Smoke and mirrors

In his article ‘Smoke and mirrors’ (Feb 13) Zafar Hilaly says of the Soviet Union that “dipping their toes in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean was the last thing on their minds.” If this is the case, why exactly did the Soviets invade Afghanistan? There was no indication that the US or any other power was about to invade that country. Nor did the Soviets have the backing of the UN (as in the case of the US-led Nato invasion of Afghanistan).

So what was the real reason behind the Soviet adventure? It is obvious that the Soviets, along with the Indians (who supported the invasion), wanted to encircle Pakistan and cause it to break up. A fragmented Pakistan and a pliant Afghanistan would have given them access to the Arabian Sea.

Shakir Lakhani
Thursday, February 14, 2013