Wed, Jul 26, 2017 | updated 07:06 AM IST

An Afghan's view of India-Pakistan-Afghanistan relations

Updated: Jul 09, 2016 08:48 IST      
An Afghan's view of India-Pakistan-Afghanistan relations

By I. Ramamohan Rao

New Delhi, July 9 (ANI): Many books have been written on developments in Afghanistan, in the recent past by scholars, particularly after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the developments in the subcontinent thereafter.

But very few of them gave the reader the point of view of the people of Afghanistan. The latest book authored by Afghanistan's Ambassador to India, Dr Shaida Mohammad Abadali, gives the reader the views of the people of Afghanistan on developments.

The book gives us an overview of Afghanistan's relations with India and Pakistan, and how the relations between India and Afghanistan affect developments in his country.

India has had close relations with Afghanistan for centuries. We remember the 3000 -km long Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah Suri, in the 16th century, which linked present day India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Hamid Karzai, the former President of Afghanistan has pointed out in his foreword in the book that it provides a viewpoint of a senior Afghan diplomat who has inter-weaved his own experiences and observations based on the past incidents and diplomatic relations with these countries.

Afghanistan has been going through troubled times since the Soviet invasion of the country in 1979. The proxy war waged with the help of United States saw the emergence of forces like the Taliban. The ISI, headed by late Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul of Pakistan, played a major role in evicting the Soviets from Afghanistan but saw the beginnings of terrorism in the region. Pakistan provided food and shelter to millions of Afghan refugees, but sought a major role for itself in Afghanistan itself.

Initially, Pakistan supported forces like the Taliban and hoped to have a po-Pakistan government in Afghanistan, but changed its policies following September 11, 2001 terror attack on New York by the Afghanistan based Al Qaida. As the author has pointed out that "Even though reluctant, Musharraf joined the US in the 'War on Terror'".

The US-led coalition, working with the Northern Alliance, toppled the Taliban regime, which fled across the Pakistan border with its al-Qaeda allies.

During the effort to evict Soviet forces from Pakistan, the author has pointed out that Western countries, led by the United States, turned a blind eye to Pakistan's efforts in making a nuclear bomb.

In the chapter on India -Afghanistan relations, the author has pointed out how Afghan leaders were close to India during the freedom struggle. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was known as the 'Frontier Gandhi'', and Pushtuns actively participated in the Indian freedom movement, though the North West Frontier Province became a part of Pakistan.

India wanted to help Afghanistan build itself, particularly after a democratic government assumed power. But Pakistan has been considering Afghanistan as its backyard, and there has hardly been a year when the Indians have not been targeted in Afghanistan by forces based in Pakistan. From 2008, the biggest attack was on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, which left 58 people dead and 141 injured. In 2009, a second attack on the embassy killed 17 people.

India continued to give assistance to Afghanistan. The recent landmark has been the inauguration of the Salma Dam, and the inauguration of the Parliament building constructed by India at a cost of Rs. 710 crores in Kabul by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India has also agreed to construct the highway in Afghanistan and its access to the Arabian sea by constructing a port after getting the cooperation of Iran, to construct the Chabahar port and enable Afghanistan have a direct access to the sea.

The author has quoted former President Karzai on the project Indian assistance to the country:"The Western countries and the United States of American came to Afghanistan for their personal goals. There are also countries that, without having personal agendas, are here for honest cooperation with Afghanistan government. One example is India."

The author has pointed out that given the situation of a troop pull-out by Western nations, India has been urged by Afghanistan to assume a more active role in the country, particularly of the military kind, to strengthen the Afghan forces

However, in his assessment of India-Pakistan relations, the author has pointed out that on any given day, New Delhi would opt for normalisation of ties with Pakistan. The commonalities between Afghanistan, Pakistan and India could become the basis of their relationship; they can go a long way to reshape the current contentious relationship into a cooperative and peaceful one. The three share the same history, culture and traditions.

The book gives us a useful insight into Afghanistan's approach to its relations with India and Pakistan, and also the relations between these countries. It is a useful addition to efforts to promote better relations between India, Pakistan and Afghanistan..

Book Review:Afghanistan-Pakistan-India :A Paradigm Shift by Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali; Publisher Pentagon Press. Pages 105. Published by Pentagon Press; price Rs995.

Mr. I. Ramamohan Rao is a former Principal Information Officer with the Government of India. He can be reached at his e-mail raoramamohan@hotmail.com (ANI)

Lucknow/Mumbai (Uttar Pradesh/Maharashtra) [India], July 26 (ANI): Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Wednesday asserted that both President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi follow Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar's ideology.

Full Story >>

Indian Women's Cricket team arrives in India to grand welcome

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 05:53 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 26 (AN): Amid cheers and enthusiasm of fans, the Indian Women's Cricket team has arrived in Mumbai, early Wednesday morning.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): Taking a different stand from that of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Ram Nath Kovind, who said the President has the anti-Ambedkar thinking of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress on Wednesday said not everything should be unnecessarily turned into controversy.

Full Story >>

Mumbai building collapse: Death toll rises to 14

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 03:53 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 26 (ANI): The death toll in Mumbai's Ghatkopar building collapse on Wednesday has risen to 14.

Full Story >>

SC to continue hearing Cauvery water dispute case

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 02:50 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): The Supreme Court will on Wednesday continue hearing the Cauvery water dispute involving the tussle between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Full Story >>

SC to hear Aadhaar card privacy matter

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 02:48 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear the Aadhaar card privacy matter.

Full Story >>

Sushma says daughters-in-law from Pakistan are always welcome

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 02:23 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is known for her helping nature to the ones in distress, has once again extended her hands to help a 'Pakistani daughter-in-law'.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 26 (ANI): All six Byculla women's prison officials accused of murder of inmate Manjula Shetye have filed their bail pleas at a sessions court in Mumbai.

Full Story >>

Ernakulam (Kerala) [India], July 26 (ANI): Actress and wife of actor Dileep, Kavya Madhavan, has been interrogated by the investigation team in connection with the Malayalam actress abduction case.

Full Story >>

Kerala: Elephant dies after being run over by earth mower

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 01:24 IST     

Munnar (Kerala) [India], July 26 (ANI): A wild elephant was killed after a native ran an earth mower over it at Chenduvara in Kerala's Munnar.

Full Story >>

Separatist leader Shabir Shah arrested in Srinagar

Updated: Jul 26, 2017 00:33 IST     

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], July 26 (ANI): Separatist leader and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) chairman Shabir Shah was arrested from his residence, where he was under house detention for a very long time, in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar.

Full Story >>

J-K Police arrests stonepelter, who turned into LeT terrorist

Updated: Jul 25, 2017 23:21 IST     

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], July 25 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday said they have arrested a stone-pelter, who turned into Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, from the Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir's Batramulla district.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra),[India] July 25 (ANI): Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited the site of building collapse in Mumbai's Ghatkopar on late Tuesday evening and directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file a report on the incident within 15 days.

Full Story >>

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], July 25 (ANI): The Indian Army's Konark Corps have deployed rescue columns in flood affected districts of Barmer, Pali and Jalore district of Rajasthan.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra),[India] July 25 (ANI): Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap, who was earlier being held responsible for Ghatkopar building collapse, has now been booked for culpable homicide.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 25 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss details regarding Darjeeling unrest and flood situation in the state.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra)[India], July 25 (ANI): The Mumbai Police have confirmed that 19 people have been extracted till now, after a four-storey residential building collapsed in suburban Ghatkopar, Mumbai on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

India rejects OIC resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir

Updated: Jul 25, 2017 21:59 IST     

New Delhi [India], July 25 (ANI): India on Tuesday outrightly rejected the resolutions passed by the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) relating to Jammu and Kashmir.

Full Story >>

PM Modi announces ex-gratia for Gujarat flood victims

Updated: Jul 25, 2017 21:10 IST     

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], July 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh to the next kin of those killed in Gujarat floods, and Rs. 50,000 to those injured.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], July 25 (ANI): Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday handed over additional ex-gratia amount from the Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF) to ten next of kin of battle casualties.

Full Story >>