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.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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