Pakistan concerns?



Some believe the military has never given up its policy of "strategic depth": the belief that in order to defend itself against its traditional enemy, India, to the east, it needs a pro-Pakistan government (like the Taliban) in Afghanistan, to the west.

Others say it wants a "neutral" Afghanistan.

But Kabul is not neutral as far as the army is concerned.

Its government is full of factions hostile to Islamabad and closely allied with India, Pakistan's great regional rival. And India is expanding its influence in the country.

This is all the more troubling because Pakistan's worried about its borders.

Afghanistan has never recognised the boundary drawn by the British, known as the Durrand Line. And the dispute with India over the Himalayan region of Kashmir continues.

In such circumstances, the Taliban are an asset, not an adversary for the ISI, says the observer.

"The Pakistan army knows that it and the Taliban have Pashtun support on both sides of the Durand line. This gives it leverage, and means it can signal to the United States that it will not be abandoned in any Afghan deal."


This seems like a really strange concern when you consider that Afghanistan's biggest gripe is the attacks across the Durand line by Taliban forces. If that is not tacit recognition of the border, it is a great imitation of one. If the Taliban are giving the Pakistani army strategic why are they being so hostile to the army at the same time? I am still waiting for a coherent statement of Pakistan concerns in the meantime.


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