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 procession of breast beating “liberals” doesn’t seem to end, not since Donald Trump eclipsed their most shining star – Hillary Clinton.
The jihadis militancy in the Valley must be viewed from the prism of geopolitics, i.e. the global jihadi discourse, territorial ambition of Pakistan, and strategic imperatives of powers like China.
While New Delhi is busy with the demonetisation upheaval, it may find itself paces too slow in coping with the new strategic dynamic engulfing the region. Neither Kabul nor New Delhi can be sanguine about the high level meeting in Moscow on Afghanistan to which China and Pakistan were invited.
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.
“Starting with the national security adviser to the prime minister of India, senior U.S. national security officials should begin to discuss options for significantly expanded counterterror cooperation with their Indian counterparts, up to and including the possibility of basing U.S. military and/or intelligence operatives in India to address Pakistan-based terrorist threats in a post-Afghanistan context. These conversations would be politically sensitive, so they should begin only after the next Indian government is elected in the spring……”
There are several indications to suggest that with the pull out of NATO forces from Afghanistan the entire Taliban and jihadi machinery is going to be pumped in Kashmir by Pakistan to capture it. Against this backdrop what Prashant Bhushan is suggesting (about the withdrawal of Army from Kashmir) would be disastrous for India. In anticipation most of the jihadi outfits active in Afghanistan are shifting base to Pakistani Punjab. It includes Al Qaeda too.
Two separate developments on the Indian political scene in last few days has given rise to a lot of uncomfortable questions (regarding illegal surveillance/phone tapping and the Indian government’s eagerness to please the US administration) that must be asked.
The first development being the revelation of the contents of a Cabinet Committee on Security note which reportedly exposes UPA government’s attempts to dilute the Nuclear Liability Bill to suit the interests of the US administration. And the second one is the alleged smear campaign against former Army Chief General VK Singh over a secretive surveillance unit during his tenure.