India & Afghanistan Frustration


India and the rest of the world still believe Pakistan is behind the Taliban’s fast surge in Afghanistan.

The Afghan government is losing land to the invading Taliban at an incredible rate, and all of the talks of training a 350,000-strong Afghan army are for naught. The most pressing dilemma for military strategists today is: why can’t an Afghan army trained and equipped by the United States retain ground and defend its government’s interests? Are these Afghan soldiers untrained or switching sides of their own volition? The Afghan political and military landscape is rapidly changing, resulting in its own set of circumstances and realities, but the outside world continues to believe that Pakistan is behind it all, and would not accept that the Taliban are capable of accomplishing this on their own. Do we have a problem with logic or do we have a problem with frustrations? Frustrations, most likely.

There are two major sources of dissatisfaction. One, the collective frustrations of Afghans and Indians; and two, the American irritation in not knowing how to deal with the Afghan setback. Frustrations are frequently the result of disappointment, rage, or dissatisfaction, and the response is, therefore, more emotional than rational. When the desired outcomes are no longer attained, hindered, or rejected, the irritation escalates as the number of denials increases. One of the most common reactions to frustration is to hurl insults and abuse, which is exactly what Pakistan is experiencing right now.

The Afghan and Indian governments are currently pushing this sense of national dissatisfaction, and Pakistan is being accused of a variety of things. Instead of condemning the Afghan forces for their failings on the ground, Indian and Afghan trolls have been unrelenting in blaming Pakistan for these shortcomings on social media networks. Some of these disgruntled Afghan and Indian intellectuals are supporting a Twitter trend called ‘Sanction Pakistan.’

Habibullah Khan Totakhil, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Afghan journalist, has urged people to “use whatever platform you have to support the Afghan cry to halt the proxy war.” Afghanistan is under attack, and you are needed now more than ever.” Another famous journalist, Daud Junbish, slammed Pakistan, writing, “Pakistan’s existence rests on sponsoring and directing terrorism.” The world will never be safe again until and until this issue is resolved.”

These two instances were chosen specifically to highlight two key features. For starters, Afghanistan is not under attack right now; it has been for the past 40 years. The Afghan leaders’ misguided policies are to blame for the kind of Afghanistan in which the Totakilis and Junbishs live. Two, both Afghanistan and Pakistan have been clear victims of terrorism, and both could have found a way out if Afghan leadership had not abandoned their natural ally, partner, and neighbor Pakistan in favor of an unnatural partnership with India. Not India, but Pakistan was always the natural ally of a country that was almost totally reliant on foreign aid. Why were the Afghans duped by the Indians?

PM Modi of India has always desired an Afghanistan free of Pakistani influence, and he was able to secure the support of an Afghan leadership unwilling to make the strategic mistake of enabling the NDS to become the baby brother of India’s intelligence agency RAW. Whether it was Pakistan’s efforts to facilitate the US-Taliban peace process or to begin constructive political engagement with President Ashraf Ghani’s government, the Indians always got in the way, acting negatively and doing everything they could to undermine any process that would strengthen Pakistan’s strategic position in Afghanistan. Simply put, Indians have never stopped sowing discord between the Afghan and Pakistani administrations. But now the tables are quickly shifting, and Afghanistan is rapidly reverting to the ‘state of nature’ envisaged by Thomas Hobbes – a fight of all against all. It is already a chaotic country, no longer functioning and resembling a collection of mini-states, each with its own warlords, militias, and rulers. How can such a country be compared to Pakistan? When President Obama ordered Bruce Riddle to create a strategy brief for him, referred to the region as ‘Af-Pak,’ but it was always Afghanistan and Pakistan – two distinct states separated by a visible boundary.

So, in an ever-increasing environment of utter dissatisfaction, what is our top priority? Our first objective is to persuade the rest of the world that our new Afghan strategy, which clearly declares “partners in peace, not in conflict,” will continue to be executed for the benefit of our security and economy. But, in the context of India-Pakistan, positive things are also happening in Afghanistan, and we won’t hesitate to acknowledge that. One of them is India’s expulsion from Afghanistan. The Taliban’s advance is fulfilling a Pakistani ambition. After all, the Karzai and Ghani administrations simply served to strengthen their NDS-backed Indian partner on our western border. Shouldn’t we be relieved that the threat of an entrenched militarised India waging proxy war from across the border is dissipating and that India’s plan to establish a secret base in Afghanistan is crumbling? Pakistan must not cease expressing to the rest of the world how India’s plan to damage Pakistan through Afghanistan is finally coming to an end.

India will be commemorating its 74th independence anniversary at the time this story is published. “I want to express my gratitude to the people of Balochistan, Gilgit, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for the way they wholeheartedly thanked me… people of a distant land I haven’t seen… when they thank the Indian Prime Minister, it’s an honor for the 125 crore people of this country,” PM Modi said vociferously five years ago while addressing his nation on the 70th anniversary of the country’s independence.

This year, PM Modi could thank the people of another faraway land — Afghanistan — for allowing his consulates to stay for such a long period (Pakistan regarded them to be terror-sponsoring platforms). As the Indians pack their belongings and depart, they are left with nothing but their personal frustrations and a failed Afghan policy to accompany their hasty exit. The 125 million Indians must now challenge their Prime Minister as to why.

1 Response

  1. August 24, 2021

    […] may have noted that, since  Joe Biden announcement of his pullout from Afghanistan, Indian media has grown fixated on the concept of the “Taliban in Kashmir.” This theory is commonly tied to a speech […]

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