Tense calm on Chaman border
Mohammad Jamil
5/8/2017

 

An unprovoked firing by Afghan forces at the village near Chaman where census team was collecting data claimed 12 lives and wounded at least 40. Pakistan military reportedly retaliated and at least fifty attackers were killed. Commander Southern Command Lt.

An unprovoked firing by Afghan forces at the village near Chaman where census team was collecting data claimed 12 lives and wounded at least 40. Pakistan military reportedly retaliated and at least fifty attackers were killed. Commander Southern Command Lt.
General Amer Riaz while talking to media gave a loud and clear message to Afghanistan stating that “the border will remain closed so long as Afghan attitude does not get better.” In February, two personnel of the Frontier Corps (FC) were injured when suspected militants attacked a post along the Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said. Despite the fact that Afghanistan from the day one showed hostility towards Pakistan at the behest of former USSR and India, but after Pakistan and Russia mended their fences and enjoyed excellent relations, India is behind Afghanistan’s aggressive posture.In fact, India does not wish to see cordial relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan to divert attention of its brutalities in Indian Held Kashmir, and through its shenanigans continues to stir anti-Pakistan sentiment in Afghanistan. Indian RAW and NDS have coalesced and Afghanistan’s soil is being used through their proxies who conduct acts of terror in Pakistan. It is hoped that Afghan government would understand India’s plan and wean away from patronizing India. There is incontrovertible evidence that India had used Iran’s soil for vile acts in Pakistan, but after arrest of Indian spy/terrorist Kulbhushan Yadav Iran appears to have realized that India wants to spoil relations between Iran and Pakistan. Iran is also wary of India’s procrastination on development of Chahbahar port, and also of its efforts to take advantage of sanctions on Iran by the US and the West.According to NDTV report, India and Iran seem to have developed differences over delay in award of contract for gas exploration in Farzad B offshore field to ONGC Videsh. The report states that India has decided to cut back on oil imports from Iran by 3 million tons (roughly 25 percent) in the current financial year. (India imports over 6% of its oil from Iran, making it Iran’s second-largest customer of crude oil). In a quid pro quo, Tehran has reduced Delhi’s window of payment for crude purchases from 90 days to 60 days, and reportedly cutting freight discounts offered to Indian state -owned oil companies by the National Iranian Oil Company. Both benefits had made Iranian crude attractive to Indian companies in the past, of course, less money for its exports, especially after global crude prices fell.The report added: “While Iran is looking for strong, competitive bids on a gas field that India has dragged its feet on for at least seven years, India is driven by a search for the best prices for its fuel imports that supply 80 percent of its energy needs.” During Prime Minster Modi’s visit to Tehran last year, India had committed $500 million towards the Chabahar port project with much fanfare, and along with Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement for the construction of key road and rail links connecting the port, but there is hardly any progress, as India is dragging its feet because it is unhappy because Iran would not ditch Iran for India. Iranian think-tanks and analysts brushed off suggestions that China’s inclusion in Chabahar would be a thorn in India’s side.Indian state refiners will cut oil imports from Iran in 2017-18 by a fifth, as New Delhi takes a more assertive stance over an impasse on a giant gas field that it wants to be awarded to an Indian consortium. Anyhow, previously close ties have been strained since the lifting of some sanctions last year as Iran adopts a bolder approach in trying to get the best deal for its oil and gas. Unhappy with Tehran, India’s oil ministry has asked state refiners to cut imports of Iranian oil. “We are cutting gradually, and we will cut more if there is no progress in the matter of the award of Farzad B gas field to our company,” one of the Indian sources said. Afghanistan should realize that India wants to take advantage of the tense relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.