Masud Ahmad Khan
After independence, the Nehru government backed Afghan claims on Pashtunistan and the Durand Line issue. After the 1965 war, India actively joined Afghanistan to support the issue of Pashtunistan, Durand Line and an independent Balochistan. Soon the Balochistan People’s Liberation Front (BPLF) started an insurgency against Pakistan with the active support from India and Afghanistan. In 1975, the insurgents of the BPLF were shifted to Afghanistan in close coordination with Khadamat-e-Aetlaat-e-Dawlati.
According to famous author Avinash Paliwal, Indian pilots took part in the battle of Jalalabad in 1989 between the Mujahideen and President Najib’s forces. When the Taliban took over Kabul on September 25, 1996, India closed its diplomatic mission. To counter them, they got Shia, and Dostum and Massoud together by promising financial incentives. All leaders were on board and interestingly, Amrullah Saleh was the interpreter for Massoud at the time. Tajikistan allowed India to run a field hospital at Farkhor and under this garb, it became a logistic base for RAW’s covert operations. The Indian ambassador to Tajikistan, Muthu Kumar, was integral in the supply of funds and weapons to the Northern Alliance and Massoud.
Since India was against the Taliban, it provided financial and military support to anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. Soon after 9/11, India began using Baloch and Pashtun cards through its consulates and terrorist bases in Afghanistan. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) started targeting security forces in Balochistan from RAW’s terrorist bases inside Afghanistan. Since 2001, India has spent 3 billion dollars on roads, dams, infrastructure and also the training of the Afghan National Army officers, soldiers and NDS officials.
The most important project under taken by India in Afghanistan was the 218 kilometers Zaranj-Delaram Highway worth 150 million dollars. The road connects Kandahar in the South, Ghazni and Kabul in the East, Mazar-i-Sharif in the North and Herat in the West. This was a project to counter CPEC and bypass Pakistan to link Central Asian Republics for trade and linking it with Chahbahar post. The aim was to reduce Kabul’s dependence on the Karachi port and allow India to ship its goods to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics. India relied on these so called development projects to undermine Pakistan and continue to run the affairs of the Afghan government. In the last two decades, India was the actual player and was running the affairs of Afghanistan through the NDS. It was because of this reason that terrorist activities were launched against Pakistan jointly. According to M.K Narayanan, the previous Indian National Security Advisor, “India silently funneled unknown amounts of cash to anti-Pakistan Afghan groups. Amrullah Saleh and the NDS chief made a formidable partnership in facilitating such interaction”.
RAW built friendly relations with all 34 provincial governors in Afghanistan and the aim was to prevent Pakistan from getting a foothold in Afghanistan. The question is, why was India so obsessed with Afghanistan? The simple reason is that India wanted to use this hostile country as a pressure point against Pakistan and destabilise it. India’s entire foreign policy revolves around this aim. Before the fall of the Ghani regime, India had 66 terrorist camps in Afghanistan and 21 in India against Pakistan. Indian consulates in Kandahar, Jalalabad and Zahedan were used to facilitate terrorist activities in Balochistan and Karachi. RAW used the Afghan soil to attack on Siraj Raisani in Mastung, APS Peshawar, Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, Gwadar PC, Chinese Consulate and the Stock Exchange in Karachi.
India also spent one million dollars to merge TTP and other terrorist organisations in coordination with the NDS. India was not sincere with Afghans either, it was using its soil to destabilise Pakistan through its proxies. Had it invested three billion dollars in good faith, it would not have been defeated so easily. With the recent development in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of American troops and the Taliban victory, India has been jolted badly. The Taliban victory has led to the disappearance of the looming two front war scenario and also the elimination of 66 terrorist camps. The Taliban are celebrating two victories, the humiliating exit of West and the defeat of India which was running the affairs of Ghani regime. With a friendly government in Afghanistan, there will be no more safe heavens and terrorist camps for the BLA, TTP or PTM and our Western border will be more secure. Courtesy The Nation