suggestions that come from the Pakistanis that the Taliban is legitimate, they represent the Pashtuns and therefore you need to deal with them and negotiate with them. That’s the difference. We don’t think they represent the Pashtuns.” The Indian Government Official.

Bharat seems to be very confused about Afghanistan. In panic Delhi politicians made mad dashes to Washington, London, Kabul, Beijing–even Riyadh, and Ankara. The Bharati eviction from Kabul is inevitable.

Though India insists that it won’t retreat from Afghanistan, there are signs that it is indeed scaling down its presence. It is not taking on new projects and various Indian schemes have been put on hold. India’s strategic space in its neighbourhood seems to have shrunk over the last few years. By failing to craft its own narrative on Af-Pak ever since US troops went into Afghanistan in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, New Delhi has allowed the West, and increasingly Pakistan, to dictate the contours of Indian policy towards the region. More damagingly, by failing to assert its profile in Afghanistan, India has failed to win the confidence of those constituencies in Afghanistan who considered India a natural ally. India now needs a rapid readjustment of its Kabul policy; otherwise, great turbulence lies ahead in India’s vicinity. Business Standard.

The Washington Post further states.

Compounding India’s pique is the fact that it believed it had cultivated close ties with Karzai. India has opened four consulates in Afghanistan, even though relatively few Indian citizens live there, and invested $1.3 billion in development projects — far more than Pakistan has.

“The Indians are shell-shocked,” said a Western diplomat involved in Afghanistan policy. “They went in with more than a billion dollars, and now Pakistan is eating their lunch.”

U.S. officials are trying to persuade the Indians to abandon their traditional zero-sum logic that what’s good for Pakistan must be bad for them. “You cannot stabilize Afghanistan without the participation of Pakistan as a legitimate concerned party,” Holbrooke said at a meeting with Indian journalists here.

Speaking to reporters on his flight here, Mullen said that “the whole region has a role to play” in Afghan reconciliation but that the Kabul government must take the lead.

In his meetings, Mullen sought to assure Indian officials that the U.S.-led counterinsurgency strategy was on track and that the United States has a long-term commitment to assist Afghanistan. “India, perhaps more than any outside country, has the greatest stake in our success in Afghanistan,” one U.S. official said.

The United States, Mullen told reporters, is not “looking for the door out of Afghanistan or out of this region.” Washington Post

In effect the Bharati government is the lone ranger out there. By opposing a face saving exit for the USA, Delhi continues to work against the interests of America. Bharati paranoia about Pakistan forces it to antagonize ISAF, NATO and US forces.

But Indian officials remain deeply mistrustful of Pakistan’s motivations in Afghanistan. The Pakistanis, officials here contend, have deftly capitalized on Karzai’s fears of abandonment by the United States — fueled in part by his misinterpretation of President Obama’s pledge to begin drawing down forces by July 2011 — by offering to help forge a deal with an insurgency that his army and NATO forces have been unable to defeat.

“Pakistan wants to be able to control the sequence of events in Afghanistan,” a second senior Indian official said. “We don’t want a situation that would entail a revision to pre-2001, with backward-looking people taking the reins of power in Kabul.” Washington Post

There are deep suspicions about the Afghan National Resisitence which is in no mood negotaite away their hard earned victories on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

Whether the Taliban is genuinely interested in reconciliation is questionable. CIA director Leon Panetta said last month that he saw no clear indications that insurgent leaders wanted to engage in peace talks with the Afghan government.

Mullen echoed that assessment, saying he does not believe reconciliation is imminent. “We’ve got to be in a position of strength,” he said. “We’re just not there yet.” India, Iran distrustful of renewed Afghan-Pakistan ties, By Rajiv Chandrasekaran Washington Post Foreign Service, Friday, July 23, 2010; 2:54 PM

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