Qandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of 250,000. It used to be on of the most important trading cities in the landlocked country. It did have an international airport and has road connections to all major cities in Afghanista–Kabul, Herat. It can also be connected to the Pakistani city of Quetta and has links to the Central Asian republics. At the time of its glory Qandahar and hills yielded the best grapes in the world. It still exports opium.
It seems like eons agon, but in the sixties Qandahar in the middle of nowhere was a cool place to visit – hashish, hookas, hippies and hash pipes. We traveled from Europe to Pakistan in the late sixties by car. On the war we met thousands of European hippies headed out to the Eastern frontiers. The Europeans came for the fun, frolic and, for the simple bazaars of Qandhar, where they could buy what no European supermarket could offer them. They came for the exotic mosques (like the Mosque of the sacred Cloak) in the city which included ancient relics–containing the cloak worn by the Prophet Mohammed.
That was several decades ago. Today Qandhar is known as terror central in the world.
Qandhar was founded by Alexander the Great two thousand five hundred years ago. The word Qandhar (or the Americanized Kandhar) is a corruption of Alexander or Sikandar, as he is known in these part.
Qandahar has been fought over by the Persians, the Turks, and the Mongols. The British occupied the city breifly in 1839 (to lose it in 1842). It again occupied it it 187, but lost it again in 1881.
The Cold war was fought right here in Qandhar. All through the 80s, which the West enjoyed peace and prosperity, Pakistan and Afghanistan were in the middle of the Cold War’s fiercest hot battles. Eventually when the Rohrabakcker sponsopred, and CIA trained Taliban prevailed in 1994, they were welcomed enthusiastically in the city of grapes and hashish.
Qandhar was the first city to be attacked by the Americans in 2nd Afghan war. Today the city is on the Bharati trail of terror that extends from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and then rears its ugly head in Pakistani Baluchistan, Iranian Sistan-Balauchistan. RAW assists Junduallah from this terror base, and supports the TTP terrorists from this city.
RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] is settling scores with the ISI in Afghanistan and perhaps Baluchistan. Aqil Shah: Foreign Policy Magazine. March 2009
There is a terror network in Afghanistan. Many analysts have provided robust proof of the Bharati involvement in Afghanistan. Penury stricken Delhi didn’t spend about a Billion Dollars in Afghanistan so that the investment would eliminate the slums of Mumbai or feed the Dalits. India spent the money in Afghanistan so that it could build a base of operations against Pakistan. One of the prime directives of the RAW was to destabilize Pakistan. Asif Haroon Raja sheds light on the developments in Afghanistan and RAWs machinations in Kabul. It is run by Delhi. Officially there are only 4 Consulates and 13 “Information Centers“. But each fake “Consulate” has “Consular offices“, and each “Information center” has “Sub-sections” and “Desks”. In addition the Indian companies that are working in Afghanistan allow the Indian RAW agencies open access to the facilities and the offices. Anatomy of Indian Intelligence Services and Alliances.
We have substantiated our views via several independent sources.
I think it would be a mistake to completely disregard Pakistan’s regional perceptions due to doubts about Indian competence in executing covert operations. That misses the point entirely. And I think it is unfair to dismiss the notion that Pakistan’s apprehensions about Afghanistan stem in part from its security competition with India. Having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity! Moreover, India has run operations from its mission in Mazar (through which it supported the Northern Alliance) and is likely doing so from the other consulates it has reopened in Jalalabad and Qandahar along the border. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Baluchistan. Kabul has encouraged India to engage in provocative activities such as using the Border Roads Organization to build sensitive parts of the Ring Road and use the Indo-Tibetan police force for security. It is also building schools on a sensitive part of the border in Kunar–across from Bajaur. Kabul’s motivations for encouraging these activities are as obvious as India’s interest in engaging in them. Christine Fair: Foreign Policy Magazine. March 2009
History is on the side of the skeptics in Afghanistan, where from Alexander the Great to the Soviets, all foreign invaders have eventually been repelledBy Richard Halloran Tuesday, Oct 14, 2008, Page 9
Some try to proclaim the the Afghan resistance is a monolith movement called “Taliban”. It is actually 38 separate movements led by a large spectrum of anti-occupation forces which also include some remnant of the old Taliban. It is ironic that the taliban created by the USA, recognized by the Saudis, the UAE and the Pakistanis were initially created by the CIA (see Congressman Rohrabakers statements on this site).
Indian diplomats and RAW officials with the help of Northern Alliance have significant ingress in the Afghan ministry of tribal affairs. They are exploiting the ministry to conduct covert activities against Islamabad and creating rifts between the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Indian agents are instrumental in arranging meetings of tribal elders and Afghans with dual nationalities with Indian consulate officials in Jalalabad and assisting them in recruiting agents from Pakistan’s tribal areas for activities prejudicial to Pakistan’s interests. India’s new colony by Furzana Shaheen
Nepal view: RAW’s Machination In South Asia. Here is Hamid Mir’s current column in The News shedding light on the role of Qandhar in the terror activities in Pakistan.
I remember that many Indian journalists were shocked after reading the joint statement. They started asking me that why Balochistan is mentioned in the statement? In fact many of them were not aware like many common Indians that what is going on in Balochistan. Within a few hours I started receiving calls from many Indian TV channels that what evidence was shown by Pakistan to Manmohan Singh about the alleged Indian involvement in Balochistan? In fact the Pakistani prime minister did mention Balochistan to Manmohan Singh but he never handed over any dossier to his Indian counterpart.
The situation in Balochistan came under detailed discussion during the first meeting of the foreign secretaries in the evening of July 14 in Sharm el-Sheikh which took place two days before the meeting of Manmohan and Yousaf Raza Gilani. Pakistani foreign secretary Salman Bashir told Shiv Shankar Menon that India must delink the talks from terrorism otherwise Pakistan will be forced to produce at least “three Indian Ajmal Kasab’s” in front of international media who were directly or indirectly part of the terrorist activities in Balochistan and Pakistan will easily establish that Indian consulate in Afghan city of Kandhar is actually a control room of all the terrorist activities organised by the separatist Balochistan Liberation Army.
Salman Bashir told Indian foreign secretary that both Pakistan and India cannot afford a blame game right now. If Pakistan will come out with evidence that Indians are responsible for attacking Chinese engineers in the Gwadar port city it may damage Indian credibility on one side but it will also spread more anti-India feelings in Pakistan and extremist forces will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
Pakistan is […]e against the Indian involvement in Balochistan insurgency in a very careful, well-calculated and “limited manner.” Recently a prominent US magazine Foreign Affairs (March 2009) published the report of a roundtable discussion on the causes of instability in Pakistan. Christine Fair of RAND Corporation clearly said in that discussion that “having visited the Indian mission in Zahedan, Iran, I can assure you they are not issuing visas as the main activity. Indian officials have told me privately that they are pumping money into Balochistan.”
This allegation came from a very credible American scholar who recently visited Indian consulate in Zahedan. Now where is Zahedan? It is the capital of Iranian province Sistan-o-Balochistan bordering Pakistan. More than two million Balochis live in the Iranian side of Balochistan. Iran is building a big port of Chabahar in the same area with the active help of India. Top Iranian leaders have alleged many times that American CIA is supporting Iranian Balochis to destabilise the Islamic Republic. Famous American journalist Seymour Hersh admitted in July 2008 that Bush administration gave million of dollars to a separatist Iranian group “Jandallah” which is responsible for violence in Iranian part of Baluchistan. Balochistan and India, Wednesday, July 29, 2009, Hamid Mir
Senior US diplomat William Burns gave Indian officials a terse and cryptic directive on Thursday. ”Shut down Indian Consulates in Afghanistan, reduce presence in Kabul and stop sending mercenaries across the Durand Line.” This message was supplemented with a letter from President Barack Obama to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The message in the letter was the same. India has few options now. It can accept the US diktat or it can defy it. If Delhi defies American warnings and polite talk, then NATO and ISAF will stop providing the necessary security to the nest of spies and saboteurs known as “Consulates”. Rupee News broke the news about the letter from Presidetn Barack Obama before Indian agencies began reporting the frank and blunt message.
A US diplomat has handed India a letter from US President Barack Obama about US-Indian ties that also touched on efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan, US officials said Wednesday. Envoy Richard Holbrooke, briefing reporters on his own visit to Pakistan and Gulf Arab states last week, said US diplomat William Burns delivered the letter after arriving in Delhi overnight Tuesday but declined to divulge its contents. “This administration believes that what happens in Afghanistan and Pakistan is of vital interest to our national security, and … that India is a country that we must keep in closest consultation with,” Holbrooke said. Holbrooke added that Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, is carrying a private presidential letter “that I would have carried if I had the time to go to Delhi on this trip but I couldn’t do it.” Obama letter handed to India amid consultations on Pak. The Nation
Shutting down the Consulates is not enough. The Bharati base in Tajikistan also has to be shut down.
Washington has publicly and privately asked Delhi to improve relations with Islamabad so that the Pakistani armed forces can concentrate on the Western borders. At this critical juncture when a US surge is going to place additional pressure on Durand Line, the Obama Administration wants Delhi to help ease the tensions and reduce the level of rhetoric. In a highly unusual step the American Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan has handed over a letter from President Obama to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It has already been established that the meeting was about Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is widely understood in diplomatic circles that the US wants India to back off on its so called demands. The blunt message came after the U S Treasury secretary visited China and came back with Beijing’s displeasure at the continued Indian support for the TTP in Swat.
United News of India quoted unnamed sources as saying that the US had asked India to ‘close or prune down’ its consulate in Jalalabad in Afghanistan following allegations by Pakistan that it was ‘creating trouble’ in the border areas of NWFP and Balochistan.
UNI said Pakistan had alleged that the Indian consulates in Jalalabad and Kandahar were ‘fomenting trouble’ in NWFP and Balochistan bordering Afghanistan by providing financial and material support to fugitives in the two border provinces. The sources said besides asking India to resume talks with Pakistan, the US was also trying to convey to Indian authorities its views on closing or pruning the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad.... Dawn
Delhi has to tone down its rhetoric on terror. Islamabad and the world knows who is behind the TTP in Swat. If Delhi wants peace with Pakistan, it has to pull back in Afghanistan and Swat. It has to make major territorial concessions in Kashmir and the border areas. Once the border disputes have been resolved, the sky is the limit in cooperation with Pakistan. Sir Creek and Siachin have to solved and resolved quickly. Once Kashmir is resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, the Pakistan government will find to problem in helping Bharat gain trans-national travel through Pakistan. However this has to be on a mutual basis which would allow Pakistani truck to reach Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. Bharat must live up to the letter and the spirit of the Indus Water treaty and begin treating Pakistanis are friends rather than enemies.
NEW DELHI: Senior US diplomat William Burns gave Indian officials a wish-list on Thursday that aims to revive India-Pakistan peace talks, assures New Delhi of its vital role in Washington’s strategy in the region, and retrieves the hope for Kashmiri people to shape their own destiny.
Local reports quoted unnamed sources as saying that the visiting US Under-Secretary of State also asked his interlocutors to trim India’s consulate in Jalalabad, which Pakistan sees as a distraction in the military campaign against Muslim extremists on the Afghan border. Dawn
There are many types of peace. It is obvious that India has neither the capacity nor the wherewithal to impose peace of the sort that exists between the Native Americans and the US government. India is not Israel and Pakistan is not the Gaza strip. If Israel with all its might could not force an unequal peace on unequal partners (Syria, Palestinians and Lebanon) it is also very obvious that Delhi cannot impose peace on Pakistan the same way. Bharat could not break up Lanka and make it Kowtow to Bharat. It cannot force Pakistan. It has to woo Pakistanis if she wants peace on her Western borders.
There is much in common between India and Pakistan, but there is much that separates the countries. Mere cultural affinity and anathema to religion cannot wish the differences away. Bharat must recognize that Pakistanis do not see Delhi as the perfect model to emulate on anything. Therefore Delhi must stop wishing for a Pakistan in its own image. There are many routes to success, and Pakistanis admire the Chinese a lot more than they admire Indians.