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Pakistan Conducts Air Strikes in Afghanistan: Implications For India and Beyond

© AP Photo / Anjum NaveedA Pakistani Air Force F-16 fighter jet flies during a military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, March 23, 2018
A Pakistani Air Force F-16 fighter jet flies during a military parade in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, March 23, 2018 - Sputnik India, 1920, 19.03.2024
On Monday, Pakistan's air strikes on Afghan soil resulted in a skirmish on the border as tensions heightened between the two countries. Against this background, Sputnik India examines what could be the implications of Islamabad's military action in the neighboring state.
The Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) coordinated attacks on militants inside Afghanistan are a strong indicator of the strength of the South Asian country's military, an Indian Army veteran has said.
According to Lieutenant-Colonel (Retd) J.S. Sodhi the recent Pakistani air strikes on Afghani soil are a matter of worry for India because, in the last couple of years, Islamabad has been very proactive in carrying out military operations against any country from whom it has seen a threat - be it the case of Iran a few months back or the case Afghanistan now.

Demonstration of Confident Pakistani Military

The Defense pundit underlined that this is because the Pakistani military has the full backing of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and as a result, their confidence has grown tremendously in the last couple of years.
"Therefore, the PAF's attack on Afghanistan's territory should not be taken as a mere one-off incident. It is a greater pointer to the strength that the Pakistani military, including its Air Force, has gained over the last few years because of the immense support given by China," Sodhi told Sputnik India on Tuesday.
However, the PAF's combat mission in Afghanistan will not escalate into a war-like situation between the two sovereign states because at this point Pakistan is not interested in having a war with any of its neighbors, including India due to the economic turmoil within the nation, the Indian Defense Forces veteran expressed.

Chances of Full-Blown War Between Kabul and Islamabad Miniscule

Sodhi reckoned that China will ensure that the escalation between Afghanistan and Pakistan doesn't increase because Beijing has been investing heavily in the former. A similar thing happened when Pakistan and Iran traded strikes in each other's territory in January this year.
But he believes that Pakistan has upped the ante against the Taliban as Afghanistan has been supporting the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The geopolitical analyst noted that it was a known fact in global intelligence circles and that is the reason Pakistan conducted air strikes on TTP strongholds in Paktika and Khost provinces.
"As far as Pakistan is concerned, it will not take the words of the Taliban government in Kabul because Islamabad itself has been instrumental in the incremental rise of the Taliban. Since Pakistan has played a pivotal role in the rise of the Taliban in the region, it knows very well how the Taliban functions, and how the Taliban mobilizes funds for such activities," Sodhi explained.

Growing Menace of Terrorism in Pakistan

One must not forget that over 650 terrorist incidents took place in Pakistan in 2023, killing over a thousand and about 5,000 injured.
Most of these attacks were carried out by the TTP, with the proscribed militant group's members most active in Pakistan's volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
"Hence, I don't think Pakistan would buy any statement from the Taliban that it is not supporting the terrorists who are waging a war against Pakistan," Sodhi concluded.
An afghan man walks at the Afghanistan-Iran border crossing of Islam Qala, on Wednesday , Nov. 24, 2021. Afghans are streaming across the border into Iran, driven by desperation after the near collapse of their country's economy following the Taliban's takeover in mid-August. In the past three months, more than 300,000 people have crossed illegally into Iran, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council, and more are coming at the rate of 4,000 to 5,000 a day. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) - Sputnik India, 1920, 19.03.2024
Political Affairs
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