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Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
ramana
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 24 Sep 2017 02:41

shyamd wrote:Pak is fretting because India may be asked for boots on ground and joint ops with NATO. Hectic activity/lobbying between Beijing & Riyad. PRC was asked to cover/deploy in FATA/NWFP. Can't see how it is conceivable.

Riyad cant do anything.

Its in own problems.

However without UN flag India wont intervene.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Guddu » 24 Sep 2017 04:58

del

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Mukesh.Kumar » 24 Sep 2017 09:58

shyamd wrote:Pak is fretting because India may be asked for boots on ground and joint ops with NATO. Hectic activity/lobbying between Beijing & Riyad. PRC was asked to cover/deploy in FATA/NWFP. Can't see how it is conceivable.


Welcome back Shyamd. Your participation was missed in West Asia forum for a long time.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby shyamd » 24 Sep 2017 14:27

Ramana ji and mukesh ji many thanks.

India has downgraded relationship with Iran in return for this. So how will india maintain supply lines? This is what I don't understand.

UN Flag - current govt is flexible.

Pak is nervous - prepare for more live fire exercises, military exercises. Pak don't have funds to maintain tempo in Afg and J&K so they've ask IRGC & GRU to pitch in. So pressure tactic will force Pak to initiate covert negotiations of some sort.

Russian Af Pak envoy coming to Delhi. Watch this closely

Just paying a flying visit. All the best

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 24 Sep 2017 19:02

shyamd wrote:Ramana ji and mukesh ji many thanks.

India has downgraded relationship with Iran in return for this. So how will india maintain supply lines? This is what I don't understand.

UN Flag - current govt is flexible.

Pak is nervous - prepare for more live fire exercises, military exercises. Pak don't have funds to maintain tempo in Afg and J&K so they've ask IRGC & GRU to pitch in. So pressure tactic will force Pak to initiate covert negotiations of some sort.

Russian Af Pak envoy coming to Delhi. Watch this closely

Just paying a flying visit. All the best

Just few thoughts
1. India's 'increased presence' could be very well related to could it have the cargo freight corridor.
2. It is possible india takes a combo of policing/para millitary/SF role freeing up some US resources for hinterland hunting. We already have IBTP there
3. India's historic goodwill, the dev projects and 2 decades of the most successful experience in policing is something the US has not been able to achieve after decades in 'Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Falijee » 24 Sep 2017 21:11

Man throws shoe at Hekmatyar during speech in Herat
2017-09-22

A man threw shoe at Hizb-i-Islami leader Gulbuddain Hekmatyar while he was delivering Friday sermon in Afghanistan's western province of Herat, witnesses said.The incident happened at Herat's main mosque Jama Masjid.Local officials have yet to comment on the incident.Hekmatyar, a former militant leader, arrived in Herat this week in his first provincial visit after he returned to Kabul after 20 years in hiding. The throwing of shoes at a speaker is considered one of the most severe form of insult in an Islamic country. Hekmatyar, the mastermind of the destruction of Kabul, is hated by many Afghans who still consider him as an "Agent Of Pakistan". He claims that he has no connection to Pakistan now !

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby darshhan » 25 Sep 2017 00:09

ArjunPandit wrote:
shyamd wrote:Ramana ji and mukesh ji many thanks.

India has downgraded relationship with Iran in return for this. So how will india maintain supply lines? This is what I don't understand.

UN Flag - current govt is flexible.

Pak is nervous - prepare for more live fire exercises, military exercises. Pak don't have funds to maintain tempo in Afg and J&K so they've ask IRGC & GRU to pitch in. So pressure tactic will force Pak to initiate covert negotiations of some sort.

Russian Af Pak envoy coming to Delhi. Watch this closely

Just paying a flying visit. All the best

Just few thoughts
1. India's 'increased presence' could be very well related to could it have the cargo freight corridor.
2. It is possible india takes a combo of policing/para millitary/SF role freeing up some US resources for hinterland hunting. We already have IBTP there
3. India's historic goodwill, the dev projects and 2 decades of the most successful experience in policing is something the US has not been able to achieve after decades in 'Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan.


Apart from Special Forces/intelligence assets we should not deploy any other unit to afghanistan. ITBP is used for perimeter protection for Indian embassy and not as a combat force.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ArjunPandit » 25 Sep 2017 07:37

^^
this is where i differ sir,
If we continue to think in a boxed manner we will be boxed. It is high time that we start projecting ourselves at least in the region itself.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby arun » 26 Sep 2017 14:14

X Posted from the Pakistani Role In Global Terrorism thread.

Afghanistan once again blasts the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan at the United Nations for indulging in Mohammadden Terrorism. This time the venue is the Security Council rather than the General Assembly.

For the Video (2hr 52min mark) :

The situation in Afghanistan - Security Council, 8055th meeting, 25 Sep 2017

The Full Text of the speech is below:

All among us here today are well aware of the security dynamics in Afghanistan and in the region. As such I should not have to go into great detail about Pakistan’s long term and outstanding use of terror and violent extremism as an instrument of foreign policy.

The main factor for insecurity in Afghanistan therefore relates to the export of violent proxy groups into Afghanistan from within Pakistan. As we stated last week at the General Assembly these facts have been verified by various members of the international coalition present in Afghanistan. It is onthis basis Afghanistan has called on the Security Council to take specific action in defense of the United Nations Charter.

Mr. President,

With all Afghanistan and Pakistan have in common as beautifully outlined by the distinguished representative of Pakistan, we are keen to see genuine and comphrehensive State to State discourse on peace, security and prosperity. We hope to see a constructive engagement rather than a continuation of the old familiar plausible deniability and attempts of different kinds to change narrativive through kake and distorted facts, figures and images. This kind of behaviour will be an off route for peace.

Policy of deception has no future. Pakistan should rather seize the opportunity to reverse course and choose the path of adhering to the United Nations Charter,

I thank you.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby shyamd » 29 Sep 2017 20:04

All help, but no troops to Afghanistan
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp ... 759652.ece

Article doesn't talk about it but Def Min confirmed to Mattis GoI decision not to send troops.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 29 Sep 2017 23:54

Yes. That was a well considered policy decision

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Cain Marko » 30 Sep 2017 04:08

I beg to differ Ramana sir. This is an opportunity - a rare one at that where a very strong bargain can be struck with the US in exchange for boots on the ground. India has followed the same damn, "wait and watch", "help with aid" BS policy for decades with the result being the same thousand cuts suffered at the hands of TSP sponsored terror.

TIme to do something proactive and take the fight to the enemy at a place and time of our choosing instead of theirs. India has been a passive recipient of TSP's gifts for far too long. Get in there (have the Afghans extend and invitation and the US back it up in the UN) and wage the war far away from the homeland. Squeeze the bunnies out of Kashmir and invite them for a party near the Afpak border. And start slowly encroaching and resettling Kashmir while TSP and its thugs are kept busy elsewhere. Make TSP's life miserable by constantly fomenting trouble all the way from Balochistan to NWFP and POK.

India should insist on:
US and NATO payment for maintenance of troops
Assured supply from US and NATO supply lines
Independence in decision making
Supply of US arms to India at friendship prices.
Transfer of critical tech for critical programs such as a fighter engine.

Can be done and will be of benefit for both countries. Trump can then boast about how he completely removed the US from the Afpak mess and win another election. India can achieve strategic independence and hegemony in the entire region from IOR to C.Asia. The road to supa powa status won't come by sitting by and watching (and hoping) that others do the job for us.

The flipside is - don't do anything useful such as spend even more copious amounts of $$$s in return for little strategic say in the future of that region. Watch and beg the US to stay in the area so that they can leverage this against India and allow TSP and the bunnies to move to Kashmir whenever they so feel like. Keep getting sliced and bled by a thousand cuts and act all huffed up at meaningless international fora - lots of words and platitudes but the same crap continues.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby VishalJ » 13 Oct 2017 22:37



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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 25 Oct 2017 14:52

New U.S. policy is a game-changer: Ghani - Suhasini Haidar, The Hindu
India and Afghanistan discussed regional counter-terror efforts and enhancing New Delhi’s defence assistance to Kabul during a day-long working visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to India. In contrast to previous bilateral summit meetings, no agreements were announced, but both sides expressed an appreciation for the U.S.’s new South Asia policy, even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson continued his travels in the region, landing in New Delhi late on Tuesday.

Meets with Tillerson

On Monday, Mr. Tillerson held talks with President Ghani at the U.S.-controlled Bagram Base outside Kabul, while on Tuesday he met the Pakistani leadership in Islamabad.

Mr. Ghani’s talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held against the backdrop of those talks, included several bilateral issues, the security situation in Afghanistan, as well as the dialogue process with the Taliban.

“President Ghani exchanged thoughts with Prime Minister Modi following the new U.S. Strategy, agreeing that the strategy is an opportunity for lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan & South Asia; expansion of cooperation between the countries and the region,” the Afghanistan Presidential twitter handle said shortly after the leaders met, referring to Washington’s new policy of encouraging greater Indian involvement in Afghanistan’s development.

Defence support

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Modi and Mr. Ghani spoke about India’s security support as a strategic partner, including the training of Afghan personnel at Indian military academies.

“The Indian side agreed to extend further assistance depending on the needs of the Afghan defence and police forces,” the MEA statement added, although officials told The Hindu no specific defence needs were discussed, Afghanistan has pending requests for ammunition and engineers to maintain aircraft and other hardware in Afghanistan as it transitions to newer acquisitions.

When asked at an interaction later about Afghanistan’s expectations from India in defence areas, Mr. Ghani said the four Mi-25 Russian helicopters [gifted by India in 2015] were a “lifesaver”. “More helicopters will be welcome,” he added, with a smile.

In a speech at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), a think-tank, in Delhi, Mr. Ghani also called the new U.S. strategy a “game-changer” aimed at ensuring a regional approach to fighting terrorism, including making Pakistan act against “state sponsorship of sanctuaries” along the border with Afghanistan.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Philip » 25 Oct 2017 21:56

Boots on the ground in Afghanistan? Has nothing been learnt for sev. centuries about the futility of warring there.
After 15 yrs and trillions spent the US is up the Khyber with a fistful of bayonets up its a*se!
Send weapons, tech. ,help training,further development through infra and social/ cultural projects and activities.
A close Intel relationship with our spooks,to keep tabs and covert ops in Pakiland/ Occupied Kashmir.This will up us counter "tooth for tooth" Paki terror mischief.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Austin » 28 Oct 2017 12:28

'Today’s US ‘terrorist’ can be US ally tomorrow' – Former Pakistani intel chief


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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby arun » 30 Oct 2017 07:30

X Posted from the “Terroristan” aka Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan thread.

Peregrine wrote: India turns down Pak. offer of talks on transit trade to Afghanistan

India has rejected an offer from Pakistan for talks on transit trade to Afghanistan, diplomats and officials in New Delhi and Kabul have confirmed to The Hindu.

According to sources, the offer was made by the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed when he met President Ashraf Ghani on October 1 in Kabul. During discussions on the renewal of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), that lapsed in 2015, President Ghani repeated concerns that trade with India over the Wagah border had been blocked by Pakistan, despite being agreed to in the APTTA.

“At this, the Pakistani Army Chief offered to talk about the transit trade issues with Indian officials,” said a diplomat privy to the talks, adding that General Bajwa reportedly said, “Ask the Indian side to speak to us and we will try and sort it out.”

President Ghani is understood to have conveyed the conversation to New Delhi through the Indian Embassy in Kabul. However, days later, Indian officials at the SCO Afghanistan-Contact group meeting in Moscow, told the Afghan delegation that it would not take up the offer for talks.

“It wasn’t a real offer, as far as India sees it,” an MEA official, who asked not to be named, told The Hindu, confirming the government decision.

“The APTTA is a bilateral agreement. It is not working because of unilateral decisions by Pakistan not to honour it. So how can India-Pakistan talks fix that?” he said.

Pakistan has consistently refused to allow any Indian goods to travel over land Afghanistan, insisting that India use the sea-route via Karachi. Exasperated by Pakistan’s refusal to allow the truck trade, President Ghani has said repeatedly that he would cut off Pakistan’s access to Central Asia and issued a decree last week cancelling permission for Pakistani trucks to transit through Afghanistan.The Pakistani gambit on APTTA made little headway as a result, especially as

India and Afghanistan are now working on strengthening alternative routes, including the air cargo corridor launched in June this year, and the Chabahar sea route. While the development of Chabahar will take at least another year, India’s first major shipment of 1,30,000 tonnes of wheat via Chabahar will be dispatched on Sunday. Officials The Hindu spoke to said although General Bajwa’s offer was only made orally, and not followed up with a direct offer to India, it was considered significant for a number reasons. To begin with, the offer was made by the Pakistan Army Chief, considered to have a stronger mandate to implement such an offer than his civilian counterparts.

U.S. nudge

In addition, the conversation was held in the backdrop of the U.S.’s newly announced South Asia Policy for Afghanistan, where the Trump administration has committed to ensuring greater Indian involvement in development projects in Afghanistan, while also pushing to “ease tensions” along the India-Pakistan border. It also had come just as preparations had begun for U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to visit Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, a visit he concluded this week.

“Frankly, we hoped that the offer by General Bajwa would be taken up by the Indian side, or would open a small window for talks, but obviously, it was India’s decision to accept or not,” a U.S. official involved in the planning of the Tillerson visit said.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva on Thursday, Mr. Tillerson said he had told the Pakistani Prime Minister Abbasi and General Bajwa, that his trip was also to “talk about how can we lower the tensions on the border with India,” in an indication that the U.S. still hopes to nudge New Delhi and Islamabad to talks.

https://youtu.be/AYZB8v77cNM


EAM Sushma Swaraj flags off first consignment of wheat from Kandla to Chabahar Port

Cheers Image


Meanwhile text link reporting that the need for the use of the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s transit facilities along with their ability to threaten an economic blockade of Afghanistan by suspending Afghanistan’s use of Pakistani port and road facilities has been substantially reduced by India along with Iran, providing an alternative trade corridor through Iran’s Chabahar Port.

Good to see the clock on the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s ability to act as the toll collecting Thekedar of Afghanistan’s external trade winding down:

Delhi sends Kabul 1st wheat shipment through Chabahar

By Pajhwok,
On Oct 29, 2017 - 15:07

KABULinfo-(Pajhwok): Foreign ministers of Afghanistan, India and Iran on Sunday flagged off the maiden shipment of wheat from New Delhi to Kabul through the Chabahar port in Iran.

The Indian government has promised a supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on a grant basis, according to the Asian News International (ANI).

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani and Javad Zarif of Iran hailed the first shipment going to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port.

During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran in May 2016, a three-way deal on establishing the International Transport and Transit Corridor was inked.

Over the next few months, six more wheat shipments will be dispatched to Afghanistan. The ministers renewed their pledge to continue cooperation in the interest of the people of Afghanistan and the region as a whole.

India would continue supporting Afghanistan’s reconstruction , capacity-building and socio-economic development, including under the framework of the New Development Partnership, Swaraj said

She also renewed India’s commitment to working closely with regional and international partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan.


From here:

Delhi sends Kabul 1st wheat shipment through Chabahar

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby A_Gupta » 12 Nov 2017 05:50

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ne ... 606821.cms
"1st Indian wheat consignment via Chabahar reaches Afghanistan"
"First India wheat shipment via #Chabahar welcomed into Zaranj #Afghanistan with traditional song, dance and joy! Proud moment!!," Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra tweeted.


Read more at:
//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/61606821.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Guddu » 12 Nov 2017 06:17

Looks like the Iranians are unhappy with the flagging off ceremony... their representative did not speak, nor was anyone present via video link.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby SSridhar » 12 Nov 2017 07:45

Chahbahar is strategically very important for us. The first shipment through that port to Afghanistan is path-breaking. With Japanese collaboration, we should build the 2nd terminal at Chahbahar and then complete the Chahbahar-Zahedan 500 Km railway line as well quickly. At Zahedan, it would meet with the Iranian railway lines. This will revolutionize the connectivity from India to Afghanistan and CAR countries and will clip the Pakistani wings. That would also help Afghanistan to put more pressure on Pakistan. Of course, it helps us link up with Russia through the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) as well. But, so far, the Chahbahar-Zahedan railway line is a complete non-starter though the deal was signed in May 2016. As neighbouring countries correctly complain about India, we announce projects but are not fast enough to even start them, forget about completing them. All that we have done is connecting Zaranj in Afghanistan (on the Afghan-Iran border) with Delaram on the already existing Herat-Delaram-Kandahar-Kabul-Mazar-e-Sharif circular highway. We cannot be mere day dreamers.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby periaswamy » 12 Nov 2017 08:15

This entire project to connect Chahbahar to the Delaram Highway has been in the works for close to a decade now (there are probably posts to that effect on the Iran thread) and the Indian govt. still has not completed this line. At this pathetic rate, they want to challenge the chinese machine-like construction of railways and roadways. The chinese have completed similar projects in a year or less.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby arun » 12 Nov 2017 19:51

X Posted from the Terroristan thread.

Good to see the clock on the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s ability to act as the toll collecting Thekedar of Afghanistan’s external trade winding down. Better still for the Governor of Afghanistan Nimzoz Province, Mohammad Samiullah, to remind the Mohammadden Terrorism Fomenting Islamic Republic of Pakistan of that fact:

India’s First Shipment Arrives In Afghanistan Via Chabahar

Afghan officials said with the opening of Chabahar Port, Afghanistan will no longer be dependent on Karachi Port.

The first shipment from India, of wheat, via Iran's Chabahar Port arrived in Nimroz, in the country’s west, on Saturday.

Senior government officials and the Indian ambassador to Kabul, Manpreet Vohra, attended a ceremony to inaugurate the new trade route – which according to officials, will help Afghanistan overcome its dependence on other trade routes, including Pakistan.

"With the opening of Chabahar Port, Afghanistan will no longer be dependent on Karachi Port,” Nimroz governor Mohammad Samiullah said.

“This port will create thousands of jobs and bring billions of dollars in revenue to Afghanistan, Iran and India.”

He said the residents of Nimroz are determined to ensure the Nimroz--Delaram roads is secure. This route leads directly to Chabahar Port in Iran.

At the same event, Nasir Ahmad Durani, acting minister of agriculture, said the cooperation between Afghanistan, India and Iran in the Chabahar region is a great opportunity to boost trade ties between the three countries.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador Manpreet Vohra said Chabahar Port provides easy and short connectivity between countries in the region.

He said the shipment is part of the 1.1 million wheat pledged by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Afghanistan – during his visit to Kabul.

According to him, 700,000 tons of the wheat has so far arrived in Afghanistan.

He said the reason for cooperation between India and Iran to help Afghanistan is to find an alternate route for trade between the three countries.

The Indian envoy said Chabahar Port’s route will not be closed at random - which is a problem Afghanistan faces in working through some countries in the region.

Vohra says Saturday's shipment is part of the wheat promised by India to Afghanistan.

Dozens of Nimroz residents attended the inauguration of the Chabahar Port route and performed traditional dances.


From Afghanistan’s Tolo News:

Clicky

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Prem » 15 Nov 2017 02:03


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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby vijaykarthik » 15 Nov 2017 09:56

Another interesting read: http://indianexpress.com/article/opinio ... n-4932613/



At the heart of the Pakistan-Iran-India tango lies Chabahar
The operationalization of Chabahar port is significant because India has demonstrated its intention to play on the regional chessboard, even while it balances its own relations with the US and Iran. The old great game just got a new veneer


A new churning is taking place in the region, with India announcing its first shipment to Afghanistan, via the Chabahar port in Iran, and Pakistan’s army chief taking a delegation to Iran earlier this week for a series of meetings.
Has India’s Chabahar initiative caused Pakistan to re-engage with Iran? Or, is this a parallel development, addressing bilateral issues and the repercussions of Pakistan’s involvement in the Middle East?
Pakistan’s Iran Predicament
Since Zia ul-Haq’s time, Pakistan’s relationship with Iran has been tense, indifferent and sometimes, even hostile. Zia’s Islamisation strategies were perceived by Shia Tehran as the deepening of Sunnization, creating new stress in the bilateral relationship and emphasising sectarian faultlines inside Pakistan.
High-level visits between Iran and Pakistan became the exception. Afghanistan soon became a much more important neighbour, with the US using Pakistan as a cat’s paw in its own war against the former Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Meanwhile, Iran-US relations went through the wringer, even as Teheran was bogged down with other issues in the Middle East.
Despite the continuing political tension between Iran and Pakistan, both countries drew closely together on two other matters. First, Pakistani nuclear scientist A Q Khan drew a willing Iran into his own underground network of nuclear linkages that served both sides well. Second, smuggling between the Pakistan-Iran border, especially along the Makran coast, began to take place.
Enter the Middle East Cold War and the Islamic Military Alliance
But the political divide was exacerbated by Saudi Arabia’s expanding influence on Pakistan. Riyadh’s Islamic Military Alliance is now headed by Pakistan’s former army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif. Clearly, the Pakistani government isn’t terribly attracted to the idea, especially because its own Shias, between 30-40 million, are said to comprise about 10 per cent of the total 200 million population. Pakistan’s National Assembly has even discussed Raheel Sharif’s new job and pointed out that there is a need to go slow.
Was Raheel Sharif given the job because he was once the most powerful man in Pakistan and Pakistan is the only country in the Islamic world with a proven nuclear weapon capability ?.
Meanwhile, Teheran’s relations with Saudi Arabia began to deteriorate over the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Riyadh also seemed determined to isolate Qatar, in an attempt to consolidate its leadership in the Muslim Ummah. Its efforts to get the US on board this regional great game were enormously boosted with Donald Trump identifying Iran as the cause of instability in the Arab Islamic American summit in Riyadh in May 2017, even as King Salman looked on.
Certainly, Pakistan being a part of this Summit would not have gone down lightly in Tehran.
Chabahar: Trigger, not the Cause
The operationalization of Chabahar port by India has triggered the panic button within Pakistan. As Delhi faltered in its execution of Chabahar in recent years, Pakistan was cynical and even sarcastic; meanwhile there was the China-supported Gwadar port as well as the Beijing-funded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, both projects being described as a “regional game changer”.
With Chabahar now in the mix, the regional great game has taken a new turn. Chabahar is not far from Gwadar. As the crow flies, the straight distance is only 171 km, while the road route doubles it to 356 km. Second, Chabahar is more than a port, it is the starting point of a trade and transit corridor that could become parallel to the CPEC as it cuts across Iran and into Afghanistan. Third and most importantly, New Delhi has big plans for Chabahar, to connect it to the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and opening it up to the passage of goods into Russia and onwards.
Gen Bajwa’s Visit: Should India be worried?
India’s political will to walk the talk with Chabahar has exaggerated the bilateral and regional predicament in Pakistan’s west. Islamabad would certainly like to repair its relations with Teheran. Gen. Bajwa’s visit to Iran must be seen in this context, when he met the Iranian president, its defence minister as well as the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.
The army in Pakistan has always been all-powerful, but a trend towards greater consolidation of power can now be clearly seen. Gen. Bajwa’s visit to Iran was preceded by a trip to Kabul, where he also met President Ashraf Ghani as well as the top Afghan leadership. Both New Delhi and Teheran, now connected through the Chahabar thread, must be closely watching.
But despite the fanfare of the visit, Gen. Bajwa did not succeed in getting a succulent joint statement with the Iranians. Whatever was made public is mediocre and focussed on border security between the two countries relating hotline communication, border fencing and patrolling, intelligence sharing etc. The fact that Pakistan has to talk about establishing hotlines in 2017 shows the level of communication so far!
The powerful director-general of the media wing of Pakistan’s armed forces, ISPR, Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor, effusively thanked the Iranian Supreme Leader for a “supportive statement” on Kashmir and said, “It is a long pending dispute between India and Pakistan. Regional peace and security remains at stake unless it’s resolved to the aspiration of Kashmiris in line with UN Resolution.”
Predictably, the Pakistan media sought to project this as Iran’s Supreme leader throwing its “weight behind Pakistan on Kashmir”.
That’s why the operationalization of the Chabahar port in Iran is so significant. India has demonstrated its intention to play on the regional chessboard, even while it balances its own relations with the US and Iran. The old great game just got a new veneer.
D Suba Chandran is Professor and Dean of Conflict and Security Studies at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore. He edits the ‘Armed Conflicts in South Asia’ annual and maintains a portal on Pakistan, www.pakistanreader.org.


vijaykarthik
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby vijaykarthik » 15 Nov 2017 09:58

We need to capitalize on this first move and make it look stronger. Gone are the days when we can do it at our own pace - we need to take projects up at a much quicker pace than what we knew / did till now. If it means we take US / Japan help / know how, so be it. We probably need a separate ministry with some focused funding for these projects now. Taking the help of private engg companies will be a good start.

ramana
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2017 00:53

BBC was reporting this morning that the opium crop in 2017 in Afghanistan is 90% more than last year and is the feedstock for all the heroin in the world.

So how is this getting gout and who makes the precursor chemicals that they need for the conversion.

Cant be Iran for US would jump allover them with sanctions and what not.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Kashi » 16 Nov 2017 05:58

Well NATO sits pretty in Afghanistan doesn't it? Surely they have a hand :wink:

Taliban reportedly control 40% of the territory of Afghanistan, it's possible that much of the crop grows in areas under their control.

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Jits » 16 Nov 2017 18:25

Afghanistan, Turkey, ex-Soviet trio sign corridor agreement

ASHGABAT: A road and rail corridor connecting war-torn Afgha­nistan with Turkey and Europe was signed off by officials from five countries on Wednesday in Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat.

The so-called Lapis Lazuli corridor agreement is the product of more than five years of talks involving Afghanistan and Turkey as well as the ex-Soviet countries Azer­baijan, Georgia and Turkmenistan.

The agreement is focused on integrating customs procedures and stripping away logistical barriers affecting trade between the countries.

The Lapis Lazuli route, named after the brilliant blue semi-precious stone commonly found in Afghanistan, begins in the Afghan settlements of Aqina and finishes at the gateway to Europe in Istanbul.

Freight following the route will have to cross the Caspian Sea after traversing Turkmenistan before linking up with existing road and rail infrastructure in Azerbaijan.
Speaking at a regional integration conference focused on Afgha­­­nistan in Ashgabat, Turkey’s deputy foreign minister Ahmet Yildiz said Ankara “welcomed” the trade route.

“This transport and transit corridor allows for the connection of Asia and Europe,” Yildiz said.

Turkmenistan’s trade minister Dovran Orazmyradov said on Tuesday that trade between gas-rich Turkmenistan and Afghanistan had increased 20 per cent last year, reaching $513 million annually.

A railway linking the two countries that has been operational for a year and is part of the Lapis Lazuli corridor, which should boost that figure further.

China is also keen to include Afghanistan in its Belt and Road Initiative that aims to ramp up Eurasian trade through billions of dollars in infrastructural and other investments.
Last edited by ramana on 16 Nov 2017 21:33, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added highlights ramana

schinnas
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby schinnas » 16 Nov 2017 18:32

ramana wrote:BBC was reporting this morning that the opium crop in 2017 in Afghanistan is 90% more than last year and is the feedstock for all the heroin in the world.

So how is this getting gout and who makes the precursor chemicals that they need for the conversion.

Cant be Iran for US would jump allover them with sanctions and what not.


ISI budget esp the clandestine one is probably funded through it.

ramana
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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby ramana » 16 Nov 2017 21:34

Jits, Is there a map with the Lapis Luzuli route article?

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Re: Afghanistan News & Discussion - April 2016

Postby Jits » 17 Nov 2017 14:33

ramana wrote:Jits, Is there a map with the Lapis Luzuli route article?

Ramana, the article does not contains any map, but when seen in google map with directions kabul- Istanbul, the shortest route goes through iran, whereas this route will not go through iran, but will cross the caspian sea through ships and then overland through Turkmenistan.


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