New Delhi: India and Afghanistan have signed a strategic pact during Hamid Karzai's two day visit to the capital. The pact signals India has upped its stakes in Afghanistan at a time when tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan are high.
It is being alleged that the Pakistanis are playing a double game and are using terror as a tool against Afghan. Karzai was blunt in condemning Pakistan before he left Kabul - but was more cautious when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was by his side.
"Afghanistan recognises dangers it's facing through terror and radicalism used as an instrument of policy against it's citizens," Karzai said.
Despite the recent public criticism of Pakistan, Kabul is signalling negotiations will have to be done with Pakistan if Taliban and associated groups are to be reigned in.
Afghanistan National Security Advisor Rangin Spanta said, "Taliban is a political tool of Pakistan's foreign policy. The establishment behind Haqqani network is in Pakistan. We have to talk to Pakistan with regard to this."
Unlike the strain in Afghan-Pak ties, the ties with India are only getting stronger. India is enlarging its footprint in Afghanistan but the Prime Minister was careful not to antagonise Pakistan.
"Our relationship with Afghanistan is an open book," said Manmohan Singh.
Security co-op is one element of the strategic pact signed between the two nations. The security co-op will be scaled up but won't go beyond improved intelligence sharing and training of Afghan security forces.
It is being reported that Kabul wants to talk to Rawalpindi in the future and is possibly wary of needling it excessively.