Murphy's Law: Afghanistans Secret Allies

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April 11, 2007: India has been a silent partner in the Afghan War. For example, there are Indian engineers providing reconstruction assistance, who are being guarded by Indian paramilitary police. The Indian security personnel were brought in after the Taliban began to go after Indian workers and technical experts. Neither India, nor the Afghan government, have made a big deal about the presence of the Indian security personnel. That's because, while many of the Indian police and aid workers are Moslem, many are not. India is generally seen as a non-Moslem nation (although it has more Moslems than Pakistan). The fact that India and Pakistan are long time foes, makes India a natural ally of Afghanistan. Pakistan has been interfering in Afghan affairs for generations. The Taliban are but the latest example of Pakistani interference. The Afghans don't like this sort of meddling.

The Afghans would like to be friends with Iran as well, but the Islamic government in Iran is Shia, while most Afghans are Sunni. Moreover, western Afghanistan was part of the Iranian empire for centuries, and Afghans harbor a not-so-secret fear that the Iranians might return. In the meantime, that has not stopped the Afghans from accepting aid from Iran, which is eager to keep down the violence on the Afghan side of the border.

 


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