Heard Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the ORF lecture yesterday. Spoke well. He identified the region Afghanistan is in, correctly, as “Central South Asia”.  The strategic partnership he has inked with India, it’s clear, is leverage he means to use to extract concessions from Pakistan, a country he called Afghanistan’s “twin brother”. This treaty, at once, affords Pakistan opportunity and poses it danger. With Afghanistan relying on India not just for training all its security — military, police, and intelligence — forces, but also for arms and ammunition and, possibly in the future, more high value military hardware, Islamabad faces the prospect of an “Indianised” Afghan armed forces to its west. This is the stick. The carrot to get the Pak army generals to push the Afghan Taliban towards a negotiated settlement with Kabul is to play on their fear that the Karzai regime will move even more India-ward.

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