Jaipur, Jan 21: The Pakistani security establishment is unlikely to be happy with Indian military aid to Afghanistan, and in the short run this could lead to more Pathankot-like attacks, says South Asia politics and security expert Christophe Jaffrelot. “If India helps Afghanistan mililtarily, it could result in more Pathankots,” Jaffrelot, a professor at the Centre for Studies in Intertiol Relations at the Paris Institute of Political Studies and author of several books on India and Pakistan, told IANS in an interview at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Thursday.
Indian Prime Minister rendra Modi visited Kabul and agreed to provide helicopters to the Afghan forces, and the attacks on the Indian Air Force (IAF) base at Pathankot in Punjab and the Indian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan followed, he said. “The Pakistan Army has not taken the Indian offer of helicopters in a very good way. They already have a constant temptation to use jihadi groups against India,” said Jaffrelot. “In the 10 years of (Congress rule), India gave Afghanistan aid but no military aid. You had talks, skirmishes, talks, skirmishes... India could live with that. It cannot live with a Pathankot every month,” he said. On Pakistan, Jaffrelot, whose most recent book “The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience” (2015), dealt with the country’s curious paradoxes, said the world has to change its approach towards Islamabad.
“One solution will be to stop bailing it out... force it to reform its fiscal structure. The rich don’t pay taxes there. The state has no resources for development,” he said. “The way must be trade, not aid,” he said, noting increased trade with Pakistan will also create more employment in the populous country. “This has to be among the first steps.”
Earlier, at a session titled “The Pakistan Paradox”, Jaffrelot maintained that a crackdown by the Pakistani security establishment on certain military groups makes “no real difference” for India. “Recently, the head of the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was killed in an ‘encounter’... The Pakistani forces only crack down on any group when it gets out of hand - and set up new ones. They still distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Islamists.” (IANS)