So it appears that it was not a military base at all – at least not in the conventional sense of the word (no puns intended). India has offered to repair the Ayni military airport which was destroyed during the 90s civil war. But the Pakistanis are ‘angry and afraid’ of being encircled by India. The Pakistani world view does not allow for India to have friendly relations with anyone bordering Pakistan. The Afghans are already disturbed by this Pakistani dogma. That said, India should have no qualms of pursuing economic, military and security ties with the states sorrounding Pakistan. For one, these states have all suffered by the influx of armed terrorists from Pakistan – Afghanistan and India being the worst victims, but Iran, Tajikistan and China not being spared too. There is a commonality of interests in ensuring that Pakistan does not spread its cancer to its neighbours.
However, this ‘encircling by India’ is giving the Pakistani military establishment a new cause to increase their military expenditure. Another dollar diverted away from economic development. Given their state of mind, its not likely that Pakistan will allow overflight rights any time soon.
More importantly, better relations with Tajikistan, Iran and Afghanistan implies that the world has a new safer trade route to the central asian republics.