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Senior Afghan scribe "finds" a trusted friend in India following Indo-Pak standoff

By Nava Thakuria*
As India is maintaining standoff with Pakistan for weeks now, an Afghan scribe came out with logic for stronger relationship between India’s secular democracy and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. His views come at a time when the situation worsened between New Delhi and Islamabad soon after the Pulwama terror attack on a convoy of CRPF on February 14 killing over 40 personnel.
Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, senior Afghan radio journalist, while talking to members of the Guwahati Press Club from Kabul through video-conferencing has argued that Hindustan (India) and Afghanistan remain friends for centuries. But often the political disturbances in Pakistan make trouble in Indo-Afghan relationship.
“However these difficulties are short lived and both the friendly nations soon come to the business as usual,” stated Khalvatgar, adding that Afghanistan is itself a victim nation of terrorism and all progressive forces on the globe should get united against the menace of terrorism that has emerged as a curse to the human race.
Appreciating the latest initiative to open a trade route between Afghanistan and India through strategic in Arab Sea (Indian Ocean) port in Chabahar of friendly Iran, the journalist pointed out that with this initiative (bypassing Pakistan), Kabul has re-established itself as a sustainable international business centre.
Need not to mention, he said, India’s billion dollar developmental initiatives in Afghanistan have already generated huge goodwill to the Hindu majority nation. Afghanistan is the second-largest recipient of aid (after Bhutan) from India and hundreds of community development projects by Indian agencies are in progress there.
He noted, Indian film actors from both Bollywood and Hindi tele-serials continue to be popular among Afghans. He added, large sections of rural women in Afghanistan glue to their television sets running the dubbed versions of Indian entertaining serials in local languages.
Speaking about pathetic conditions of education and health sectors in Afghanistan, Khalvatgar stated that many young Afghan now prefer to go to India for pursuing higher and professional educations. Moreover, many patients, primarily suffering from hypertension, blood sugar, liver ailment and also cancer opt to leave for Indian hospitals, he concluded, arguing that New Delhi should sympathize to those aspirants.
The journalist showed deep awareness of the suicide bombing, engineered by Maulana Masood Azhar led Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), as it had officially accepted the responsibility of Pulwama attack, sent a massive wave of pain and anger among millions of Indians across the country. Emotionally charged nationalists in India strongly advocated for retaliatory actions against JeM terrorists supported by Islamabad, he observed.
Public sentiments were materialized by the “hardliner” Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “nationalist” Bhartiya Janata Party-led government in New Delhi on the run-up to next general elections in April-May and declared that perpetrators of the attack in Kashmir valley would not be spared., Modi’s assertions followed with sudden aerial attacks by Indian air-forces in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (PKP) of the neighboring country, claiming to kill many JeM terrorists.
Since then both the governments in New Delhi and Islamabad made voluminous statements over the development highlighting their respective success in the battlefield. Presently, ill from renal problems and under treatment somewhere in Pakistan, JeM chief Masood Azhar is understood to be a fanatical enemy to India, as he masterminded an attack on its Parliament building in 2001.
Azhar remained active in PoK and often sent public threats to India as a whole and Modi in particular. With his “holy” mission to transform young men into suicide bombers who would later kill everyone not believing in Islam or even a Muslim who supports “non-Islamic” activities so that those aspirant youths can win paradise after sacrificing lives in the name of Allah (God), Azhar put Pakistan and its neighboring foreign localities in persistent turmoil.
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*Northeast based journalist

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