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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Friday, March 12, 2010

India and Afghanistan

All of a sudden Indians are dismayed at being sidelined by US in favor of Pakistan vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Surprise! Surprise! It couldn't be summed any better than when Hamid Karzai said "India is a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is a twin brother of Afghanistan. We are more than twins, we are conjoined twins. There is no separation, there cannot be a separation." There shouldn't be any doubt that the approach to induce Afghan reconciliation with Pakistan is fully backed by US. Sidelining of India in the context of Afghan situation is not sudden but Indian lack of farsightedness and understanding is definitely a contributor. At the very dawn of realism in US administration that war in Afghanistan cannot be won without inclusion of pliable Taliban elements, Indians in typical display of ignorance started groaning about it. Newspaper editorials vied each other in slamming US for reproaching Taliban. To Indian brigade determining policy and press officiants it never occurred that Talibans belong to the Pashtun ethnic group, which incidentally is the most dominant and powerful. What could be termed as a blunder of gargantuan proportion was the Indian tacit support to Abdullah Abdullah over Hamid Karzai in the Presidential elections. This can only be summed by the use of phrase 'only fools tread the path that angels dread'. Afghanistan, a Muslim country, is contiguous with Pakistan and in fact the Durand line separating the north west frontier province and Afghanistan is one of the artficiliaties imposed by Britain that does nothing to remove commonalities between the communities on either side. Thus, geography, ethnicity, religion and strategic compulsion favor a greater role for Pakistan than Indians would like to see.

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