Murphy's Law: Rules Are Made To Be Broken

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February 4, 2010:  India has been helping Afghanistan economically, but has a hard time getting aid into the country. NATO has quietly helped India out, with the tacit cooperation of Pakistan. The basic problem here is that Pakistan will not allow Indian made goods to pass through its territory, which makes it difficult for Indian material to reach landlocked Afghanistan. The stuff can be shipped via Central Asia, but this is a lot more expensive for anything coming from India. Pakistan (or at least most Pakistanis) considers India its primary enemy, and is afraid that India is trying to develop good relations with Afghanistan as a way to do harm to Pakistan. Maybe, but mainly India wants to insure that al Qaeda does not find a new home in Afghanistan, as India is the target of many Islamic terrorist attacks.

NATO takes Indian aid items, including vehicles, and includes them in shipments of NATO supplies headed for NATO troops in Afghanistan. NATO has an agreement that such shipments are free of customs duties, and inspection, as they move through Pakistan. There was no way of hiding the origin of some of the bulkier items, but NATO could just say that the Indian made stuff was for NATO use. While Pakistan is officially hostile to all things Indian, there are a growing number of Pakistanis who want to warm up relations with India, recognizing a common culture (despite the religious differences). Moreover, India works (at least in terms of its economy and politics), while Pakistan does not. So many official, anti-Indian policies, are quietly ignored.

 

 


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