Modi’s Kabul visit through eyes of Afghans



By Masud Wadan, for Veterans Today

Indian premier Narendra Modi’s first landing in Afghanistan to inaugurate new India-built parliament building, has inspired a broad set of people in Afghanistan to heartedly welcome his arrival as a leader of friend country.

India and Pakistan has struggled hard for clout in Afghanistan but followed different ways. Around Modi’s visit, social network users and media sources illustrated Indian cooperation with landmark constructions such as Salma Dam, new parliament building, granting of fighting helicopters and indefinite scholarships to Afghan students.

Despite Pakistan and even China have issues with India over territorial disputes, yet both tend to expand trade with this country. India is on the brink of joining world’s most powerful countries in terms of military and economy. Considering these developments, Afghanistan does want to ally with a country despite being powerful is relatively sympathizer to the people of Afghanistan.

No world country steps in other territories unless holding interests there. India, too, might not take trouble without interests in Afghanistan but it has gone on smoothly, or what now extremely matters for people is to cause no “human toll”.

A powerful though calm India is pursuing a tranquil policy towards Afghanistan. Opinion poll has shown nearly total respondents called India a good friend to Afghanistan.

When it comes to India-Pakistan’s rivalry, people of Afghanistan uphold the breakthrough in the deep-seated strains between two neighboring states. This is vital for Afghanistan to partly end the “proxy” war in Afghanistan.

This is an established fact that any Indian official’s visit of Afghanistan or critical infrastructural engagement embitters Pakistani authorities. They fear India is building trust in its favor in the public thoughts.

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Similarly, India might also spare no effort to stop Pakistan from garnering strength in this country that sometime culminates in outcomes contradicting Afghan security interests. Although It may have somewhat covert functions, they are taking place intangibly.

Pakistan is open to win hearts of millions by seriously denouncing terrorism and engaging in mutual cooperation in bona fide. Although it has earned a sufficiently wicked image particularly in Afghanistan, it hardly has to revive the situation.

Afghan gov and nation would stand “neutral” in Pak-India’s dispute. Neither this country deserves to be casted as a “proxy” against opposite side.

Under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, anti-India fighters were being armed, trained and sent to Kashmir to fight Indian forces.

If Pakistan took on India’s path in Afghanistan, it would certainly have popularity among Afghans. It could at least export agricultural experiences and equipments to Afghanistan as a sign of good relationship.

But it put aside prevailing options and moved on opposite direction. Its alliance with Taliban not only dimmed the country’s picture in Afghanistan but also conveyed its bad image to the whole world.

PM Modi’s regional outing to Afghanistan and then Pakistan was to show a green light to trilateral improved ties between the states. His surprising of Pakistani authorities with undeclared trip highlights India’s “good faith”.

However, some believes it was more like an “off-the-cuff stopover”.

In his address to audience in Kabul, PM Modi asserted that some circles oppose Afghan-India partnership and even intended to thwart this process.

Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf’s statement would frankly clarify the point. In an interview he says “India’s Afghan influence is a threat to Pakistan. They plan to make Afghanistan anti-Pakistan”

It looks like Kabul is more intimate to New Delhi and this axis would lead Pakistan to retain current Afghan policy. There is no guarantee Pakistan or Taliban would retreat if India withdraws any boot in Afghanistan.

It is certain that Pakistan and India’s interests would persistently conflict in Afghanistan. New Delhi would ask Ashraf Ghani to adopt Karzai’s Indian policy. This country has flowed billions of dollars into Afghanistan that aims to shrink Pakistan’s power in this country.

In comparison, India has contributed in Afghanistan’s reconstruction by spending billions of dollars whereas Pakistan’s deeds can be described in short “destabilization”.

Pakistan’s concern over India’s role in Afghanistan was first posed when Hamid Karzai signed Strategic Cooperation Agreement with India in 2011.

Pakistan is the cheapest transit point for Afghan-India products exchange, but this didn’t turn a real trading corridor. India moved the trading route to Iranian port of Chabahar.

These stories come simultaneously with Russia’s attempts at reaching an agreement with Taliban as part of effort to fight Islamic State in Afghanistan.

Taliban dismissed Russia’s claims, saying they don’t need anyone’s support to eliminate the presence of ISIL.

Zamir Kabulov, an official at the foreign ministry and President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for Afghanistan said earlier this week that “the Taliban interests objectively coincides with ours”.

They might have intentionally ignored that the Taliban are funded by those who financed Jihadists in late 80s to wrest soviet forces from Afghanistan. Moscow ought to know that bids to communicate Taliban or any rebel group in an effort to wipe out Islamic State fighters would end up in nothing.

Russia’s Taliban turn means it doesn’t believe in Afghan govt. as much as it does any extremist group. Kabul lost trust before Moscow after allegations reverberated across the region that the two prominent Afghan security authorities are behind relocation of Islamic State fanatics in northern Afghanistan.

Moscow is pending decision over whether to deliver military equipment to a source with unpopular background to battle militancy.

Zamir Kabulov’s words were severely objected by Afghan parliament members, saying any further intervention could cause another proxy war in Afghanistan.

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