Hamid Karzai Seeks Indian Aid

 There is no other place in the world that possesses the capability of mass destruction and international upheaval as the region which contains Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.  Pakistan and India both have nuclear weapons, and there have been tensions between them for decades.  Hamid Karzai is asking India for military aid amid increasing friction along Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.

Pakistan has just concluded elections, and the new regime has indicated that it wishes to stabilize relations with neighboring India.  Afghanistan’s armament discussions with India will undoubtedly place the new Islamabad government in a precarious position.

Bordered on the northwest by Afghanistan, and on the southeast by India, Pakistan will feel pressure from their neighbors on both sides.

Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi said the Afghan leader would discuss the flare-up on the Durand Line, the colonial-era border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, in addition to ways to strengthen Afghan security institutions.

“Afghanistan has already agreed and signed a strategic pact with India and based on that agreement, India assists Afghanistan on several grounds, including the military sector,” Faizi said.

“In order to strengthen Afghan security forces, we will ask India to help us with military needs and shortages,” he said.

Pakistan had offered a strategic alliance with Kabul, but they were unresponsive to the idea.

Increased border skirmishes on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border are the cause of Karzai’s actions.  Both sides have been accused of giving sanctuary to militant groups, resulting in a clash at their disputed border on the Durand Line.

Afghanistan has also accused Pakistan of using tanks and heavy artillery in battles along its eastern Nangarhar province.

A NATO diplomat in Kabul said Afghanistan was also seeking to build up its air force and had sought aircraft to beef up border defenses.

“The Afghans are taking the border problem very seriously. They have asked us for equipment; emotions are very high,” the diplomat said.

Shyam Saran, chairman of India’s National Security Advisory Board, declared in New Delhi on April 24 that India’s plans to put in place a triad of land-based, air-delivered and submarine-based nuclear forces is making good progress.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s development of its nuclear arsenal claims to be the result of India’s arms escalation.  Pakistan claims to have newer ‘weapon’s based plutonium’ weapons, and have the capability to miniaturize them.  This new ability would allow them to deliver a nuclear attack with a weapon as small as a cruise missile.  None of this has been verified.

Saran makes the claim that Pakistan is attempting to secure a prominent place in the Islamic world.

In turn, Pakistan is claiming that their efforts to develop more efficient tactical weapons, is in directly aimed at protecting themselves from India’s aggressive posturing.

The former Soviet Union and the United States cold war nuclear escalation resulted in both countries becoming aware that destruction of the entire world was a possibility.  Today, Russia and the U.S. are attempting to reduce their numbers of nuclear warheads.

With both Pakistan and India possessing nuclear capability and Iran’s efforts to become a member of the nuclear community, focus and serious concern must be aimed at this volatile region.

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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