LAHORE: New Delhi's growing frustration and anti-Pakistan hysteria with reference to the fast-unfolding developments in Afghanistan is quite understandable because the American forces have started withdrawing just eight months after India had announced 100 new community projects worth US $80 million, hence helping its development portfolio in this war-torn nation exceed US $3 billion or Indian Rs22,000 crore, up from $2.3 billion in 2011.

On November 25, 2020, India had rolled out the fourth phase of its development activities in this mountainous landlocked country situated at the crossroads of Central and South Asia, and the formal announcement in this context was made by the Minister of External Affairs Dr Jaishankar during his virtual address at a global conference on Afghanistan.

Indian media had quoted Dr Jaishankar as saying: "India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has to-date amounted to over US$ 3 billion. No part of Afghanistan today is untouched by the 400 plus projects that India has undertaken in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces. More than 65,000 Afghan students have also studied in India."

During the course of his address, the Indian minister of external affairs had asked for an immediate ceasefire between the Afghan government and the "terrorist" organisations.

In its press release issued the same day, the Indian External Affairs Ministry had stated that India had just concluded an agreement with Afghanistan for the construction of the Shah Toot Dam, which would provide safe drinking water to two million residents of Kabul city.

Earlier, as the External Affairs Ministry said, India had transported 75,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan via Chabahar port as a relief for the nation ravaged by Covid-19 crisis.

So, it is not basically the "sinking" US3 billion Indian investment in Afghanistan that is worrying New Delhi, but it is the sudden unfolding of unexpected events that it had never anticipated or seen in the wildest of its dreams!

The emerging political scenario in Afghanistan, with Taliban dominance, has certainly inflicted an astounding thud to India's hegemonies designs in the region, as it had never thought the American President, Joe Biden, would order the completion of troops' withdrawal process with such a speed!

Interestingly, it was also in November 2020 that Pakistan had accused India of "training, harbouring, and launching … terrorists into Pakistan" from 87 training camps — 66 in Afghanistan and 21 in India. (Reference: A report of Deutsche Welle (DW), the German public state-owned international broadcaster).

The "Deutsche Welle" had also carried Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's tweet, reading: "We expect the international community to force India to end its terrorism & bring to justice those responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in Pakistan."

As far as Indian fears or apprehensions of expected violence against its interests in Afghanistan are concerned, they certainly have an uncharitable history.

For example, on July 7, 2008, as a leading American media house "CNN" had reported, an attack on the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan had killed 58 people and wounded 141.

The attacks had killed an Indian defence attaché, a political consul, two embassy security guards, six Afghan police officers and many Afghan civilians. In 2009, a second attack on the Indian embassy had made 17 people bathe in blood and succumb to their fatal injuries.

According to the "New York Times," the Haqqani network was blamed for the attack.

In 2010, six Indian construction workers and several Indian doctors were killed in terrorist attacks on two Kabul guesthouse often frequented by Indians.

And in 2019, four Indian nationals were kidnapped in Afghanistan, though they were rescued later in a special exfiltration operation.

It is imperative to note that by 2012-13, only 3,000 Indian nationals were working for reconstruction companies in Afghanistan. This number included those serving international aid agencies or were working at the Indian consulates and embassies.

In 1990, the population of Afghans of Indian origin was estimated at 45,000.

These Indian Afghans had mostly descended from migrants from the Punjab region. They had mostly settled down in cities like Jalalabad and Kabul.