You cant be serious in suggesting that Pakistan's support of jihadi forces in Afghanistan is all about India. India is a secondary factor.
Johann, no, I am quite serious in stating that. India is *not* a secondary factor, not at all.
Afghanistan has threatened Pakistan's "raisin dieter" at least as much as India has in ideological and popular terms. I'm sure you remember that Afghanistan was the only country to vote against Pakistan's entry in to the UN in 1947.
Afghanistan's territorial claim on Pakistan's territorial holdings dwarfs India's. Pakistan has fought a nearly continuous series of shadow wars with all of Afghan governments, royalist, republican, communist and now democratic.
Yes, that's correct that Afghanistan refused to recognize Pakistan when it was formed. But, let me correct you here on two counts. India never 'threatened' Pakistan either in ideology or popularity though India was the only raison d'etre
for the very creation of Pakistan. Afghanistan was not the raison d'etre for the creation of Pakistan. Again, India has no territorial claims on Pakistan except for the Indian territory grabbed by Pakistan. It is Pakistan that wrongfully claims Indian territory. The claim by Afghanistan over Pakistani territory is entirely different.
It is true that Pakistan has had a troubled existence with Afghanistan, especially during the early part and then in the 70s. While Pakistan was involved in shadow engagements with Afghanistan, it was India even then that Pakistan wanted to destroy. All the arms that Pakistan acquired as part of its various treaties to stop communism in its tracks were never used for that purpose and OTOH were used only against India (and to some extent against Afghanistan). The breadth and intensity of the Pakistani military engagements with India pales in front of similar engagements with Afghanistan. Same is the case with its diplomatic onslaught to put India in the dock, or paint it as a villain or just embarrass it in the world community. All its opportunistic alliances with the Western countries, China, North Korea etc were driven by its obsession with India. The nuclear & missile proliferation, with the benign/active connivance of the USofA & China, were solely to use a nuclear weapon against India. The huge budget of the sinister ISI is directed against India. The magnitude of terror attacks against India, directly traceable to Pakistani Government and the ISI, has simply not been experienced by any other country as far as cross-border terrorism goes.
No doubt Afghanistan has suffered also from Pakistan. The difference, however, between Pakistan's India-focus and its Afghanistan-focus, is enormous. Even in its Afghan-focus, Pakistan has the India-focus as its underlying reason. Pakistan believes that it was under India's influence that Afghanistan had a hostile and stormy relationship with a fellow ummah
country, Pakistan. To add to Pakistan's insecurity, Badshah Khan, a vocal votary of Pakhtoonistan was a Congressite. It was the Congress Government that was ruling NWFP in the last days of the British Empire. With great difficulty, Jinnah and his Muslim League Black Shirts could induce violence there in the name of the peaceful religion of Islam and create mayhem. Just like the Hindus in Pakistan are looked at with suspicion of loyalty, so also the Pashtuns have never been quite trusted.
Jihadi Islamism has been Pakistan's main tool in attempting to defuse the highly threatening combination of Afghan territorial claims and Pashtun sub-nationalism.
Pakistan saw a particular advantage in using Talibanism to contain Pashtun nationalism and Afghan territorial claims. They initially placed their trust in Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, but, when the more potent Taliban arrived on the scene, Pakistan saw the potential in them quickly.
Anybody who thinks the Taliban is just about strategic depth has not plumbed how fundamental the Afghan-Pathan question is to Pakistan's basic shape. The Pakistani security establishment knows it.
I am not disputing the fact that there has been a serious Afghan-Pakistan issue as well as sub-nationalism of the Pashtuns ( and other PONAM members). However, Pakistan decided to take on a preponderant state like India and decided to engage her in an enduring conflict that has spanned sixty years. From the early days, India enjoyed a significant military and economic advantage and yet Pakistan did not flinch from its asymmetrical conflictual attitude. Such was not the case with Afghanistan. Pakistan was a revisionist state vis-a-vis
India whereas it was a status-quo state in the Afghan theatre. Afghanistan never posed a serious security challenge as to distract Pakistan from its objective of India.
The rise of Taliban presented Pakistan with an opportunity to achieve two goals at the same time; that of settling the Afghan issue, at least temporarily, that would then free it to pursue its goals wrt India. As it so happened, the capture of Afghanistan by the Taliban led Pakistan to implement its second phase, that of 'strategic depth' against its only vicious enemy, India. While the Taliban phenomenon happened fortuitously and then it was grown enormously by the Pakistani elements, I believe that Pakistan's sights ever since the USSR crossed into Afghanistan, were to exploit the developing situation in its implacable hostility with India.