Monday, May 16, 2011

Manmohan Singh's Afghan Tour

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Afghan tour is of vital importance. During a dinner thrown by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, he said, 'We want to see a strong and peaceful democracy in Afghanistan, so that its people play their role in respect of cultural and social fabric on global level. We have come here with a message of peace and India will keep on contributing for the development of their country.' On this occasion, Singh presented a gift of $100 million to Afghanistan.
Predecided Visit
After six years, the Indian prime minister's visit to Afghanistan was predecided and had no relation with Osama Bin Ladin's death. Suddenly, South Asia's scenario has changed after 2 May. The political upheaval has escalated post-Bin Ladin's death in Pakistan and Afghanistan will also be affected with this. What will be the foreign policy of Afghanistan cannot be said.
However, during talks of Manmohan Singh and Karzai, the withdrawal of US troops is neither in tune with South Asian policies nor would benefit India. This is the reason that the United States does not want to spoil relations with Pakistan.
Bin Ladin's Presence in Pakistan
Bin Ladin's presence in Pakistan was not strange for India as Pakistani intelligence functioning is well known to India. What is happening there and what it can do is very clear. The 26/11 (Mumbai terror attacks) occurrence has opened our eyes, but now the United States must review its relationship with Pakistan. Although the United States is making inquires in this regard and is talking to teach a lesson to Pakistan, its foreign policy will not weaken it because the United States is at liberty to use its land as and when needed.
The second big power of the world is China, with whose borders the United States can come closer due to Pakistan. This is the reason China is not expressing its anger over Bin Ladin's shelter in Pakistan. More so, in this region, no other country, accept Pakistan, will act with the United States. Singh must speak to Karzai about permanent peace in the region and bringing an end of US meddling in Afghanistan.
India's Foreign Policy
One should not forget that after 9/11, prior to Pakistan, the Indian Government offered the use of its land for land and air attacks in Afghanistan. That time Atal Behari Vajpayee was the prime minister, and this was an unsuccessful attempt of India's foreign policy. After the Indian offer, Pakistan also felt necessary to offer itself. That time the United States preferred Pakistan over India and strengthened its economy, besides praising it all the time.
Had India not presented its offer, Pakistan would also not offer due to public opposition and its true nature would not have been revealed. The Indian prime minister is once again on tour to give a new shape to South Asia. Let us see what the country gain and what it lose.

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