Thursday, June 30, 2005

ANALYSIS: India's Afghan Nightmare

New Delhi believes the American proposal is a backhanded way to get India's approval to bring Pakistani troops into Afghanistan. India, which did not supply troops to aid the US in Iraq, will not send its troops to Afghanistan under the US banner either. According to New Delhi, the situation has become worse along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border than it was during Taliban rule. This area is under the control of anti-American and anti-Indian militia which are protected by the Pakistani army. US troops have no capability to break this stranglehold: Washington is dependent on Islamabad to produce an "extremist" as and when they choose. According to one Indian official, Pakistan will certainly revive its old intelligence and jihadi networks in the region, rolling back the political gains the Indians made since the Taliban were ousted from the areas in and around Kandahar and Jalalabad, among other places, following the US attack in late 2001. This official also believes that Pakistan could be planning outright military offensives to take control of the area once the Americans give them the proverbial green light. To run an effective operation to flush out the anti-American Islamic groups from this area requires full cooperation from Pakistan, which, Washington has come to realize, Islamabad will never extend. As a result, all of eastern and southeastern Afghanistan is heading back under control of the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and, indirectly, the Pakistan army, who will keep the orthodox anti-American and anti-Indian Taliban in tow.

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