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Why Afghans are wanting an Indian win over Pakistan

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Kabul, March 6: While controversy continues over India's claims of destroying terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC), Afghanistan, another immediate neighbour of Pakistan, is backing New Delhi in its fight with Islamabad.

Why Afghans are wanting an Indian win over Pakistan

In fact, the people of the war-ravaged state in South Asia have not only been supporting India since the terror attacks in Pulwama that killed over 40 Indian personnel but even calling for an escalation, according to a report in Foreign Policy.

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During the period of soaring tension between the two nuclear-armed neigbours, Afghanistan has also repeatedly written to the United Nations accusing Pakistan of violating its territory.

Last week, when Pakistan's Ambassador to Kabul Zahid Nasrullah remarked that any adventurism by India against Pakistan could affect the ongoing peace talks in Afghanistan, he was summoned by the Kabul government and handed a diplomatic demarche for his comment.

Several Afghans see Islamabad as a major supporter of the Taliban insurgency on their soil.

"New air and sea routes are connecting Afghanistan to the wider region, reducing previous dependency on Pakistan, and Afghans fear that Pakistan is looking to widen its leverage. Afghanistan even protested a scheduled meeting between the Taliban and Pakistan earlier this month, raising the issue with the U.N. Security Council, stating it "amounts to the official recognition and legitimization of an armed group that poses a serious threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan"," the Foreign Policy article said.

The Afghans see India as the enemy of their enemy and New Delhi's investment of more than $3 billion for the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan has also bolstered India's image in that country.

Pakistan's link with terrorism is also something that upsets the Afghans. Foreign Policy cited Rahmatullah Nabil, a former Afghan spy chief and a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan, as saying that India's airstrikes against Pakistan should have happened much earlier.

Under new plan, US to exit Afghanistan in 3 to 5 years

He also said Iran, the third country to have a border with Pakistan and also saw its soldiers getting martyred by Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-ul-Adl on February 13, a day before the Pulwama tragedy, should also take similar action.

"Because if the U.S. leaves the region-and we hope they leave behind a good legacy-but if they simply withdraw, that will give the sense of victory to all terrorist networks not just in the region but on the other side as well," Nabil said, besides adding that as per his confidential sources, 45-48 terrorist networks are there in Pakistan created for different purposes.

Nabil said he feared that once the US withdraws from the region, Pakistan will turn into a bully thinking that they had once made the Soviet Union to withdraw from Afghanistan and now the US and Nato. He said Pakistan has an "expansionist agenda" and they are also armed.

For the Afghans, India stand a crucial counterweight to Pakistan in the region.

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