Afghan President Hamid Karzai moved to reassure Pakistan that the security pact he signed with India on Tuesday was not aimed at Islamabad, the Washington Post reports.
As far as diplomatic statements go, this was fairly absurd. One could say that before, India was the elephant in the room that nobody liked to mention. Now, Karzai is trying to say that the elephant isn't there. Or if it is there, it doesn't take up any space, and definitely won't leave any unpleasant smelling "presents."
The pact signed Tuesday is Afghanistan’s first with any country, the Post said. Its timing sparked speculation of a shift in regional alignments after Karzai chastised Pakistan for failing to act against Taliban-led insurgents based in Pakistan.
Karzai said India and Afghanistan are friends, but Afghanistan and Pakistan are twin brothers, according to the BBC.
The statement followed an agreement that will see India training Afghan soldiers, and an economic pact that will help Afghanistan forge trade links with Iran and end its dependence on Pakistan's ports.
"Pakistan is a twin brother, India is a great friend. The agreement that we signed yesterday with our friend will not affect our brother," Karzai said, according to the BBC. "This strategic partnership... is not directed against any country... this strategic partnership is to support Afghanistan," the news channel quoted President Karzai as saying during a lecture organised by an Indian think-tank on Wednesday.
Government officials in Pakistan, which has long feared a hostile India over its eastern border and a pro-India Afghanistan on its western border, have refrained from commenting on the India-Afghanistan agreement, Reuters reported.