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Blast at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan Results in 'Small Number of Casualties'

08 September, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • News The offensive leaflet that the US dropped

"We will increase our products if USAID rents a free zone for Afghan carpets in New Delhi or other cities in India", said Haji Nabi, head of Afghanistan Carpet Industry Union.

Comments on Pakistan and its negative role are this time harsher, at the level of president.

Earlier, the US military in Afghanistan had apologised for "highly offensive" leaflets that were distributed by them in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan. It is hardly surprising therefore that the US no longer trusts Pakistan to act against the Taliban that is undermining the US Afghan campaign.

Trump's remarks on Pakistan were seen by many as a strong break from the previous administration, but people appear to have forgotten the unusually blunt testimony that Adm. Mike Mullen, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave to Congress in 2011.

In the same speech, bin-Laden makes a powerful statement, offering advice that the USA would be wise to heed. For long, the U.S. military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have been dictated and influenced by the politics and political timelines in Washington.

Obama had come a long way since telling Time magazine in October 2008 about working with Pakistan and India to resolve the "Kashmir crisis in a serious way", and devoting "serious diplomatic resources to get a special envoy in there".

Unable to break the deadlock of the Afghan conflict militarily, in 2012, the United States reached out to Pakistan to peruse political reconciliation with the Taliban.

The US has had trouble upsetting locals with insensitive behavior before. And that will change immediately.

It was not clear if the wounded United States citizen was a military servicemember or a contractor. Imposing of sanctions would mean Pakistan would also lose support and trade from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member nations and other countries as well. Hence, offensive action, if resorted to by Pakistan, could compel the Taliban to turn inwards, making security management even more cumbersome for their army. He said the U.S. would "further develop its strategic partnership with India" and asked India to contribute more to stabilise Afghanistan.

"We have many friends who supported us in critical times, including China and Turkey". "Attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing Al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge", he proclaimed, which seemed a million miles away from his earlier doubts about foreign entanglements. For its long-term presence, instability in Afghanistan suits U.S. and perhaps India (being its strategic partner), but does not suit all these regional stakeholders. India has given Afghanistan more than $2bn worth of aid and infrastructure projects.

"China, I believe, will be calling the shots vis-a-vis Afghanistan in the near future as peace in the war-torn country is essential for its multi-billion-dollar one road-one belt project", he said. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on August 22 reaffirmed China's support to Pakistan asserting that Pakistan was on the front line in the struggle against terrorism and had made "great sacrifices" and "important contributions" in the fight.

Afghanistan has always been suffering from unstable political, social and security situation due to the simmering militant insurgency, including that of the Taliban and the Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist groups, both outlawed in Russian Federation. However, Pakistan's calculations have gone awry.

Both Trump and Obama chose to stay in Afghanistan, though both talked about withdrawal in their past. The question now is how India will use Trump's Afghan policy to its advantage. However, there was never a blank cheque to India in Afghanistan. It has learnt a bitter lesson in Sri Lanka.

The triangular narrative of relations among Pakistan, Afghanistan and India is extremely complex.



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