India – Afghanistan’s ‘Hidden’ Enemy

It is an established fact, that bilateral and international relations between countries are not based on mere ‘friendship’ and mutual liking for one another. A closer look at the relation between Kabul’s US-supported rulers and India, ‘hypocrisy’ is the word that seems more suitable rather than ‘interest’. India ‘gifted’ COVID-19 vaccine to Afghanistan last month which was received by President Ashraf Ghani who expressed gratitude and termed India’s assistance as a testament to historic and cordial relations between the two countries and that it represents future cooperation between both ‘democracies. Ashraf Ghani’s remarks were overwhelmingly welcomed in India, with India’s UN Mission ‘retweeting’ Afghan President’s more than one-minute long speech.

However, India’s ‘Hindutva inspired’ diplomats, media and politically affiliated citizens have failed to shed light on ‘historic’ relations between India and Afghanistan; as Mahmud of Ghazi and Ahmad Shah Durrani (commonly known as Ahmad Khān Abdālī) are notorious villains for those believing in Hindutva ideology, whereas they are considered heroes by Afghans. Followers of Hindutva even consider Afghanistan as part of Akhand Bharat (united/greater/undivided India) and strive for its amalgamation into India. In light of the aforementioned facts, the Afghan President’s remarks and India’s response are nothing but a punch line of a bad joke. Delhi’s rulers intend to use Afghanistan as a front against Pakistan and for which they have chosen to intentionally ignore their own narrative of history.

Indian involvement in Afghanistan witnessed a significant boost after the US invasion and establishment of Hamid Karzai’s puppet regime.

Following the 9/11 incident, India capitalized on the situation and stepped up to become a part of the ‘war on terror’ as the United States stood enraged over the deadly attacks. India’s move was meant for using Afghan soil against Pakistan – an objective somewhat successfully achieved by India. Under Washington’s umbrella along with Kabul’s support, India secured a strong foothold in Afghanistan and has since then continued its effort towards destabilizing Pakistan. Furthermore, India is also wary of Pakistan’s role in facilitating US-Taliban talks, prospects of its success, troops withdrawal and the possibility of the Taliban’s control over Kabul or their role in Afghan politics. In case of the latter, India will be forced to abandon its goal of using Afghan soil against Pakistan. So it seems that India intends to destabilize Afghanistan and is striving to stir up civil war in the landlocked country. Instability in Afghanistan is strictly against both Pakistan’s and United States’ interests. Economic and human loss faced by the United States in Afghanistan has forced Washington to leave and withdraw from Afghanistan. A ‘peaceful window’ might be the opportunity the US is looking for in order to withdraw from Afghanistan; however, India knows that if this happens it will lose its foothold and will not be able to destabilize Pakistan from its bases in Afghanistan. The recent wave of terrorism in Afghanistan and the emergence of IS are evident proof regarding the beneficiary of these developments.

India has already failed in its attempt to exercise direct aggression against Pakistan in the form ‘Abhinandan episode’. Abhinandan’s ‘cup of tea’ was in fact a bitter experience for India’s political and military elite. India is very well aware that it can only succeed in weakening Pakistan via ‘indirect means’ as it is already involved in sponsoring religious terrorism in Pakistan.

It is no secret that India uses its consulates in Afghanistan to support, fund, arm, train and facilitate terrorists against Pakistan. According to a report, India has spent millions of dollars in its bid to unite various terrorist and separatist organizations in Pakistan on a single platform – a part of India’s move to orchestrate synergized anti-Pakistan activities. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and DG ISPR Maj General Babar Iftikhar held a joint press conference in November last year during which the duo apprised the world of how Col Rajesh – an officer of India’s intelligence agency, has been controlling various militant organizations from one of India’s consulate in Afghanistan. The press-briefing highlighted that since 9/11, Pakistan has been subjected to 19,130 terrorist attacks resulting in more than 83,000 casualties and economic loss worth up to US$ 126 billion.

Despite all these facts and evidence, the international community has failed to take notice of Indian sponsored terrorism against Pakistan. In contrast, if a terrorist incident occurs in India and all the evidence is pointing towards the incident being a ‘false flag’, even then Pakistan is blatantly held responsible and is subjected to baseless propaganda meanwhile the US and the west express solidarity with Delhi and reprimand Pakistan. The international community’s response reflects its double standards reflect hypocrisy.

India’s link with IS in Afghanistan, as mentioned in this article is not a mere accusation. In June 2020 US-based Foreign Policy released its report which revealed that IS terrorists in various countries have links with India and many of these terrorists belong from India. Foreign Policy’s report jointly holds India and IS responsible for the deadly terrorist attacks on churches in Sri Lanka in 2019.

These developments are a testament to the fact that India is not only using Afghan soil against Pakistan but is also involved in the vilification of Islam and Muslims around the world. The world and especially the Afghan government must realize India’s nefarious role, or else Afghanistan will continue to be deprived of peace and the world will not be able to get rid of terrorism.