By Sajjad Shaukat
The United States which signed an agreement of strategic partnership with Afghanistan, has finally decided to keep around 10,000 troops and six military bases in that country permanently after the withdrawal of NATO forces in 2014. In fact, America wants to fulfill multiple strategic designs by controlling the energy resources of Central Asia, and weakening Pakistan, China, Iran and Russia.
Besides, US has also planned to maintain Indian role in Afghanistan to complete its hidden agenda. In this regard, US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said on October 26, this year, that India has vital role to play in Afghanistan and it will be helpful for peace and stability in the region, adding, “Our new defence policy hinges upon this strategy.”
During his trip to India and Kabul in June, 2012, by reviving old blame game, Leon Panetta stated that drone attacks would continue on safe havens of terrorists in Pakistan, while accusing Pakistan-based Haqqani network for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan. At the same time, he encouraged India to take a more active role in Afghanistan as most foreign combat troops leave in 2014.
However, India which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011 also includes to help train Afghan security forces, while assisting Kabul in diversified projects. The deal will guarantee Afghanistan’s security after the withdrawal of foreign troops. Apparently, it is open strategic agreement, but secretly, India seeks to further strengthen its grip in Afghanistan to get strategic depth against Islamabad.
Besides, New Delhi with the cooperation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and with the tactical support of US and Israel has been obtaining its clandestine aims. In this respect, Indian RAW with the assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad has well-established its espionage network in Afghanistan. Besides, a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Afghans and so-called Indian Muslims. Posing themselves as Taliban, they have joined the ranks and files of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and other banned extremist outfits.
In this context, India’s several secret training camps are also present in Afghanistan from where highly trained militants, equipped with sophisticated weapons are being sent to Pakistan’s various places to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations including ethnic and sectarian violence regularly.
These foreign entities have perennially been arranging similar subversive acts in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Jundollah (God’s soldiers) and other Baloch separatist elements. Especially, RAW is also supporting insurgency in the Tibetan regions of China. The main purpose of these agencies is to achieve collective goals of the US, India and Israel by dismembering Pakistan, Iran and China.
New Delhi has not only increased its military troops in Afghanistan, but has also decided to set up cantonments. In this respect, puppet regime of Karzai encouraged India to use the Border Roads Organisation in constructing the ring roads.
Since the US-led NATO forces occupied Afghanistan, stiff resistance of the Taliban militants which created unending lawlessness in the country has made it a most conducive place for India to avail the opportunity to fulfill its nefarious designs.
In this regard, on October 6, 2012, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani issued a warning to Afghanistan to stop cross-border incursions in Pakistan. While former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani disclosed, “Certain forces are at work to destabilise Afghanistan and Karzai should not play in their hands.”
Notably, regarding Indian activities in Afghanistan, the then NATO commander, Gen. McChrystal had pointed out: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”
It is US double game with Pakistan that on the one hand, its high officials realise that without Islamabad’s help, stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO troops. They are also getting Pakistan’s assistance for a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban insurgents. On the other hand, they prefer New Delhi at the cost of Islamabad, while continuing their blame game against the latter for safe havens of insurgents and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, US new ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olsen stated on October 25, “Pakistan is playing important role in the region, and both the countries are working to broaden and deepen their ties.” Recently US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed similar views.
Nevertheless, taking note of India’s subversive role in Afghanistan, recently, US Republican Senator John McCain reminded the Obama administration that encouraging India to take a more active role in Afghanistan, while simultaneously criticising Pakistan could be a recipe for disaster.
But American President Barrack Obama is determined to maintain US military presence in Afghanistan after 2014. Thus, America not only seeks to obtain its strategic goals, but also to protect Indian influence in Afghanistan.
Here question arises that if well-trained NATO forces, equipped with sophisticated weaponry have failed in coping with the Afghan militants in eleven years as to how American small contingency will succeed in this respect. So, perennial terror-attacks by the Taliban warriors on the US forces and bases will fail American objectives in the post-2014 scenario. Karzai regime will fall like a house of cards. Even New Delhi which has been assisting the Northern Alliance against the Afghan militants will not be in a position to maintain its network due to successful guerrilla warfare of the Taliban.
Moreover, political experts argue that there are less chances of the success of peace deal with the Afghan Taliban who are now in better position of fighting, and the war-torn Afghanistan will be thrown in an era of uncertainty and civil war after the foreign troops leave. And all the efforts of the US-led NATO and other western countries for a stable Afghanistan will prove fruitless. Pakistan will also not be in a position to help in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. In that drastic situation, India will have to roll back its map from Afghanistan. Therefore, India has bleak future in Afghanistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations