Hamid Karzai, the Mayor of the presidential palace in Kabul since his writ is limited to its four walls, levied charges against Pakistans premier intelligence agency, the ISI, of orchestrating the assassination of Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, Afghanistans former President and Chairman of the High Peace Council. He then denounced the year-long peace negotiations with the Taliban and rushed off to New Delhi to sign a security agreement, much to Islamabads chagrin, since heretofore the Western powers had kept India at bay in Afghanistan to ward off Pakistans suspicions. Although India does not have contiguous borders with Afghanistan, yet it has been fomenting trouble in Pakistans tribal region through it. For instance, it fished in troubled waters when the Soviets - a staunch Indian ally - invaded Afghanistan. However, it lost the initiative because Pakistan not only bore the brunt of the Soviet invasion, but also hosted about five million Afghan refugees and actively supported the mujahideen to defeat the mighty Red Army. Nevertheless, India got another chance when the Taliban came to power. It sheltered the Taliban rivals - the Northern Alliance. Post-9/11, when the US-led invasion of Afghanistan ousted the Taliban and brought the Northern Alliance into power, using its influence to win reconstruction projects, India ingressed into the country vying for a military presence. For this purpose, it established several Consulates in Afghanistan. It is also a fact that New Delhi has been using them to recruit, finance, train and arm insurgents to destabilise Balochistan and FATA. India is a staunch believer of Chanakya, alias Kautilya, and his treatise of war - the Arthashastra. It is so enamoured by the Chanakyan guiles and stratagem of deceit that it has named its diplomatic enclave in New Delhi as Chanakyapuri. Mandala Theory, which is one of the strategies prescribed and represented at the end of Kautilya's Book VI, The Source of Sovereign States, states: Throwing the circumference of the Circle of States beyond his friend's territory, and making the kings of those states as the spokes of that circle, the vijigisu (conqueror) shall make himself as the nave of that circle. The theory in effect recommends encircling the enemy with a number of states, friendly to you but hostile to your enemy. So, Indias overtures to Afghanistan are links of the same endeavour. Today, Karzai and the West are acknowledging India for donating about $2 billion to Afghanistan. But they are forgetting that Pakistan has hosted about five million Afghan refugees for 20 years. If it costs $5 per day to feed and clothe each Afghan refugee, the arithmetic is quite clear. Additionally, Pakistan enables the transit of goods from its ports to Afghanistan free of cost. Due to the high cost of food items there, tons of it is smuggled from Pakistan across the Durand Line, which has added to the countrys woes. If all these factors are taken into consideration, Pakistans contribution and sacrifices far outnumber anyone else. Keeping this in view, Peter Preston, a British journalist and author, said: The real victim of Bush's great 9/11 folly is Pakistan. It might have been a buoyant nation today, joining India and China at world economic forums. Instead it is a failing State. Playing along with New Delhi, Karzai outlined his vision for a borderless South Asia modelled on the European Union in which a traveller could have breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul. He imagined an idyllic future in which Afghan grapes will be able to reach Delhi in a lorry as delicious and fresh as they are in Kabul or Kandahar. Either it was navet or extreme craftiness on his part to make such projections is hard to understand. But for a man who dare not venture out of his palace, and whose minder - the US - is not safe either because of the daring attack on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters that took a massive toll of lives, is having utopian thoughts of a United States of South Asia. The prospects for peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan are intertwined. However, President Karzais baseless blame game and his dangerous liaison with India are detrimental to the peace process and regional stability. If the US endgame in Afghanistan is at hand, Karzai would be better served to be fair with Pakistan - his true benefactor. The writer is a political and defence analyst. Email: sultanm.hali@gmail.com