Disillusioned by Pakistan, its Army and ISI, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani engages India again

Kshatriya87

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http://www.firstpost.com/world/disi...ashraf-ghani-engages-india-again-2496288.html

Amidst growing resentment among Afghans with Pakistan, the shaky government of President Ashraf Ghani has decided to engage the Indian leadership. The news of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s death being kept secret by Pakistan for around five years, the spate of bombings in Kabul, and Islamabad’s failure to keep its promise on intelligence-sharing and reining in Taliban cadres has disillusioned Ghani. Reports of a Loya Jirga being called — that could lead to his ouster — have further pushed the president to look to India for assistance.

His departure from predecessor Hamid Karzai’s policy towards India saw him reach out to Pakistani generals in the hope that a give-and-take was possible. But, Pakistan’s overall strategy to secure its geopolitical objectives in the region is at odds with Kabul’s expectations. Many argue that it was naïve on Ghani’s part to have directly engaged with ISI in the hope of a solution to Afghanistan’s security concerns.

His failed strategy has now forced him to engage India after flirtations with Pakistani military and ISI brought greater misery for the country. India, on its part, is quite confident about the results of such an effort. This weekend Afghan national security advisor and deputy foreign minister will be in Delhi to discuss a fast deteriorating security situation, and seek assistance.

India’s total aid package of Rs 12,800 crore ($2 billion) to the country includes the construction of the Parliament building. Besides building a dam in Herat province to generate 42 MW of electricity and constructing 218 km of road through Border Roads Organisation, India in the last five years has also given food aid of 250,000 mt of wheat. It has been helping with training programmes, scholarships and skill development too.

In the coming days, three Mi-25 attack helicopters India bought from Russia will be handed over to Afghan government. This is a departure from not providing military assistance to Afghanistan.

But, what can India do that looks beyond traditional ways of extending assistance?

India has tremendous brand equity among the people of Afghanistan. Historic ties part, Bollywood films and songs have culturally tied them with us as much as their belief that, unlike Pakistan, India seeks a stable and independent Afghanistan. India hosts thousands of Afghan refugees, patients and students in various parts of the country.

Given its landlocked status, Afghanistan is dependent on Pakistan for imports and exports. The latter is Afghanistan’s largest trading partner and the former is its second-largest export market.

The two countries initially signed the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in 1965. In 2010, the trade agreement was altered to allow Afghan exports transit through Pakistan to the Wagah border with India, and to the seaport cities of Karachi and Gwadar. Pakistani trucks in turn are allowed to move products to all regions of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s total reported exports are currently equivalent to only five percent of total imports, with Pakistan as the largest export destination, accounting for 32.2 percent of all Afghan exports. Iran has now got closer with the access it provides to the Persian Gulf through land routes and the Chahbahar Port that India jointly helped build to end Kabul’s complete dependence on Pakistan for access to sea and rest of the global economy.

India, on the other hand, forms the second largest destination for Afghan exports despite the lack of direct transit access. Afghanistan’s requests to secure India land access through Wagah border have not been entertained by Islamabad. Pakistani industry fears that Indian goods might get smuggled in large quantities impacting its businesses apart from the military’s inherent policy to deny India greater presence in a country that it sees as giving it strategic depth.

With US forces drawdown, the growth of Taliban and Islamic State forces, Pakistan military squeezing Afghanistan and a government in Kabul that seems increasingly out of depth on tackling current challenges, India has an opportunity to connect directly with the people by thinking out of the box.

Here’s what India needs to consider:

-Pakistan is Afghanistan’s largest trade partner and its main market for exports

-Pakistan controls Afghanistan’s food economy, ISI controls importing/exporting companies

-Pakistan dictates prices of fruit exports from Afghanistan

-Afghan carpet industry lacks basic infrastructure to provide finished carpets and rugs. They are bought by Pakistani companies at cheap prices, finished and stamped with a ‘Made in Pakistan’ label

-The announcement of Mullah Omar’s death has made Afghans more distrustful of Pakistanis (in recent days, they even banned Pakistani medicines)

-India invested in infrastructure projects largely like roads and dams

-With a worsening security situation, the ISI is trying to stop the Afghan government from using the north to trade with CIS countries

And here are the immediate challenges:

Can the Indian government get market access to the Afghan fruit industry and dry fruit growers through chartered freight flights that help sell melons, grapes and pomegranates in cities like Delhi and Mumbai?

Can the Indian government help with technological and infrastructural support to the Afghan carpet industry so that its dependence on Pakistan for final finishing process and market reduces?

Lastly, can small Indian businesses be encouraged to set up shops in secured Special Economic Zones that Afghanistan has created in abandoned bases of US and Nato forces?

Pakistan’s military and ISI hold Afghanistan by its jugular. Most of the imports and exports from Pakistan are in the hands of ISI-controlled and ISI-sponsored companies. The Afghans have little choice.

For India, the stakes are high as years of investment in Afghanistan, both politically and financially, are threatened by increasing uncertainty and a deteriorating security situation. While India tries to build bridges with an embattled Ghani government and moves in with military assistance, it is probably time to also look at options that go beyond building roads, training, skill development and scholarships.
 

blueblood

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Arre kisi ne bhi @Neo ko tag nahi kiya. Galat baat. :biggrin2::biggrin2::biggrin2:

On Topic: Last ditch effort by Ghani and India should be careful. One thing that India can leverage out of all this is a bigger role for Abdullah Abdullah.
 

IBSA

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how many chopters Mi-25 will be donated, three or four?

This link says three, but the link i've posted said four.
 

Compersion

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Pakistan getting lots of.unpaid for.stuff.

What about afganistan and also maintaining a military balance between and with Pakistan for peace and stability.

Don't want Pakistan to dictate and over power Afghanistan unreasonably and with historical justification for caution.
 

Kshatriya87

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Eventually the truth always comes out. Everyone comes to know how pathetic paki agendas are. They don't even care for their own country men. Why the hell will they take care of afghans?
 

spikey360

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This is a cycle.
Someone new comes in Afghanistan -> Claim India=Friend, Pakistan=Brother. -> ISI and Pak Army start their con jobs, kill Afghans, etc. -> Af discovers truth, tells Pakis to be careful, but they are still Brothers -> In a show of brotherly love, ISI unleashes a new version of Taliban, with a new name and classification -> Taliban and Government of Afghanistan initiate tussle for power, More Afghans start getting killed -> Taliban initiates bloodshed mode -> Afghanistan runs to Friend, asking to be saved from Brother.

Unfortunately, India fails to keep the Government in power, and the cycle restarts.
 

hit&run

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I have always said Ashraf Gani is very educated and intelligent nationalist Afghan. I feel for him running a very difficult state.

He tried his best to be friend with Pakistan but Pakistan is such a confronting failed state that he would have found it difficult to talk to one person in-charge who can address all his grievances let alone taking it further to a stable relationship. One or the other rough faction withing deep state of Pakistan can simply veto anything substantial that he might have expected.

Recently that senile minister now ex NSA Sartaj Aziz of Pakistan said that it is not a good time to talk to Afghanistan. I appeared to me that Pakistan has back stabbed Afghanistan yet again on the dictation of USA who wants to now deal with Taliban via Pakistan.

Really sad situation, not sure If India be able to help them.
 

DingDong

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US/NATO have tried hard to keep India out of the Afghan equation. India must work closely with Russia, China and Iran to stabilize Afghanistan. In my view India must keep the AFghan politicians at safe distance, these people are not trustworthy. Muslim brotherhood card can come out any day.
 

Sakal Gharelu Ustad

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How can any sane person or country trust Pak?

They have back-stabbed everyone since inception, even their east-Pak brothers, US through Osama etc. India should let Pak-Afghan backstab each other.
 

Kshatriya87

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How can any sane person or country trust Pak?

They have back-stabbed everyone since inception, even their east-Pak brothers, US through Osama etc. India should let Pak-Afghan backstab each other.
Not only other countries, they keep backstabbing themselves every couple of weeks.

Sent from my HTC One_E8 dual sim using Tapatalk
 

amoy

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US/NATO have tried hard to keep India out of the Afghan equation. India must work closely with Russia, China and Iran to stabilize Afghanistan. In my view India must keep the AFghan politicians at safe distance, these people are not trustworthy. Muslim brotherhood card can come out any day.
Not happening. China has hosted Taliban for talks in Urumqi with US and PakistanI envoys in presence. China and US no longer consider Taliban as terrorrists but a political insurgency to reckon with.

Chinese interest clearly doesn't converge with Indian. The two are more competitors than partners over there. China should make good use of the SCO platform plus Pakistan and Iran on its periphery to stablize Afg.

China: Afghanistan's New Hope
With the recent surge in direct diplomacy and high level visits between China and Afghanistan there is an emerging hope amongst Afghans that China can be counted on as an honest partner, broker, and good neighbor. An increased economic and security interest in China by former Afghan President Hamid Karzai during his last months in office and the current president, Ashraf Ghani, with his first foreign trip to Beijing are all indicators of a great rebalancing act by Kabul to reach out to China after decades of tepid relations. But this new hope of a partnership should go beyond diplomatic niceties and be based on a strong foundation of mutual interests.

Afghanistan needs Chinese financial, economic, and technical resources and its political leverage at the international stage whereas Afghanistan is the missing link in China’s regional diplomacy and geopolitics. As a rising power, China cannot and should not tolerate an unstable Afghanistan in its neighborhood. A troubled and unstable neighborhood infested with extremists and regional proxy terrorist groups is probably the biggest impediment to China’s rise to a peaceful and responsible power.
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/04/08/china-afghanistans-new-hope/


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