India’s historic trade-security pact with Afghanistan has generated from criticism from a prominent Pakistani figure.
This time, former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf weighed in on the topic during an address at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington D.C.
Musharraf accused India of seeking to “create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan” in order to consolidate its domination of South Asia; and that Afghan diplomats, soldiers and government officials are being “indoctrinated against Pakistan.”
Musharraf complained that when he offered similar training to Afghans, they rejected his overtures.
“In Afghanistan, there is some kind of a proxy conflict going on between Pakistan and India,” Musharraf told the forum.
“India is trying to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan [and trying to form] a weak Pakistan so that it can be dominated, so that it doesn’t have any confrontationist attitude which doesn’t go well with India’s vision of dominating the region.”
Karzai signed a strategic partnership agreement with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday under which the Indian government will provide assistance to Afghanistan following the departure of foreign troops in 2014. That is on top of the $2 billion India has already promised Afghanistan for infrastructure upgrades in the war-ravaged nation.
In addition, Karzai’s new pact with India will also reportedly include a greater commitment by Delhi to provide more security and police training within Afghanistan itself. The underlying theme is that India is seeking to integrate Afghanistan more into the broader economy of South Asia, which India, of course, dominates.
Musharraf conceded that India is not seeking to control Pakistan militarily, but that she is trying to influence foreign policy, economic policy, trade and commerce in the region.
“That is how you suppress, you control or dominate another country,” he said.
He added: “India must stop it…. I would say that the United States needs to understand Pakistan’s sensitivities. I see there is a lack of concern for Pakistan’s sensitivities.”
Officials in Pakistan has issued a stern warning to Afghanistan in the wake of Afghan President Hamid Karzai signing a historic security and economic pact with India.
Tehmina Janjua, a spokeswoman for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, said Islamabad expects Kabul to behave responsibly and to avoid ”point-scoring, playing politics or grandstanding.”
At this defining stage when challenges have multiplied, as have the opportunities, it is our expectation that everyone, especially those in position of authority in Afghanistan, will demonstrate requisite maturity and responsibility, Janjua told reporters.
Meanwhile, relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, continue to deteriorate.
President Barack Obama told a news conference on Thursday that the Pakistan needs to be mindful of U.S. interests is it desired a long-term strategic relationship with Washington – an obvious reference to suspicions that Islamabad has close ties to militant and terrorist groups.
“But there’s no doubt that we’re not going to feel comfortable with a long-term strategic relationship with Pakistan if we don’t think that they’re mindful of our interests as well,” Obama said.