Global News Journal

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from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Indian engagement in Afghanistan, a blessing or a headache

U.S. General Stanley McChrystal in his assessment of the war in Afghanistan last month only briefly touched upon the growing role of India, but his words were blunt and unsettling for India. In the light of Thursday's attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul that left 17 people dead, McChrsytal's comments may yet turn out to be prescient.

“Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan, including significant development efforts and financial investment. In addition, the current Afghan government is perceived by Islamabad to be pro-Indian. While Indian activities largely benefit the Afghan people, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan is likely to exacerbate regional tensions and encourage Pakistani countermeasures in Afghanistan or India," he said, according to the leaked version of his report.

New Delhi has held its counsel so far on who it thought was responsible for the latest attack, but if it eventually points the finger at elements in Pakistan - blamed for the 2008 attack by both New Delhi and United States - it will reinforce the view that Afghanistan is the foes' current  battle ground, perhaps more than Kashmir, exhausted by 20 years of a proxy war. 

Last week the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the Los Angeles Times that Islamabad had real concerns about Indian involvement in Afghanistan.