On the face of it, India's gesture of granting open access to goods from Afghanistan without charging any duty is a commendable incentive for the export sector, particularly industry, of the war-torn country that would enable it not only to revive its activity, but also to develop and grow. And, then, in an attempt to remove any doubt that India wants to further strengthen its hold in Afghanistan through this subtle stratagem to the detriment of Pakistan, its Defence Minister A. K. Anthony holds out the assurance that the deal is not intended against any country, but is due to the "unique" relationship India has with Afghanistan. Simultaneously, New Delhi has made another move to cloud its real motives; it has also opened its market to other low-income countries in its neighbourhood on the same terms i.e. duty-free import of their goods. Any subcontinent watcher would testify that Indias intention in expanding its influence in Afghanistan would, first of all, be to open another front on the western side of Pakistan in order to harass and destabilise it. New Delhi has already demonstrated that by extending aid to Afghanistan for development projects, it can introduce intelligence men into the country and spread a network of them that would enable it to foment trouble in Balochistan by aiding and abetting the elements which feel frustrated because of the discrimination, they believe, with which the people of the province have been treated since Pakistan came into being. Similarly, there is enough evidence to blame India for inciting terrorists in FATA to launch their deadly operations in Pakistan and giving them training, funds and equipment. Thus, Islamabad cannot view Indias growing presence in Afghanistan with equanimity. The most alarming point in this context is the manner in which the US, the occupying power and, with Hamid Karzai as mere titular President, real decision-maker in Afghanistan, is encouraging India to get involved in its affairs. In the process, the US continues to ignore Pakistans plea that Indias involvement in Afghanistan is harmful to its interests, and besides it cannot be justified on any other count. One hopes that in the long-term interest of his country, President Karzai would opt for engaging Muslim countries in the region Pakistan, Iran and Turkey to help stabilise his country, rather than befriending India, which under the garb of a friend, entertains ulterior motives against Pakistan. And the interests of both Pakistan and Afghanistan are interlinked for ensuring peace in either country. Hence, the need for their friendship