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Diplomacy is the Answer

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The future of the world, special our region, is in integration rather than dispersion, so let’s work on building bridges between our diversities rather than destroying what we already have.
If Europe could do it after fighting out for many years between them, so can we.

“I dream of a day, while retaining our respective national identities, when one can have breakfast in Amritsar, lunch in Lahore and dinner in Kabul. That is how my forefathers lived. That is how I want our grandchildren to live.” Dr.Manmohan Singh 2007

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Posted by on June 1, 2014 in Articles

 

Afpak: the ‘Strategic Depth’

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The term ‘Strategic Depth’ has been word of mouth of recent, after it was brought up during a recent visit of an Afghan delegation to Pakistan attending Pakistan-Afghanistan Bilateral Conference hosted by South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA).

The concept of Strategic Depth emerges from the realm of military operations which denotes the distance between enemy forces and the main center of gravity of a country (anything from a military base to economic and commercial hubs). For a military strategist the greater the distance to be traversed by enemy forces to reach these bases, the better are the chances of successful defense line and stance as the enemy in such situations end up in a war of attrition.
One of the best examples of such strategy emerges from German invasion of Soviet Union, where the Soviets traded space for time.

Another example of such policy is the Pakistani Strategic Depth.
As a professor at National Defense University of Pakistan and a military strategist, Gen. (ret) Mirza Aslam Beg, who would go on and become the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan replacing Gen. Zia ul Haq; in early 1980s while the Soviet involvement and engagement in Afghanistan was at its height and Indians had close ties and cooperation with the Soviets, decided to come up with a policy that will prevent an encirclement of Pakistan by its archrival India in the East and a Soviet supported Afghanistan in the West.
The policy was to define the Strategic Depth of Pakistan in case of an India invasion. For this Pakistan would assist the Afghan opposition and install a Pakistan friendly government in Kabul and if India invades Pakistan, the Pakistani Army will fall back to Afghanistan so to inflict a War of Attrition on the Indians, thus making Afghanistan Pakistan’s Strategic Depth [de facto].

Mostly this Strategic Depth policy has been rejected by Pakistani establishment and even ridiculed at times by international military strategists, yet this has been the hot topic of recent days.
Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Pakistani National Security and Foreign Affairs Adviser, brought up the topic at a Senate briefing few days ago where he made it clear that Strategic Depth meant nothing for Pakistan and Afghanistan. Adding Afghanistan was free to make decisions about its political future on its own, that peaceful neighborhood was the top priority of the incumbent government, and that Pakistan was following the policy of non-interference in Afghanistan and not fighting proxy wars.

This made it clear that the idea of Strategic Depth still is on the minds of Pakistani strategists and politicians even though they are trying to overcome it and establish a new, cooperative and peaceful strategy towards Afghanistan.

Now to assess what could be best for both countries in a new strategy towards each other we should consider the recent developments in the region and the ever-growing economic dependency of the regional countries on each other. With this we can come up with a long-term solution and strategy that will counter the problems facing both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In order to accomplish this solution we could start with revers-engineering the 19th and 20th century policy of “Divide and Rule” with a pluralistic and integrative policy. A policy of integration and contexture of interests of different entities, in this case nations.
One of these interests not only for Afghanistan and Pakistan but also India is the urgent and ever-growing need of energy which has hindered the economic growth of the mentioned countries to great extents.

Projects such as CASA-1000 (Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project) where electricity would be transmitted from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India Pipeline) where the pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan into Pakistan and India, and the Kunar River Hydroelectric Dam which is a joint management of common rivers project between Afghanistan and Pakistan providing 1500MW of electricity once constructed; could be some steps toward countering the problem.

Beside the common interests of energy, APTTA (Afghanistan Pakistan Transit and Trade Agreement) is another project of mutual interest for both countries which opens doors for the traders of both countries as well as connecting Central Asia with South Asia. With Afghanistan recently becoming a member of International Union of Railways and with the growing railways infrastructure in Afghanistan, APTTA could play a key role in bringing the two regions (Central Asia and South Asia) closer.

The proposed idea of extending Pakistani Motorway to Afghanistan and the Asian Highway Network are some other ideas that could benefit not only the two nations but the region.

These are some of the projects that could make the two countries economically interdependent and with common and mutual interests I don’t see a reason why the two countries cannot walk on the same path parallel to each other in peace.

Now going back to the Strategic Depth policy, India is also developing and growing at a fast pace and would prefer a peaceful neighborhood for its future growth. And with economic dependency of it over Central Asian energy giants, it becomes an obvious urge for it to have cordial and close relations with Pakistan.

Pakistan not having India scratching its back, means Afghanistan would be no more the Strategic Depth of Pakistan military policy, resulting in a common and transparent desire of the two nations to fight terrorism that has been imported and installed in this region.

In conclusion I think adopting each other’s interests as your own will result in interdependency of nations, making a cooperative environment in the region.
We should also remember that the main and core reason behind the success of European integration as an union was the desire of the once conflicting nations to cooperate in sectors of trade and economy so to recover from the aftermaths of World War II.

If the Europeans can manage to live side by side in peace and prosperity after centuries of conflicts between the members of today’s European Union, then the regional countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and India can definitely do it, especially while considering the close history, culture and customs that the nations share with each other.

 

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Articles

 

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Re: Afghanistan the Unknown

Today I came across an article titled “Afghanistan the Unknown”* written by Mr. Bing West (A former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine, who has written five books about combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is working on his sixth book, about an embattled Marine platoon in Afghanistan and the role of courage) on National Reviews website.

First up after reading the title I thought it could be an interesting article and straight away jumped to the bottom of the article to read about the writer (whom I didn’t know prior to this article), reading that he was the assistant secretary of defense, gave me further reasons to read it out.
But then sadly the moment I started reading the first paragraph where he labeled Afghanistan a “Medieval” country with “30 million illiterate, fractious tribesmen” (I never read anything that the “triumvirate” that he talks about ever mentioned such lines); I knew that it would be another ignorant article about Afghanistan by a writer who has no real idea of what’s the real history of his “Subject” and the current ground realities about his “Subject”.

It became more horrifying when I reminded myself that the writer was once an assistance secretary of defense, but at least now I know how the policies of the United States go wrong from time to time.

First up Mr. West should know that Afghanistan lived on the world map before 1979 as well, so imaging Afghanistan for its past 3 decades of history itself shows how ignorant the writer is about what he is writing.
I wonder if he has ever heard of the names like Avicenna, Rumi, Abdul Had Mohmand and Ishaq Shahryar to name a few?
If not it would be better he learns/googles about them before writing his next article or should I say ‘Book’.

Now as far as his overall article is concerned I would say he is doing the same mistake that most of Afghans do [sadly], that’s blaming others for your own mistakes.
Whenever a suicide bomb goes off in Afghanistan it’s blamed on neighbors, I know the neighbors play a key role in the instability and stability of the country, but one should not deny the fact that the person carrying out or helping with the attack is one of your own (an Afghan) either distracted or brainwashed.

The same applies to the analysis of Mr. West; he is totally denying the fact that it was people like himself advising the Military and the President when it came to policy and decision makings.
The fact that the US failed to come up with a strong policy to fight against “Terrorism” is a major obstacle in development of Afghanistan and the war against Terrorism.
As mentioned by Mr. West, the US was fighting the Taliban in 2006 (now I wonder if Mr. West would agree with me or just call it a conspiracy theory that Taliban were also one of those “Extensive Networks” that he discusses about, sat up back in 80s under the name of “Mujaheedin” or “Freedom Fighters” fighting the “Ugly” Soviets) while President Karzai was screaming out that Taliban were different from AQ and that he wanted to negotiate with them and bring them in to the political system of Afghanistan, but who would listen because it gave the US a reason to stay in Afghanistan and fight.
Today the same US is roaming around the world propagating about how beneficial it is for Afghanistan to get into talks with the Taliban and saying that “They were not after Taliban”.
The thousands of innocent civilian lives that were taken during US’ war against Taliban meant nothing? And they were “Not after Taliban”? That must be some political joke that the world has seen in recent times.

Yet I agree with Mr. West saying that it should be up to Afghans to decide for their future, but he should not forget that the US also has a responsibility towards Afghanistan; specially after it destroyed more than half of the country’s infrastructure and military might (including Artillery, Tanks and Air Force) whether it was by its “Extensive Networks” back in 80s and 90s or by itself in the past 11+ years.

Again I am sure that Mr. West will label it a conspiracy theory that the US is not in Afghanistan solely to destroy “Terrorism” and “Save Afghans” from the hardliners; but it also sees its long term benefits and strategic advantage holding military bases in Afghanistan.
Now if my words are not just conspiracy theory, then I suggest that it would be best for both Afghanistan and the US to establish a relationship beyond theories and suggestions of the likes of Mr. West.
Today Afghanistan as much requires the help of the US as the US requires of Afghanistan, so understanding each other’s interests and negotiating on a common ground where both nations have a mutual interest to be respected and agreeable to both sides, is the best way to work on for both nations.

I think Afghanistan’s security forces would be more than ready to secure the country once the Allied Forces leave, granted that they are supplied and economically backed by International Community.
A point to remember from short ago history of Afghanistan is the fact that Dr. Najibullah’s army did not fall apart due to its capability to fight insurgents then “Mujaheedin”, but solely due to lack of finance, once you are not able to finance a large army then surely you are in big trouble.

The amount spent by the US and Allied Force in the last 11+ years could have not only totally destroyed AQ operations in Afghanistan but would have also created a very professional and self-reliant Afghan Army today, but what’s gone is gone.
We should now be talking about future not about past 11 years and try to not make the same mistakes that were made in the past 11 years.

To conclude I would say both Afghanistan and the US should work on the much talked about “Security Agreement” on grounds that both nations could secure their national interests.
And both nations should be very selective when it comes to taking advice, because there could be people who are not only ignorant but also has limited knowledge of topics they are discussing about.

* http://www.nationalreview.com/article/346220/afghanistan-unknown

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Articles

 

“Karzai is moving towards the fate of Dr. Najeebullah” -US Senators and Media

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Recent statements of US senators and media outlets (New York Times and Washington Post) have indirectly warned President Karzai of facing the fate of Dr. Najeebullah who was butchered through the streets of Kabul and hanged on a Traffic Outpost in Aryana square.
And just to prove the president right – where he mentioned that Taliban are dancing to the tunes of the US and are only trying to terrify the people of Afghanistan – Taliban too declared that Karzai’s actions will lead him towards Aryana square.

Well politically speaking one could say that it is not impossible since the foreign intervention has always been there when it comes to Afghanistan’s sovereignty, but then one should not forget that the people of Afghanistan have now to some extents realized what they lost in the past and why did they lose it, so today I am sure that Afghans will be more than ready to defend its sovereignty as well as their national leader, the President.
Some opposition leaders have also condemned the president for taking harsh stance against our “Strategic Partners” the US, but what they are missing is that the sovereignty of the country has gone under question, and it’s the duty of every national of this country to defend it, rather than pleasing those who are oppressing your compatriots.
It’s the Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that states; “The greatest struggle is speaking the truth in the face of an oppressor.”

As far as the Americans are concerned I think they do remember the fate of Dr. Najeebullah but what they have forgotten is what was the aftermath of what happened to Dr. Najeebullah? Or are they inviting another 911 by motivating the insurgents’ moral?

Afghanistan descending back to dark times won’t affect the people of Afghanistan as much as it will affect the rest of the world, because Afghans can struggle and survive with hardships, civil wars, power cuts, no internet etc etc but the question is can the west survive another 911?

The US shouldn’t forget that no matter how diversified the people of Afghanistan are, when the question raised takes the sovereignty of the country under doubt, then all the borders that divides the people of the country clears automatically and they stand as one nation no matter how strong the opponent is; Macedonias, Mongols, Safavids, Turks, Tsars, Brits and Soviets know it well and US will be no exception if they tend to carry-on on this track.

Until there is an Afghan there will be Afghanistan

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Articles

 

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Pakistan: The Manipulator of Religion

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It’s almost 4 decades or more that Afghans have been crying out loud to the world that Pakistan is interfering in its affairs by different means, whether it’s extremism or fundamentalism, promotion ethnical confrontations or sectarian differences; Pakistan has long interfered and worked to destabilize Afghanistan so to not have a two-front hostility where one is its permanent front with its archrival India.

One of the most prominent weapons that Pakistan has used against Afghans is the usage of religion – Islam, specially while majority of the people in Afghanistan are devoted Muslims and may go to any extend to safeguard the one thing that they love more than their own lives.
On the other hand Pakistan – a country or should I say one of the two countries in the world that has been established in the name religion (the other being the state of Israel) – has always tried to manipulate religion for its own benefits and to be honest it has achieved wonders with it.

From dividing Kashmir by manipulating the pure and innocent sentiments of the Muslims in Kashmir to banking millions of dollars and military equipment in the name of Afghan Jihad against the Soviet Invasion, from establishing the networks of the international terrorism on its soil to back stabbing its own ally and friend China in Xinjiang province; it has manipulated the name of religion in any possible way available.

Fast forwarding from past to present, yesterday March 1st 2013 Maulana Fazlur Rehman – Chief of Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam Fazl (JUI-F) – was quoted by Pakistani news agency The News International saying that; “any decision about the future of Afghanistan could not be taken by sidelining Pakistan, because such a decision would not be acceptable to the people of both the countries.”

This statement comes at a time when the Pakistan Ulema (Clerics) Council Chief Alama Tahir Ashrafi just stated that “if they [non-Muslims] have Atom Bombs, we [Muslims] are ready to sacrifice our lives against them; thus it is fair and permitted to sacrifice your lives in any way possible in countries occupied by non-Muslims, like Palestine, Kashmir and Afghanistan.”
The two statements clearly show the influence of Pakistan on the affairs of Afghanistan and how badly they are involved in the insurgency going on in the country, by propagating false Islamic declarations.

Interestingly the statement of Alama Ashrafi which clearly validates and gives away permission to suicide attacks and jihad in the mentioned countries; comes at a time when just last year at Hajj Sermon the Grand Mufti of Saudi Shiekh Arabia Abdul Aziz ibn Abdullah condemned Suicide Attacks and declared the action as “Unforgivable” by Almighty Allah.

Still I would have agreed with what Alama Ashrafi has to say, but then questions come to my mind that:

  • Where was “Respected” Alama at the time when the Government of Taliban was bombarded from Shamsi and Jacobabad bases located in Pakistan and vacated only recently at the end of 2011?
  • Wasn’t it Farz (obligatory) for those “Muslims” (Pakistanis) to fight and declare a Jihad against the “non-Muslims” (the Americans) who had occupied their nation and was using it against another brother Muslim country (Afghanistan)?
  • Wasn’t it obligatory or worthy enough to fight against a government that was selling out Muslim brothers (Taliban leaders) handcuffed and blindfolded to the so called infidels and non-Muslims?
  • Or let’s just leave the past away, isn’t it obligatory for our “Respected” Alama, his followers and the “Great Muslim Nation of Pakistan” to fight and declare a Jihad on the non-Muslims (Chinese Corps) who are based in Gwadar Port (people with the same ideology – Communism – against which we Afghans were propagated to fight and declare Jihad against because they were the infidels who were after our religion and wanted to destroy our religious believes)?
  • Afghanistan is not the only Muslim country in the world which has the US forces helping her in the fight against terrorism and instability, we do have countries like Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Libya etc etc how come it’s only Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine where Jihad and Suicide Bombing is obligatory?
  • Mali is getting bombarded by French forces where the religious extremist groups are trying to take the power and the French forces are helping the residing president of the country; is it that those fighting in Mali are not “Muslim” enough or is it that the knowledge scope of “Respected” Alama is limited to the borders of the country (Kashmir and Afghanistan) plus Palestine (the hottest topic for any religious (Muslim or Jew) fanatic)?

These questions remind me of an answer to a question by former Chief of Afghan Intelligence, Mr. Amrullah Saleh where he said; “Nowhere in the Quran or any Hadith it says that the gate to the heaven is in Afghanistan, then why every Muslim tries to get to heaven via Afghanistan? There are lots of other places which requires martyrdom, yet everyone choses Afghanistan.”

It’s also worthy to mention that on 5th October 2012 reports came through Pakistani media that Alama Ashrafi had been kidnapped and within hours he was recovered and the kidnappers were arrested, it was never said why and for what reason.
The next day Pakistan News Channel Waqt reported that Alama Ashrafi actually was not kidnapped instead he was caught drunk on Grand Trunk (GT) road.1
The Ulema Council of Pakistan also blamed the Afghan Ulema Council of being influenced by the government of Afghanistan and having close relations with it yet Alama Ashrafi himself is most of the times seen with high ranking military officers and the activates of Pakistani intelligence the ISI.

At the end I would conclude that it’s up to the devoted Muslims of Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine and around the world to decide whether they want to follow what the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has to say at a Hajj Sermon, or what the Chief of Ulema Pakistan (the only Muslim country in the world that has legally licensed a Red Light District aka Heera Mandi in Lahore just behind the historic Badshahi Masjid2) has to say?

1 http://criticalppp.com/archives/229959
2 The book TABOO! by Fouzia Saeed (p. 155)

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2013 in Articles

 

Pakistan: Haven of Terror or Hub of Peace

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Haven of Terror

Recent attacks in Quetta and Karachi cities of Pakistan have taken hundreds of innocent lives and Pakistan is finding it difficult to catch up with the tunes that were set by it 3-4 decades ago, that of defending itself by establishing terror organizations.
The symbolic move came when Pakistani police were able to easily capture Malik Ishaq the head of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) from Rahim Yar Khan, at their will.
This move not only demonstrated how easy it was for the Pakistani officials to capture a renowned outlaw who is the head of a terror organization that is affiliated with Al Qaeda, but also showed that if the Pakistani officials want to capture such threats they know exactly where to look for.
It’s organizations and syndicates like this that is causing trouble across the region, not only Afghanistan and India but also Uzbekistan, Xingjian of China, Chechnya and across Middle East; yet most of these organizations are state sponsored and supported by the elite intelligence organization of Pakistan, the ISI.
From training the Mujahideen during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, establishing Lashkar-e-Taiba to fight Pakistan’s dirty war with India, harboring world’s most wanted man Osama Bin Laden to supporting the Taliban and Haqqani group engaged in Afghanistan; ISI has played a pivotal role.

Hub of Peace

After the trilateral meeting in London between heads of states David Cameron, Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, it was decided that peace initiatives should be prioritized and steps should be taken towards it by dialogue between Afghanistan and Pakistan Ulema (Clerics) Councils which should decide on how to get in dialogue with the Taliban and bring them to the peace and negotiation tables and issue a Fatwa which would denounce the killings of innocents civilians and put an end to the insurgency; to which Asif Ali Zardari gave his word and a gathering of the two councils was supposed to be held in Kabul early March.
This initiative was a clear sign by Pakistani leader that Pakistan is interested in becoming a Hub of Peace for Afghanistan and will support the country’s fight against insurgency and steps towards peace.

Truth

But the double face of Pakistan once again appeared when a letter signed by Mufti Abu Huraira Mohiuddin – a member of Pakistan Ulema Council – addressed to Afghan Ulema Council, arrived.
In the letter Mufti Mohiuddin said that “the Ulema of Pakistan did not want to criticize any of the Afghan Taliban’s past actions nor were they ready to issue a Fatwa against their actions or them”.
Later on chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, Alama Tahir Ashrafi went on record saying that Pakistani Ulema will boycott the Kabul Conference. The Conference that was decided upon by Asif Ali Zardari and was planned to form a united stance against violent extremism and suicide attacks that kill civilians.
The reason that was given by Alama Ashrafi was that the Afghan government had a lot of influence over the Afghanistan Ulema Council and that this conference would be used against Taliban and they didn’t want to condemn Taliban.
In general, this action of Alama Ashrafi once again portrays how weak the “Spokesman” of the ISI is – Spokesman referred to the Civilian Government of Pakistan who does nothing but being a good spokesman of the ISI and Military; and how crucial a role does the Intelligence Organization plays.

In the course of these developments, sometime back when the Afghan Government requested Pakistan to hand over the Taliban Political Prisoners held in Pakistan, the answer was that the two countries didn’t have a Treaty of Prisoners’ Exchange aka an Expedition Treaty.
Within months on 18th Feb 2013 the Afghan Intelligence Officials were able to capture Maulavi Faqir Mohammad deputy chief of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and straight away Pakistan asked for handover of Maulavi Faqir to be prosecuted under Pakistani Law; in reply of which the Afghan Government rightly so reminded Pakistan that they didn’t have an Expedition Treaty.
After the arrest of Maulavi Faqir, Pakistani Ulema Council now want to start a Peace Talk of its own with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud so to secure a ceasefire inside Pakistan.
This again shows how unpredicted and uncommitted Pakistan is when it comes to peace in the region specially Afghanistan, even with all its claims of working for peace in the region; yet one could not blame the civilian government of Pakistan who has limited power when it comes to decision making process and policy plans.

The government of Afghanistan too should understand how unfruitful it is to talk to Pakistan Government when it comes to peace in Afghanistan while the Taliban should also realize how Pakistan is again trying to manipulate them.
Pakistan; the same country who sold Mullah Abdul Salam Zaif – then Taliban’s Ambassador to Islamabad – and hundreds like him in return to few millions of dollars while Musharaf bluntly stated “Sab Se Pehlee Pakistan or Pakistan Before Everything Else”; yet if Taliban think that Pakistan is wishing them good and prosperity then one could only pity for them.

The Afghan Government looking for alternatives of Islamabad towards Riyadh and Cairo for Peace Talks is a step that should have been taken years ago, yet it’s still not late and the step should be applauded and be implemented as soon as possible.
Taliban should also take the initiative and get to the negotiation tables so to stop bloodshed of Afghans on both sides of the fronts.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, it should decide whether it really wants to be the Haven of Terror or not? Because what they sowed years ago has already started biting them back.
Also the people of the country should decide how they want to survive in the neighborhood where they have very few friends and are making enemy day after another.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Articles

 

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Afpak: A bad Marriage

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The Afghan and Pakistani governmental relations since the birth of Pakistan (1947) has been nothing more than a bad marriage that neither could survive nor could break up, although the general public of both nations have got along well and enjoyed a healthy relation specially during the occupation of Afghanistan by Soviets followed by the years of civil war and the Taliban regime (1979-2001), when Afghans took refuge in Pakistan and were welcomed by the general public and were treated well (compared to what Afghans faced in Iran).

During the Jihad against the expansion of Communism towards the warm waters (Persian Gulf), the government of Pakistan backed by the weaponry of the west and money of the Arab world did support the cause of Afghans to bring down the ‘Evil’ Communists and during this supportive hand of friendship Pakistan also tried to get the upper hand on Afghan politics where they intruded the Afghan political system with their agents and those who were in favor of Pakistani interests.

After the fall of Dr. Najeebullah’s government (1992), it was former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who during statement called on the people of Pakistan saying that; “I have brought down the mighty Afghan Army, what more do you demand?”
By saying that he meant a country without a force to police it and ready to be taken in pieces, the factions attacked the cake – Afghanistan – like hungry young boys who would fight to death to get a piece of the cake, resulting in the destruction of the country infra structurally as well as economically.
The country by then divided into groups under the name of ethnicity, language, regional and sectarian affiliation had to go through some of the worst years witnessed in Afghan History, which was only to be followed by a group of Madrasa students – Taliban – who would impose a version of Islam that was new to most of the Islamic world (at least in this modern age).
During all these dark times of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s government had a very active role in the internal as well as external affairs of Afghanistan since whoever was in power was very much dependent on Pakistan economically as well as militarily.

After the incident of 911, the world – especially the USA – was surprised to see where once a prospering country – Afghanistan – was now, all thanks to the negligence of the USA once its aim of bringing down the ‘Evil’ Communists was accomplished, which resulted in Afghanistan becoming a hub of international terrorism and extremism.
That was when the US all the sudden felt bad for the people of Afghanistan and came in as the saviors – well that would have been a great story to tell but sadly it wasn’t the case, they came after the terrorists responsible for the incident of 911 and to secure a strategic position on a longer run when it comes to the US strategy towards the developing Chinese economic influence and the reemerging military might of the Russians.
Afghanistan all the sudden had a new partner in the form of the US, who would introduce a western democracy to the people who had just came out of the most extreme version of religious and authoritarian regime.
Things looked bright for Afghanistan especially considering that Pakistan now had to reconsider its policies towards Afghanistan and no more Afghan policies would be influenced by Pakistan.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan got on a new track where Pakistan seemed to play the role of a brother nation coming in with a helping hand but as the history of relations with Pakistan has shown, it’s very hard for Afghans to trust Pakistan especially while they are offering a helping hand.

During past one decade we have seen many ups and downs in Afpak relations but if we concentrate on the most recent times, Afghan politicians, journalists, analysts and general public once again were optimistic towards the offers of Pakistan to bring in the Taliban residing/imprisoned in Pakistan to the tables of talk and negotiations.
The recent visits of Afghan High Peace Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani followed by Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul to Islamabad boasted the hopes and optimism that the insurgency on both sides of the Durand Line, if not entirely, to some extents could come to an end; but then a hope it stayed.

Asadullah Khalid

Asadullah Khalid

Two days before the cowardly (hiding a bomb in your underwear is thought to be bravery in no tradition around the world, leave alone the Afghan tradition, the people who had heroes like Wazir Akbar Khan who would step inside British Embassy and shoot Macnaghten in his mouth) attack on Asadullah Khalid the director of Afghan National Directorate of Security; Pakistan’s “Champion Sir” Rehman Malik1 talked of secret operations inside Afghanistan that he would like to carry on.
Asadullah Khalid a prominent member of inner circle of president Karzai has been working hard to coup against the insurgents and since his appointment as the director of NDS (around 3 months ago) he has been able to spoil several attempts of insurgency and has been considered a headache for Pakistan’s influence in the country (2nd only to former director of NDS Amrullah Saleh who too was on every agenda of then president Musharraf of Pakistan for his active role against the insurgents which meant cross border activities as well or in other words – counter intelligence).
Khalid has been able to use the public against the insurgents which has been a very successful project and fruitful in establishing peace and order in remote areas.
The recent statement of president Karzai where he mentioned that “the theory of the assassination attempt was incepted in Quetta city of Baluchistan”, shows that Pakistan has once again came short of insuring its words and intentions (the transparent ones or the ones that it promises Afghanistan every now and then) and has failed to gain the trust of the general public and the government of Afghanistan.

It is amazing how both countries are complaining of terrorism yet Pakistan is unable to come to a final decision on what path it selects towards Afghanistan and terrorism.
It is time that it does so because the fire that was once burning down Afghanistan has now reached the other side of Durand Line as well and it is affecting that side more than the Afghan side since Afghanistan is on a road towards rebuilding and reemerging from a dark time while Pakistan is descending into a dark well which will be hard to resurface.

In hope of a more trustful Pakistani approach towards peace in the region

1 – http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/195480/

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2012 in Articles