It therefore emerges that Indian initiatives in Afghanistan would be undermined by Pakistan and its proxies till Pakistan understands that a peaceful Afghanistan has greater scope for progress being the vital land bridge between Central Asia and South Asia. Strategically the recent thaw in relations between India and Pakistan on the economic and security fronts may suggest both may converge on Afghanistan. But this is a tough ask given the current political and military condition in Pakistan.
Taliban have carried out the most serious assault in Kabul in 11 years, simultaneously attacking embassies, a supermarket, a hotel and the Afghan parliament, in addition to attacks on US bases and Afghan police stations in three other provinces. Hardly a spent force. In fact these attacks managed to achieve a great deal.
For the strategy to work US may have to “Fight” in Afghanistan (not Pakistan), “Talk” to Kayani above all others and “Build” Pakistan more than Afghanistan. Then probably the Istanbul and Bonn summits might have some meaning.
US began nominal withdrawal with pulling out of 1000 troops comprising two groups - the Iowa National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment soldiers from Parwan province in eastern Afghanistan, and the other group from the capital, Kabul. It is not yet clear whether the surge of 33,000 troops has yielded any tangible results but the pull [...]