FORMER ISI chief Lt Gen (Retd) Hameed Gul has predicted that when the Americans leave Afghanistan, the Indians will leave virtually simultaneously. In an interview to Waqt news channel, he made this prediction while answering questions during an interview. He openly said, that India had no place in Afghanistan, but he also implied that the presence of India in Afghanistan, and not merely presence but its high profile there, which it was using to interfere in Pakistans internal affairs, was unwelcome to Pakistan. Though General Gul did not say as much, India was invited in Afghanistan because it suits the USA, which continuously seeks opportunities to reward it as it builds it up as a counterweight to China in the region. The Karzai regime has a natural affinity to India, because of its Hazara backing and its animus against Pakistan, and was the original reason for the high profile India got there and why the USA decided to induct it. The recent discovery of mineral wealth on a previously unsuspected scale in Afghanistan will tempt both the Americans and the Indians into remaining longer than they can, but General Gul also implied, though he left it unsaid, that the Indians would leave because the regime that welcomed them would also depart. Considering that their real welcome has come from the Karzai regime, it would imply the fall of his government. Considering how its corruption and nepotism have made the Afghan people disaffected, such a fall would not be unexpected. General Gul seems to be expecting the Karzai regime to meet the same fate as the Najibullah regime, which the Soviets had installed; a fate identical to that of all those regimes which invaders had installed, and which fell as soon as the foreign troops left. This is a reasonable expectation, and the USA realises this. However, the government of Pakistan does not seem to realise that it is now necessary to abandon the US alliance if it is to have any hope of having its legitimate interests represented in a post-US Afghan settlement.