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Panicky India Grasping at Straws in Kabul

by on 05/13/2011

Kabul Afghanistan Afghans watch television coverage announcing the killing of Al-Qaeda. Image by Getty Images via @daylife


A panicked Bharat is grasping at straws in Kabul. The Bharati PM Manmohan Singh arrived in Afghanistan on Thursday for a two-day visit. The purpose of this trip to try to secure Bharati interests in Kabul. One is reminded of the much heralded trip of Comrade Najibullah to went to Delhi and signed dozens of MOUs with Delhi. A couple of weeks later Comrade Najibullah was found hanging from a lamp-post in Kabul. That hanging also ended Delhi’s dreams of the “On to the Oxus” policy which was propagated by Lord Curzon.

PM Singh’s first visit to Kabul in six years in the midst of a cacophony of voices calling for a quicker withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan following the killing of OBL.

A rapid reduction of US presence in Afghanistan is Bharat’s worst nightmare and paranoia. South Block fears that Afghanistan would once again become a Pakistani dominated client-state, just like it was during the days when the Taliban ruled the country.

Singh will desperately try to said that he and Karzai would “exchange views on developments in the region and our common fight against the scourge of terrorism”.

Analysts say India’s futile tussle with Pakistan for influence in Afghanistan will surely sharpen as the US begins cutting troop numbers from July with the aim of all foreign forces exiting the country by the end of 2014.

Karzai’s office was grandstanding a bit when it said that the  consequences of bin Laden’s death would be a key topic of discussion with Manmohan SIng.

“Since it is a new issue, it is on the agenda,” spokesman Siamak Herawi said. “They will hold talks, then a press conference before the president hosts an official banquet this evening.”An Indian government source told AFP that Singh wanted “to hear what President Karzai has to say about” the death of bin Laden.

By all account the summit was a grand failure. The two statements that came from Afghanistan are most telling:

  • In a clear slap in the face of the PM “Both the sides have agreed that Pakistan’s concerns have to be taken on board and it cannot be isolated.”
  • The usually Anti-Pakistani national security advisor to Karzai said “India and Afghanistan remain best friends. We are not worried about withdrawal of foreign troops because one day they have to go.” This was in contradiction to Bharati expectations in the Post-Taliban Afghanistan

Karzai has visited Pakistan dozens times over the past decade and used to live in Quetta. He has also has visited India 10 times since 2002, and was educated for a time in the Indian hill station of Simla. Singh last visited Afghanistan in 2005. Prime Minister Gilani visited Kabul a couple of weeks ago. There were reports that Pakistan asked Afghanistan to join a China-Pakistan alliance.


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