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Eurasianet: Afghan-Pakistani Tension Could Create Opening For Iran

Author: Alex Vatanka, Senior Middle East Analyst, Jane's Information Group; Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute
January 3, 2007

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This report from Eurasianet, part of the Open Society Institute, argues that lingering acrimony in Afghan-Pakistani relations could create a diplomatic opening for Iran to increase its economic and political influence in Kabul. The report says that Afghan-Pakistani tension is rooted in the revived Taliban insurgency: despite repeated denials by Islamabad, the prevailing sentiment in Kabul is that Pakistan is providing critical assistance to the Taliban. Afghan media now openly depict Islamabad as striving to undermine President Hamid Karzai’s administration. Afghan officials evidently believe that Pakistan seeks to recover political leverage in Afghanistan that it lost after the Taliban regime was driven from Kabul in 2001.

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