Pakistan has conveyed to the Obama administration that it wants the United States to address its concern on any major role of India in Afghanistan in the post-NATO scenario.
Currently, talks between the US and Mullah Omar-led Afghan Taliban in the Qatari capital have been stalemated due to reservations of Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the Taliban office, but diplomatic sources said the formal negotiations between American officials and Taliban representatives would begin as soon as Karzai had expressed his willingness to support the Doha process.
Pakistan, on its part, is fully supporting the Doha process and it was in fact the key role played by Islamabad that helped secure the Taliban willingness for talks with the US and various Afghan groups in Qatar, as well as the opening of Taliban office there.
According to sources, Pakistan had also been instrumental in persuading the Taliban to soften their stance in the standoff with Karzai government over their office in Qatar and enter into meaningful negotiations with the US officials and other Afghan groups, including representatives of High Council for Peace in Afghanistan.
However, a source seeking anonymity said Pakistan was also in touch with the US and its other NATO allies like the UK on the India’s role in Afghanistan.
“Pakistan has its concerns over any major role assigned to India in Afghanistan by the United States after the NATO troops’ pullout and that has been conveyed to Washington,” he said.
He said the issue of Indian role and its increased influence in the war-torn country was also discussed by the Pakistani leadership with British Prime Minister David Cameron during his two-day visit to Islamabad that concluded on Sunday.
The source said Pakistan was not against friendly ties between Afghanistan and India, but at the same time it would also not like the use of Afghan soil for any anti-Islamabad activities.
In the past, Pakistan had spoken to New Delhi as well about the involvement of Indian hand in fomenting trouble in its Tribal Areas as well as Balochistan, for which Pakistani authorities believed the Afghan soil had been used.
Another diplomatic source, who also asked not to be named, said mindful of fact that any tension between Islamabad and New Delhi would impact its strategy for NATO troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US was trying hard, though through back channel diplomacy, for the recommencement of peace dialogue between rival nuclear neighbours.
“Resumption of peace dialogue with India is one of the priority areas of Nawaz government also and owing to that as well as US efforts for improvement of ties between Islamabad and New Delhi, the nuclear South Asian states are likely to soon embark on the course of negotiations,” he said.