Category Archives: Central Asia

Core India and Gap Pakistan

India’s role in rebuilding Afghanistan: In spite of hurdles imposed by Pakistan, India has played a meaningful role in Afghanistan,” The Acorn, http://opinion.paifamily.com/index.php?p=1247, 14 February 2005.

Regarding the CIA’s soothsayers: The CIA’s predictions for India and Pakistan cannot simultaneously come true,” The Acorn, http://opinion.paifamily.com/index.php?p=1248, 15 February 2005.

In spite of hurdles imposed by Pakistan, India has played a meaningful role in Afghanistan

The Acorn has two posts contrasting India and Pakistan. India is a responsible player spreading connectedness, despite Pakistan’s efforts

New Delhi currently spends around $100 million on various projects and $70 million on the reconstruction of a 213-kilometer road from Zaranj to Delaram in Afghanistan. This ‘new silk route’ road is the result of a project between India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop trade with Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The route will utilise the Chabahar port in Iran to send goods to Afghanistan and to Central Asian countries. New Delhi has gifted three Airbus aircraft along with crew to support Arian Afghan Airlines, and more than 270 Indian buses currently ply in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. In 2002, 18 Afghan judges and lawyers were trained at the Indian Law Institute in New Delhi. An IT specialist has been deputed to the Afghan government. In the foreign minister’s office in Kabul, a local area network with Internet access via an Indian company has been set up while Afghan bureaucrats are being trained in the use of computers.

Three Reserve Bank of India officials were deputed to the Central Bank of Afghanistan in July 2002. A team of 30 Indian doctors treats thousands of patients every week while $4 million has been allotted for the rehabilitation of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health. New Delhi will gift 300 vehicles to the Afghan National Army once Pakistan allows their transit. Pakistan allows Afghan exports to India via Wahga, but not vice versa. Thus, every day, a large numbers of trucks cross Wahga carrying dry fruit and carpets but return empty. No country is spending in Afghanistan as much as India, except for the United States, which spends $900 million annually. So far, India’s efforts in Afghanistan have the backing of the United States and Russia. Indian analysts say India’s interests are two-fold: it does not want the Taliban to resurface; and it wants the new Afghan security structure to be free of anti-India elements

Pakistan, meanwhile…

But, contrary to the Bush administration’s belief, the possibility of an implosion in Pakistan is very much real as long as its army retains control. There any so many rifts and divides in Pakistan that a fundamentally hamfisted dictatorship cannot heal or reconcile. Pakistan needs national reconciliation and the steady, irreversible return of the army to its barracks.

Until that happens, Pakistan will remain the borderline about-to-fail state that we have become used to. Unfortunately, foreign policy in America and New Delhi is doing nothing to veer away from this unhappy path. If the current equations continue, India can, without doubt, continue to register healthy economic growth, but Pakistan will remain a Damocles’ sword hanging over its head.

Consider that the Army is the only respected and stable institution in Pakistan, this is not good news.

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Pakistan is an imaginary state. It’s east is an extension of India while the west is made out of pieces of Balucistan and Pashtunistan. Pakistan is a nuclear state with a rogue intelligence service. Dealing with Islamabad’s failures is a great problem of our times.