Winds of Change: Washington to Delhi to Kabul


Washington, USA, Kabul, NATO Pullout, The hocus pocus of the electoral process goes on, first in Afghanistan, marred with thousands of complains of fraud and intimidation, and now in India, that has been seasoned with bribes and tampering in decades of experience now, the fruits of the so-called democracy that are assuredly strangulated before their birth are hanging low on the two nations.

Democracy is a human strategy reliant totally on the just deliverance of the electoral process; if that is not ensured it will not work in even the most improvised nations. Even the United States can be in doubts in this matter, where Obama has expressed his fears in the method elections are being conducted in the US, he said,

The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago.

The complexity of regional imbalance stands at its apex as global and regional bounty hunters insist on playing a part in the economic and political infrastructure of Afghanistan. The US/NATO with their immense network of NGOs deem themselves the real heroes of the happiness of Afghanistan; and the Indian with their multibillion economic plans for Afghanistan deem themselves as the true insurers of a future for Afghanistan. One is forced to think if all these who hurl upon Afghanistan with their slogans of peace, stability and democracy, love everything that is Afghanistan except the Afghan’s themselves. They love to make infrastructure, roads and gas lines, but they do not deem the Afghan fit enough to decide what is good or bad for him/her. That is the reason why it is ensured by way of rigging that only those candidates come to the top that will pursue the policies of these self-aggrandized non-state sympathizers. That is the reason why the whole south eastern half of the country is labeled as Taliban- influenced, where no substantial balloting can be expected to take place.

Mullah Tarakhel Mohammadi, a parliamentarian explained 

 We’re afraid, because in the south and east there is no security, and no one will be able to vote. Only the north can vote… What would happen then? Maybe another civil war.

Showing that the last 10 years have effectively been used to strengthen the divide between the North and the South, practically fortifying the fear in the heart of the Northern Alliance that they would not survive a single day without the support of the NATO and deliberately keeping the Pashtuns of the South and East at the edge and at wars with their brethren; all for the good perhaps, as their enmity provides the space for the US and India to make their nests, wherefrom they can make everything good to happen for Afghanistan.

The Afghan elections thus serve to keep the divide and instability permanent, which helps exclude the Zero Option and necessitates the need for the Northern Alliance to strengthen its ties with Iran on the Shia-plea, with India on the development-plea and the US on the Taliban-plea.

The so–called democratic process thus snatches away the very right to exercise their will away from the Afghan people.

Meanwhile India seems tilted towards Modi’s BJP this time. Though the strategic foreign policy is dictated by the Military of the country, because of which reason it remains the same, come BJP, Congress or the Aam Adammi party, but surely there will be seem a change in the aggressiveness with which the policy is taken forward by each one.

Aam Adammi party’s oblivion to the extension of the electoral process in the held vale of Kashmir, a place demanding and awaiting a referendum for decades now, show its disconcert with the foreign policy of the country. On the other hand Modi is expected to move the Hindutva mindset forward, with aggression and stealth, in its dealing with both Pakistan and Kashmir – changing from an overtly passive stance of the Congress that poses for Amman Ki Aasha while stabbing our backs via covert intrusions and which offers the dream of multibillion dollars projects to Kashmir in return to their willful subjugation towards them – to an outwardly aggravating stance while following more or less the same hegemonic approach towards most of its neighbors.

BJP has shown signs of aggression from the outset by picking extreme hindutva upholders in their candidacy, like ex- Chief of Army Staff V.K. Singh, who has commanded the so-called counter-insurgency forces that have served to quell many discontented sectors of the Indian society with force. If such people will be there to shoulder Modi aka the Butcher of Gujarat, in matters of defense and strategic policy, then surely the time for the revival of Chankiya Doctrine, who advised the Hindus centuries ago not to make friends with their neighbors, may have neared.

Kautilya Chanakya (died 283BC) said

Your neighbor is your natural enemy and your neighbor’s neighbor your friend…” His doctrines are held highly in Hindutva thinking and many, like National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon have been lobbying it in the military circles, he said in 2012, “Kautilya’s book is more than just a power maximisation or internal dominance strategy for a state. He has an almost modern sense of the higher purpose of the state and of the limits of power”.

Nevertheless the real test for the new governments in both Afghanistan and India lies in their ability to coup up with the US/NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Zero-Option will certainly be a signal for India to pack their bags too from the Afghan soil. Perhaps there is a lesson here for the Hindutva thinking that even the neighbor of your neighbor will not be their friend, if they come with the policy of ‘divide and exploit’.

But if the Zero-Option is just a hoax and the US will not want to lose their grip on the symbolic land of imperial success, especially at the time when its superpower status is already being questioned by many, then perhaps these elections would serve to bring a dawn of another era of un-willful paralysis of the will and progress of the real Afghan people.

is a writer at and can be contacted at, she tweets @AneelaShahzad

Discussion12 Comments

  1. Chanakya never said neighbour is enemy and neighbour’s neighbour is friend. He only said enemy’s enemy is friend. Pakistan has been following Kautilya’s doctrine by befriending China as their enemity with India was common. Whereas in principle and values China and Pakistan are poles apart. One is a comunist, athiest nation while the other is Islamic nation with capitalist lobby. Pakistan does not see the plight of uighur muslims and tibetans in China.
    Secondly, Kautilya was an economist and political philosopher and not a hindu religious thinker. He can be compared with Plateau and Aristotle and with Guru nanak and buddha.

    In Afghanistan its Taliban that is boycotting the elections. if they think they have the support of the people they should fight elections. India has seen maximum terrorism in Kashmir when afghanistan was in chaos so india wants peace and prosperity there. No one can ignore if her neighbours house is on fire. Gujral doctrine is part of India’s foreign policy. Its not the NATO/US forces thats keeping India in Afghanistan, its the people of Afghanistan and India’s only agenda in Afghanistan is peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

  2. Aseem, please bear in mind the fact that Hinduism is not a belief-system that can rightly be called a religion anyways,, but it is actually a aggregate of what the Hindus believe, in that sense Chankiya is just as much an integral part of Hinduism as much they integrate him in their thinking and strategy,,

    Pakistan makes friends with all its neighbours not just China, but it is India that has come out of the way,, and across its neighbourhood to try to seed permanent enmity between Pakistan and its neighbours by trying to negatively influence Afghanistan and Iran.

  3. This author is very negative…useless contradictory statements like” the democratic process snatches away the very right to excersize their will away from the people”.?…excuse me…the right to vote for your leaders takes away the rights of the people to decide?…what rubbish..Afganistan has just completed its second election and will soon go through an orderly transfer of power from one leader to the next as chosen by the people…this is what democracy is all about and it is a success story in Afganistan…negative nabobs offer nothing but useless complaints and nothing productive..

  4. Is the writer for real? People have been queuing up to vote in Afghanistan, with turnout higher than 80% in places (and yes, 15% in places too). This is the first time in Afghan history ever that power will be democratically transitioned.

    Give it time…. the next one will be better, and the one after that – even better.

    The author, like all Pakistanis, can only see the negatives. No wonder that most polls conducted in Afghanistan see Pakistan as a horrible neighbour that cannot be trusted

  5. Indian and Eddied, you both are showing religious surety upon the voting process, you seem to lack any scientific approach like the writer is trying to explain here, that unfair elections will add to the misery of the Afghans,, democracy has been depicted as a good in this essay but fraud and rigging will kill its fruit and leave the Afghans in another prolonged rule of despotism

  6. Perhaps the commentators on this post didnt even know the actual impact of a thinker, philospher or any policy maker on the society, culture and religion itself. Nations evolved themselves on the thinking and guidlines of such profound figures.

    Secondly, Kotliya’s commentary is widely available, before manipulating the statement, please search it and then comment, as google make the life of such “half baked” intellect very easy.

    Thirdly, the Afghan elections were widely appreciated only by Western and Indian Media, the connection is understandable. People who think that Afghan Election is a win win situation, should seek information and ask their policy makers about the “back up” plan they are talking about.

    Lastly, about China or any country, Pakistan will befriend with any xyz nation, who will not try to subdue its will by negative means. it is as plain and simple as it should be. Wether you like or not…


  7. On the contrary the north had come out to vote for the pro nato or pro Indian candidates whom the south south east and south west of Afghanistan do not follow.

    To the Indian I say go to Afghanistan and check and validate the love for Hindu zealots in Afghanistan.

    Keep stoking the hornets nest…

    Let us sit back and see where India gets to on Central Asia with a segregation of Pakistan policy with anti. Pakistan policy.

  8. Remember the Indian answer is to Divide Afghanistan along ethnic lines and fundamentallyrics deny Paston a say at the behest of sustained long term IS A presence.

    Let the indians replace ISAF with your boots on the ground and dare seek a divided Afghanistan certainly without a Pashundred voice.

    One can prempt your reply but even the USA wish to talk to Afghan Taiban whether you like it or not they are a part of the fabric of Afghanistan. Whether they seek to be engaged is another matter certainly not on American or Indian terms.

    Indians how long do you think Afghans can remain divided from Pakistan bonded by history, culture, language, geography and blood.

    Pakistan has its manufactured from outside problems how long do you feel nefarious clandestine ops funded by outside will continue.

    Are you not one and the same who rejoiced that Islam a bad will be overthrown by the terrorist TTP and lay claim to a dismembered Pakistan by 2012.

    You and your ilk have been wrong for so many times scratch away the pre meditated anti Pakistan campaign in media at government levels and at the people level aggressively pursued by the enemies of Pakistan and you will see Pakistan and Islam is and will forever be part of the dynamics of a stable Afghanistan and central Asia and not bollywood :).

  9. Second paragraph last sentence should read “Pashtun voice”.

    PASHTUN TAJIKISTAN AND UZBEKS UNITED make Afghanistan without meddling from anyone else and it is history geography religion and blood that is suffice to hold them together without the politics of divide and conquer.

    • India is not interested in sending military to Afghanistan. India has rather trained the Afghan Army to take care of their country on their own. India wants to see that Afghanistan has peace, progress and prosperity.

      Please dont make khayali pulao that Afghanistan will be divided into two. One under Taliban and another under Northern Alliance. There are rumours already rumours of such a plan by notorious ISI but 3 lakh strong Afghan National Army is capable to secure its territorial integrity.

      How is Pakistan connected with Afghan historically??? From Ghaznavi to Ghori to Nadir Shah the Afghans plundered the land and people of what today is known as Pakistan. Pakistan stopped in 1961 diplomatic relations with Afghanistan for several years. Afghans dont accept Durand Line and Peshawar used to be the summer capital of Afghan kings.It was Afghanistan that opposed Pakistan’s entry into UNO.

      Regarding the question of how long pakistan will be divided from Afghanistan is for afghan and pakistan to answer, not india. Afghan is a sovereign nation and is free to pursue and independent foreign policy.

      “Pakistan and Islam is and will forever be part of the dynamics of a stable Afghanistan and central Asia”
      Actually Pakistan and Taliban have caused biggest damage and destabilization of Afghanistan. Please dont bring Islam into politics between the nations as the religion could not hold Bangladesh with Pakistan and similar unrest is seen in Balochistan.

      As regards to terrorism, whether its taliban in Afghanistan or Taliban in Pakistan Indian Government and people are against both Talibans. Being a victim of terrorism, Indians can never rejoice over killings of innocents by the terrorists.

  10. Its funny… some of the responses.

    Indian boots on the ground in Afghanistan – ain’t gonna happen

    Love for India in Afghanistan – guess what – there is

    And finally – India isn’t dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan. You guys have done a fabulous job of that yourself by pushing Afghanistan into the stone age.

    I can understand that you can’t bear to see India making hospitals roads and dams there….

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