Of brothers and friends

Of brothers and friends

Although Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated that the Strategic Partnership Agreement between Afghanistan and India will not affect ties with Pakistan, it is clear that this has already started being perceived with suspicion.

The dynamics of the region, the tension between the two neighbours and the US-led war on terror could possibly lead to further obstacles aggravated by this pact.

Karzai said that Pakistan is a “twin brother” and India is a “great friend”. He also said that he doesn’t expect this relationship to go beyond Afghanistan and India. However, there remains too much distrust between the “twin brothers” to actually believe various statements issued by each other’s offices.

Can Pakistan continue to focus on working mutually with Afghanistan to battle militancy as opposed to investing itself further in the realm of mistrust?

Although this agreement between Pakistan’s two neighbours is nothing new, will it cause further tension in its own relationship with these nations?

Most of all, will this agreement with India really have no impact on the Pak-Afghan relationship?

Dawn.com invites its readers to give their views and suggestions.


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138 Responses to “Of brothers and friends”

  1. Hassan Shah says:

    my views are totally change, we new generation of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India must work hard like china, we must concentrate on our own work not in neighbours up/down. this make some new era.

  2. mahadev says:

    my friends unnecessarily we are all debating on a issue which is a casual thing happening between two sovereign countries,we have many things to be discussed such as poor masses hungry, poor health facility ,epidemic diseases,shelter less families with babies on road,innocent people being killed by extremists without any fear,……etc.we people with some better quality of life sitting in front of laptops fighting each other over india/pak/afg ,hardly a generation ego we were single family ,why can’t we realize that and start to think about these vicious problems in our respective countries.

  3. Muhammad jehangir khan says:

    well well well, i studied the concept of different people. every one should be clear one think, my sign point to Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. i surprised that India forgot his own history, they has forgot the second world war where British and there colleagues used both Hindu and Muslims for their own use, here again America and there colleagues is using the same formula. actually America loss the war on terror in Afghanistan and they want to handle the afghan war by India, so they boost the strategic relationship between India and Afghanistan. here for America there is two benefits, to destroy the growing economy of India, to indulge them in the war of unfinished war of terror and the second to safely evacuate from the land of Afghanistan, but it should not forget to India there is no country in the world to win the land of Afghanistan because its the land of brave tigers and these tigers have religious, blood relation and culturally fraternity relation with the beloved land and people of Pakistan. so my kind advise for India to keep away from the land of Afghanistan, otherwise they would come in tiger hunting and no one can saved them.

    • Umesh says:

      Don’t Worry about India my brother we can handle every situation although we are not going to hunt
      anything in Afghanistan . we are there to help our Afghani Brothers & Sisters and we don’t have any vicious motive behind whatever we are doing there .

      • Hassan Shah says:

        UMESH, we are Pakistani and Afghani are our REAL muslim brothers and sisters, you may not worry we are in front of Afghanistan, you guys in back of Afghanistan so Kindly leave Afghanistan with us.

        • Kabeer Das says:

          Mr. Hasan Shah, problem with most dogmatic Muslims is that they see everything through Muslim eyes. It is a cosmopolitan world. Please learn to look at the world as a human being.

  4. Asif Azam says:

    the statement by karzi that Pakistan is twin brother how is it possible that u are criticizing and putting all the burden on Pakistan about the murder of assassinated president.
    these two things are very different and he is only follows guide lines by USA that make good relation with India. if USA leaves the Afghanistan he tries to build govt with cooperation of India. this is first step towards that mission.

  5. Saif says:

    There is absolutely no harm in Afghanistan and India having a strategic partnership as both nations have the right to decide what best suits their interests. The question is that does Karzai and his government really represent ordinary Afghans? i think the answer to that would be a big “NO”. Only when there is a government in Kabul which represents all its ethnicity according to their population, can it be called a representative government. If anybody who is loved by all Afghans and is respected by Afghans comes to power only then things will start to change. The world including Pakistan should accept it.

    As for India, the world knows that it is a big country in this region. So being the bigger country it has bigger responsibility towards ensuring peace and should show clear signs to all that it wishes to fulfill them. Lip service here won’t work and practical gestures as well as steps are needed. If Pakistan sees India as its enemy, there is a lot of evidence supporting their fears. India being the dominant nation should try to allay these fears with all their energy and openness. Once it succeeds in doing so this region of ours is going to be an EU. The common man in both India and Pakistan harbours no grudge against each other it is our two governments which make sure there is no permanent peace. I am a common Pakistani with an open mind set but what i fail to understand is that while both the governments have been given ample opportunities to settle their disputes by time, why is it that always one or the other government makes sure that does not happen? Pakistan on its part tries to continue the dialogue to settle the disputes once and for all but India, while saying otherwise, continues to find ways to delay and at times stop this process. I still wonder why was it that the Agra Summit between Vajpai and Musharaf failed? Here in Pakistan we know that it was some one from the Indian Foreign Ministry who made sure that the agreement is not reached and sealed.

    Anyways what has happened is bygone but for our better futures sincere efforts are need to be made without playing the blame game. India and Pakistan should address each others concerns openly and sincerely with a new resolve and open minds. We are neighbours for ever, it’s better we live like ones.
    Love to all.

  6. Ashok says:

    I think India should keep a safe distance from this Afgan-Pak mess.

  7. Mohan says:

    All the countries in this region are linked to one another. All of them try to counter the weight of their bigger or more populous neighbors by aligning with others. This is universal. Nepal and Sri Lanka are ethnically closer to their neighboring parts of India. Yet they cozy up to Pakistan. Pakistan cozies up to China. Afghanistan cozies up to India and has done so for about 70 years. It is the only country to vote against Pakistan’s inclusion in the United Nations. Tibetans and allied people counterbalance China by cozying up to India. Each party has its historical issues. Nepal feels that India bosses it around. Afghanistan has a historical bone to pick with Punjabis generally because they annexed a part of that country into their domain.

    This was true in Ranjit Singh’s time and it is true now. Pakistanis feels a closeness to Afghans that Afghans do not reciprocate. This is true in India too: Indians feel a closeness to Nepal that Nepalis do not reciprocate. This is not at all unique to the region. European history was exactly like that. Some level of integration is the way out. But people with strong resentments do not integrate easily. South Indians and Pashtoons don’t get it but North Indians and Pakistanis have a love-hate that is really tough for others to comprehend. Nobody is capable of hating each other more than twins. Actually the real twins are North Indians and people from the eastern part of Pakistan. As long as these two groups don’t bury the hatchet, everyone else in the region is coming along for their ride of violent hatred whether they like it or not. It’s pretty funny that in South Indian eyes North Indian Hindus are actually “half-Muslim anyway” (read SI-NI flame wars) and to Afghan eyes Pakistanis look quite Indic. Makes total sense to any outsider. This thing is not getting resolved anytime soon. These two groups will fight for a long time because the izzat-badla-nafrat-dushmani cycle is in their cultural DNA. They do it in their villages, towns, elections and in their international relations. To the other groups: so sorry, but you are locked-in with the loonies, so make yourselves as comfortable as you can.

  8. Adil Jadoon says:

    India and Afghanistan should work together for the benefit of their people but the question that keeps bothering me is that where were the Indian friends of Afghanistan during the last 2 decades? How many refugees did India accept after the Soviet invasion? you can call me paranoid but this relationship does not seem to be based on mutual love but perhaps something else.

  9. Dave says:

    Let’s assume India and Pakistan become friends and sign treaties to confirm that. Will America be happy? Will China be happy? Of course No. It is in their interest to keep the two sides fighting not matter what they say in public. so the moral is……………..you guess it.

  10. Mudassir says:

    every country’s foreign policy and strategic relations with others are essentially driven by its own interests. indubitably, Afghanistan has a greater tilt to India than its immediate neighbours.

  11. anand says:

    Both Pakistanis and Afghans are our brothers. I just cannot bear to see their suffering. The forefathers of present day Pakistanis and Afghans were Hindus and Buddhists. Had these people remained Hindus and Buddhists, they would have been part of the world’s largest democracy and a growing economy.

    • M. Ahmed says:

      My forefathers were Arabs and settled in India, after while migrating to Pakistan and I know many people who are Siddiquis, Farooqis, Syeds who never engaged in marriages with women having Buddist/ Hindu culture. Though India was a homeland for our ancestors, it would be unfair to say we belonged to ancient Hindu religion. We have our own identity and we are proud of it.

    • ashish says:

      India want good relation with Pakistan. The common Pakistani’s are are our good friend. The terrorist’s and religious leader’s are enemy of common people.

    • farideh zivary says:

      Well said Mr Anand.I hope the afghan’s understand this clearly.You have stated as to what the hindus want the Afghan’s and Pakistanis to do.Pakistanis and Indian muslims already know that well.Now let the Afghan’s eat the fruits of hindu friendship.

      • sameer says:

        I dont agree with Anand , I am an Indian and have absolutely nothing in common with the afghans or pakistanis.. our culture , language … basically attitudes are different.People who have never seen an afghan or pakistani may have this misconception

        • Atique says:

          Totally agreed with sameer. Historically Pakistan and Afghanistan were part of Persian empire. We speak differnt language from india. Our culture, society and national character is totally differnt from india. People from other parts of the world who have dealt with Pakistanis, Indians and Afghans can tell at first glance where you come from.

          • Umesh says:

            Ashoka The Great also conquered the whole Afghanistan and some parts of Persia and ruled for years and after that so many Indian Kings ruled Afghanistan .

        • Mpuri says:

          so true sameer

  12. Irfan Afzal says:

    Gigikumar is completely right. If Pakistan can forge a relationship with China , then there is nothing wrong with India forging a relationship with Afghanistan, and Pakistan will just have to learn to accept this and work constructively with this new development which is positive for the region as a whole.

  13. Hari says:

    As an Indian I do not think the pact is one where India is trying to counter the Pakistani influence on Afghanistan. Lets face it, Pakistan is closer to Afghanistan than India, it will naturally have more links with the country than India. However, India is really scared about the prospects of a repeat of 80s and 90s control of the country by the Taliban and the prospect of terrorist organizations in the country. These organizations have caused havoc in the region for both India and Pakistan. Afghanistan, must for the stability of the region have a solid governance and institutional infrastructure in place to prevent this. Any nation including Pakistan should be willing to do that for the country which has seen over 3 decades of misery. If the American and international forces quit Afghanistan there will be a power vacuum, the best thing for both India and Pakistan will be to see that this does not happen. Therefore any help to Afghanistan to prevent this should be seen as one that benefits South Asia collectively by checking instability and violence.

  14. gigikumar says:

    People in pakistan have more blood relations with indians than afghans .one can say with no doubt that it is a same race and blood.pak should think of prosperity,they must be constructive.but unfortunatily they are taught distruction and hatred right from the birth.madrasas in pak should teach love instead of hatred and holy war.this is a world where money matters not religion,india is a developing country and it invest money in afghan not to destabilize pak but for its economic aspirations.Indians consider chinese as there enemy then pak.If Pakistan can have a relationship “higher than the Himalayas” and “deeper than the Indian Ocean” with China, why can’t India and Afghanistan do the same.

    • Anjum Arshi says:

      The Indian Prime Minister has shook hands with an Afghan President who was imported from USA and who is entirely dependent upon Americans, even for his own security within his palace. Therefore, the relationship between India and Afghanistan cannot be ‘deeper than the Indian ocean and higher than the Himalayas. At the best, it will last as long as foreign troops are controlling Afghanistan.

  15. Karan says:

    We live in a globalized society and I think a lot of countries have realized that national and international progress is only possible through co-operation and collaboration with fellow countries.
    Its time that the sub-continent realizes this and start taking steps towards progress together and stop thinking/doing ill to each other.

  16. sam says:

    This is liking saying I don’t want my two next door neighbours to go out and play as they will be closer and have stronger friendship. Very childish , I would say. First thing Pakistan should do is try to grow economically ……else it will alway remain a poor and neglected sibling in the continent

  17. tarun says:

    I agree that India must support Afganistan in every posiible way…it is true that everybody wants to exploit the weak neighbour similarly all want to have a share in Afganistan …… if india is helping her then whats the problem ?? What help pakistan can provide Afganistan ??? A nation who is in the total grip of Terrorism …a self grown terrorism , whose own government promotes violence… it will only destabilize afganistan for its strategic depth…. have pak ever thaught about indias concerns regarding China???

    • Bete says:

      I as a Pakistani admit that there are terrorists in my country. Most Pakistanis admit there are terrorists in our country. We do not blame India for it, it’s our own problem. But the people who did the Gujarat mass killings were not terrorists… No.. they were the common Hindu civilians who killed thousands of Muslims because of hatred.

    • faraz says:

      You should ask what Pakistan did and does for Afghanistan:

      1- We supported millions of Afghan refugees during war with Russia and we still do. In fact, this support caused huge economic depression. What did India do for the refugees?
      2- We still provide majority of food to Afghanistan (to Afghans and Nato forces). That’s costing us huge penalty in the form of extreme food shortage here.
      3- We provide trade transit to Afghanistan. How else is doing that?

      And there is much more. Despite all this support, what are we getting, threats and handshaking with our enemies? Shame on you Karzai!

      • M. Ahmed says:

        You have hit the nail… absolutely spot on.

      • sridhar kondoji says:

        1) Being neighbours, you cannot escape . India supports refugees from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
        2) India is doing charity in Afghanistan. It gave 2 billion dollars.so far.

      • Ashutosh says:

        the enemy is in your mind Faraz. Were we in better terms the trade potential between india and pak would be way beyond any other nation in South Asia. How many wars between the two countries have been started by India? Check independent third party documentation of the History.

        But if you choose to become an enemy, an enemy you shall be of India, US, Iran, Afganistan… its your choice…to coexist peacefully and prosper together. You can impact the development of neighbours, but only to a certain extent. Beyond that it would be self destruction as one reads everyday in newspapers. You can respond with conspiracy theories about everyone around. …for some reason the entire world conspires against Pakistan as many writers suggest in the Pakistani media. Nobody ever asked a question “Why?”….

  18. Z.U.SHEIKH says:

    India and Afghanistan do not trust Pakistan, and same way Pakistan do not trust India. Read the history Pakistan was created because Hindus could not gaurantee equal right to Muslims. Afganistan know that without Pakistan there will be no peace, its is in interest of Afghanistan that they work with Pakisatan to bring peace to both country.

    • Sanket says:

      Didn’t get how India is going to influence rights of muslims in Afghanistan or Pakistan? The fear of India-Afghanistan ties has no base. The tie is going to benifit common people in Afghanistan. No country can grow when its neighbours are unstable. So instead thinking this tie as threat why Pakistan can’t think its an opportunity to grow with India and Afghanistan? Its just matter of thinking from right perspective.

    • Aditya says:

      If Pakistan can not bring peace and prosperity to its own citizens, what hope it has for Afghanistan?

    • Ateek says:


      Why u people always want to live in the past. Past was past whether it was bad or good.
      We should always take good things from the past and implement in the present rather than cribbing and following the same path which had led to the separation of our two countries.
      Today, if india is growing its mostly on the plans for the betterment of their people, pakistan should also do the same. First try to build their economy and secure their people.

      Once pakistan will be prosperous things will eventually fall in place. But, if you would stick to the past you would soon be gulped into the dark.

      Yours is a beautiful country why don’t you people work for it’s betterment rather than fueling terrorism to other countries.

  19. Viswanathan Raghu says:

    If Pakistan continues to think and believe that India is a threat to it’s existence then of course this pact will affect Pakistan. On the other hand if Pakistan views India as an opportunity for the betterment of it’s citizens then this pact can act like a wake up call for the rulers of Pakistan to dump the strategic depth notion. If Pakistan wants to battle militancy within it’s borders then the best route to accomplish this objective is peace with India

    • shafi says:

      Peace only comes with compromises but if a stronger nation does not budge from its stance, peace is un achievable.

      • Kumar Shreyas says:

        Its not about nation being bigger or smaller. nor it is about who bulges or not. India has problem with China but the two nation peacefully coexist and the trade between the two nation is helping in increasing their prosperity. I hope, someday Pakistan could understand the same…

        • Sudhir says:

          awesome analogy…..
          Its like if you believe in peace you will find a way and if you believe in fighting you will find a reason :)

  20. dsfds says:

    Although this agreement between Pakistan’s two neighbours is nothing new, will it cause further tension in its own relationship with these nations?

    Most of all, will this agreement with India really have no impact on the Pak-Afghan relationship

  21. Ijaz Ahmed says:

    There is no need for pakistan to be paranoid over this pact. We have enough internal issues to focus on – Karachi strife, lawless Wariziztan, cripped economy, etc. The world perceives Pakistan as a Terrorist Haven for which we have no answer. So, let us do our homework first properly.

  22. PS Bhatti says:

    How can one country dictate another sovereign country for what is good or bad for that country.Pakistan should first try to make its own house in order before getting involved in foreign adventures.Maturity at this juncture for all three countries is accept that there is no option to a peaceful coexistence.Do not spend on arms, spend it on education, public health…..

  23. Harish C Menon says:

    If Pakistan can have a relationship “higher than the Himalayas” and “deeper than the Indian Ocean” with China, why can’t India and Afghanistan do the same… even if the latter is merely as deep as the Indus and as high as the Nilgiris…

  24. Brijesh says:

    Afghanistan has tried to work with Pakistan for a long time. What they got in return was the Taliban who ravaged the nation. Time they looked beyond Pakistan for help.

  25. A.Bajwa says:

    The SPA has definitely accelerated the pressure against Pakistan who has now no choice to rely further on China. The SPA was definitely being negotiated long before the Rabbani assassination. So it is more to do with India being left behind to take care of Taliban. Can India do what US could’t. Just not possible.

    FM and FO remarks have been timid, to say the least. India should have been told to keep off the war in Afghanistan and to not look for missile basis there.

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