Afghans are being misled on Pakistan

Pakistan must counter Indian-fed anti-Pakistan propaganda on Afghanistan

According to the Ariana News Afghanistan, dated 19 December 2017, an official letter from the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) was leaked on social media suggesting that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate has opened a dairy factory to export poisoned products to Afghanistan. According to the letter, this factory is producing milk and cream under the brand of two well-known Pakistani dairy companies. In the letter, the office of the MoI Deputy Minister of Security allegedly informed all of its departments that Pakistan’s ISI is mixing poison into their dairy products and then they are exporting those to Afghanistan.

Officials in the ministry of the interior have not commented on the letter while military experts are calling on the government not to send them Pakistani milk and cream. The narrative in the message against the ISI seems to be motivated as no evidence has been cited in the Afghan MoI letter.

The story is just a propaganda ploy on the part of the hostile forces in Afghanistan, which are being misguided by Pakistan’s enemies having influence in Afghanistan. This story seemed to have been cooked and fed to the Afghan ministry of the interior by Indian RAW’s expert propaganda machinery and manoeuvred its leakage to the social media through Afghan officials, having personal, friendly relations with RAW officials. India is doing such inhuman politics to create a permanent enmity between Afghanistan and Pakistan to advance its long-term objectives. Otherwise, Pakistan just cannot think of indulging in such a sin with our Afghan brethren, having important ethno cultural links.

In the above context, in the post 9/11 environment, India has got an opportunity of creating its extensive politico-economic, intelligence and military influence in Afghanistan, to the detriment of Pakistan.

Using its US-supported presence in Afghanistan, India is attempting to poison Afghan people against Pakistan by pushing negative propaganda in order to sever Pakistan’s age-old socioeconomic and trade links with Afghanistan

In this context, India’s primary objective is to undermine Pakistan’s legitimate economic and security interests in Afghanistan. As noted above, using its US-supported presence in Afghanistan, India is attempting to poison Afghan people against Pakistan by carrying out negative propaganda to sever Pakistan’s age-old socioeconomic and trade links with Afghanistan and impede Pakistan’s trade with Central Asia. India is also alleging Pakistan for supporting terrorism in Afghanistan to make a place for extending its military influence there to encircling Pakistan.

In fact, India is attempting to exploit the Afghan situation to its advantage. By feeding the motivated intelligence to the US and its allies in Afghanistan, India is trying to mislead them about Pakistan’s sincerity in fighting the war on terror. In this context, India is hell bent to sever Pakistan-US relations to damage Pakistan’s interests in the region.

Moreover, India is doing it to equate terrorism with the freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir. India blames Pakistan for terrorist attacks occurring in Afghanistan to build a case that Pakistan is also backing the freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir. India’s objective in doing so is to denude the people of Jammu and Kashmir from the political and moral support of Pakistan, the US and other major western states. In other words, by exploiting terrorism issue relating to Afghanistan, India wants to fail the freedom struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

India is keeping its nefarious plan in ambiguity by blaming Pakistan for supporting terrorism in Afghanistan and proving itself as a good boy by offering economic aid to Afghanistan. By this clever politics, India is also hiding the reality that in fact, it is itself a terrorist state which has unleashed tools of state terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and is using Afghan soil to destabilise Balochistan to slow down the growth of the CPEC.

Due to its need to get economic aid from wherever it is available, Afghan’s are obliged to India for its assistance. But in this process, they are neglecting the negative politics, which India is playing by impeding the growth of Afghanistan’s relations with Pakistan, creating hurdles in the construction of CPEC and pulling Afghanistan away from joining the CPEC. In this context, Afghans need to understand that under the cover of providing some economic benefits, no country like India should be allowed to harm long-term interests of Afghanistan by spoiling its relations with a close neighbour like Pakistan and keeping it away from becoming a part of the CPEC project.

In view of the above, there is a need for Pakistan to counter Indian fed anti-Pakistan propaganda in Afghanistan by making friendly constituencies among the Afghan people and by befriending its government officials. In this regard, Pakistan should also devise and implement policies to enhance its trade with Afghanistan under all circumstances by giving trade-related concessions. In this context, Pakistan should also work on having a free trade agreement with Afghanistan, since, unlike India, Afghanistan’s trade interests are strongly linked with Pakistan due to shared borders.

The writer is an ex-army officer and a former Research Fellow of Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Islamabad

Published in Daily Times, February 24th 2018.