The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Afghanistan on Saturday to inaugurate a $290 million hydroelectric dam with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani – the latest Indian investment highlighting strengthening ties between the two countries. The nexus seems to be complete, and Afghanistan is unashamedly open about its support from India. This would be fine if Afghan politicians were not constantly hurling accusations at Pakistan – we could have taken Indian interference as just economic. Unfortunately, Modi and Ghani look like two enemies joining forces, spewing vitriol about Pakistan whenever they get the chance.

Here we are still bickering over the Kalabagh dam, while our neighbours are scrambling to cover all their bases. The 42 megawatt Salma dam in western Herat province, bordering Iran, is one of two major projects carried out under India’s development partnership with Afghanistan. India has poured more than $2 billion into the country since the Taliban was toppled from power in 2001. New Delhi, the fifth largest bilateral donor in Afghanistan, has been a key supporter of Kabul’s post-Taliban government, a stance that has led analysts to point to the threat of a “proxy war” in Afghanistan between India and Pakistan.

The deal, bypassing Pakistan to connect Iran, India, and Afghanistan to central Asia, will boost economic growth in India. India has found its way around us, and Afghanistan has played right into its hands. This heralds the coming of more issues of international espionage and sabotage. While once the idea that all Pakistani crises had a foreign hand could be scoffed at, now we have to think twice as India is so close to home. Afghanistan was almost like home. We share communities and ethnicities with Afghanistan, we kept an unfenced border because of this, and we welcomed refuges with open arms. But those days are gone, and India will make sure that Pakistan has no peace from the east the west or the north.

A recent US congressional report has highlighted that India’s goals in Afghanistan are to deny Pakistan strategic depth and curtail its ability to block India from trade and other connections to Central Asia and beyond. It notes that Afghanistan also seeks close ties with India because it wants access to India’s large and rapidly growing economy – “but without alarming Pakistan.” Well, Pakistan is alarmed, and Afghanistan has been less than diplomatic in its dealing with Pakistan in the past few months.