The Nexus between Yesterday’s Bombing in Kabul and Today’s in Peshawar: to Derail Improving US-Pakistan Relations

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Context

Mistrust can lead to accusations; accusations, in turn, outright hostility. Regrettably, hostility is the word that best defines the relationship between India and Pakistan over the years and it is now in a freefall. While the issue of Kashmir is an ongoing headache, it was the Mumbai incident that added fuel to the fire; it was now amply clear the years of talks had changed nothing on the ground.

India bluntly accused the government-supported Jihadis from Pakistan of responsibility for the Mumbai incident; to no avail, Pakistan responded that non-state actors were the main culprits. The incident intensified the antagonism between the two countries and this time the chance of another war was real; it was only averted due to intense US-lead mediation. Nevertheless, India continues to believe that Pakistan’s military has ties to the Jihadis and Taliban.

On October 8th, 2009 came the second bombing on the Indian Embassy in Kabul, the first one taking place in July 2008. The first attack claimed the lives of 59 people, while 17 are reported to have died yesterday.  The official spokesman for the Afghan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

This was promptly followed by today’s bombing in the Khyber Bazaar of Peshawar, Pakistan, in which there were an estimated 49 deaths.

This analysis examines the impact of yesterday’s Kabul bombing and how it relates to today’s incident in Peshawar. We should add that another attack on Mainland India is very likely.