It does not take long for great powers to develop more than one point of interest once they have entered an area of strategic significance. It would therefore be fanciful to imagine an America-free Afghanistan in the foreseeable future. “All this blood and treasure was spent for what?” some Americans will ask. Also the chant in Kabul once was “We must remain in the vicinity to keep a watch on the world’s only Muslim nuclear state.”
The new Prime Minister will be pragmatic. He will not seek to impose a moral code on his armed forces. But he will draw some very firm red lines and these red lines will stretch from Pakhtunkhwa right through Afghanistan, the arena of his political baptism and purgatory. That is where he cannot be seen to be striking deals. His political turf will turn to ash if he does.
The attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat was a message intended for Narendra Modi, Nawaz Sharif and Hamid Karzai by the Pakistan Military. For long Pakistan has been trying to manipulate the politics of Afghanistan through its proxies. 26/11 and hence, it has been trying to do the same in India in collaboration with some Indian politicians. One such attempt was bomb blasts to assassinate Modi during his Patna rally in October 2013.