"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Usman_Khalid
Full Name: Brig (R) Usman Khalid
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2013 Elections: price to pay for ignoring Kashmir and Afghanistan

 By Usman Khalid, April 27, 2013

The writer who asserts that the union of Pakistan and Afghanistan is inevitable

General Elections in Pakistan are due to be held on 11 May. The election campaign is in full swing but it is a campaign with a difference. Everything of importance to the future of Pakistan is being completely ignored by all political parties. The top national objective of Pakistan is the ‘liberation of Jammu and Kashmir’ and the top security threat to Pakistan is from the impending explosion in Afghanistan that would follow the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan.

Kashmiris waving Pakistani flag in Srinagar. How long would their aspirations be ignored?

The security situation in the area of our concern – South Asia and the Muslim World – has come increasingly under the direction and control of Indo-Zionists since 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The year 1967 was the watershed because Israel demonstrated its ability to be the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” in the Eastern Mediterranean ready and willing to promote US policies in the Arab World. Grateful USA has helped Israel with money and weapons to maintain its invincibility ever since. But things have turned sour after Israel was able to persuade the USA to turn on its erstwhile ally – Saddam Hussain – and caused the destruction of the state of Iraq. Israel had no other reason to want the USA to invade Iraq except that it was the only country with well trained and well equipped armed forces in the region. Now Israel is trying very hard that the USA invade Iran, which is another country that has been friendly to the USA for decades but has since withdrawn recognition from Israel. There are many wise people in the USA who have realised that following Israeli diktat has caused irreversible damage to the power and influence of the USA in the Muslim World. But the influence of Indo-Zionists over the policy making apparatus of the USA is still considerable and no one can be sure if Iran or Syria may be invaded by the USA.

Pakistan’s major concern that it shares with the USA is over Afghanistan where India has been driving the US policy. India has been helped by the US portrayal of the problem as “terrorism”. India has also been helped by the age old Afghan line founded on non-recognition of the Durand Line as border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ever since its creation in 1947 when Afghanistan was the only country not to support the admission of Pakistan to the UN, Pakistan has been faced with insecure borders in the East and the North WestIndia and Afghanistan. Pakistan’s security problem increased as erstwhile USSR became an ally of India and Afghanistan. Encouraged by Soviet support India went back on its promise to hold a plebiscite to allow the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether to join India or Pakistan. Pakistan aligned itself with the USA but the US proved to be an unreliable friend in 1965 as well as 1971 Wars. The entry of Soviet forces into Afghanistan in 1979 really alarmed Pakistan. It was thought that isolation in 1971 War had encouraged the Soviet Union to intervene. It took Pakistan nearly two years before the USA was persuaded to help Afghan resistance. The USA helped with money, weapons and diplomatic support: Pakistan provided intelligence, volunteers and training and above all a conduit for international help to Jihad in Afghanistan. The rest is history.

In 1985, the Soviet Union expressed readiness to withdraw from Afghanistan. Pakistan was in the driving because the victorious Mujhideen had no other state as overt sponsor or supporter. Negotiations were carried out under the auspices of the UN. But sharp differences emerged between the Junejo Administration and the ISI. Prime Minister Junejo wanted the agreement to be restricted to terms of Soviet withdrawal only; he did not want a change in government in Kabul. The ISI was of the view that unless the victors got a share in power in Kabul, war would continue as civil war. Junejo administration got its way and the Soviet puppet – Najibullah – continued in power for another two years. These years were characterised by deadly civil war that caused more destruction in Afghanistan than during Soviet occupation. There were several more important issues that needed to be resolved but were ignored. The most important issue from the point of view of the Mujahideen who had come to Afghanistan from all over the world was: after the exit of Soviet troops, was the war in Afghanistan still Jihad? At that time, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, the mentor of OBL given credit for the revival of international jihad, issued a fatwa that the Jihad was over and ordered all the foreign fighters to go back to their countries. Most did but the Takfiri cults who had been waging a war against the rulers in Egypt (under Aiman al Zawahiri), and Saudi Arabia (under OBL) could not go back. They asserted that Afghanistan after “complete liberation” i.e. imposition of Takfiri rule, would be the base from which the entire world of Islam could be liberated (conquered) and real Khilafa established. The Afghan Mujahideen were ecstatic at the prospects of being the base for the ‘true liberation’ of the Muslim World. Besides, there are aspects of Afghan culture that facilitated Takfiri infiltration of the Afghan society.

It is quite possible that the next government of Pakistan might repeat the mistakes made by Junejo Administration. Once again it is difficult to pin point who are the victors in the war in Afghanistan. Even if that was possible it is hard to get them together and even harder to get them to agree. A single comprehensive agreement is neither possible and I would say it is not even desirable. There are three broad areas requiring international agreement:

1. Agreement to facilitate withdrawal of occupation troops. This would be a technical agreement negotiated under UN auspices to set out conditions for withdrawal and outline arrangements, responsibilities and time table for withdrawal.
2. An agreement between all fighting factions to formally end Jihad including factions based in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. This should be accompanied by an agreement to form an interim government, hold elections, and draft a constitution etc. This event may be hosted by one of the Central Asian Republics and sponsored by all the immediate neighbours of Afghanistan.
3. An agreement between donor countries and Afghanistan to provide financial help and security assistance for a period of ten years. (American desire to station troops in Afghanistan would fall into this category. This would be the last agreement to be signed; an effort to make it the first could lead to complete failure).

Pakistan is one country whose security concerns have to be kept in view in order to make stable peace in Afghanistan possible. Pakistan would have be a party in all the agreements as guarantor or conduit or both. There is a temptation in many Western capitals to portray Pakistan as a part of the problem – as a failed state, which is the epicentre of terrorism driven by imperial objectives in Afghanistan and Jammu & Kashmir, riven by sectarian strife. Diplomacy in such an environment is no easy task particularly when the Indo-Zionists in the Pakistani media are following the same line. With Imran Khan in the lead in the political class, who has nothing to say about Afghanistan except to ‘get out of this war’, the fear of repetition of Junejo era nightmare is quite real. The political class is equally vague and reticent over Kashmir. What they do not realise is that when the political class fails to lead in articulation of challenges or responses, others do. When the 1985 Geneva Accord on Afghanistan did not provide a political settlement, a civil war became inevitable. When the aspiration for peace could not be provided by war lords, the people gave victory to the Taliban who came with Koran in one hand and Kalashnikov in the other. When the Taliban were sidelined by the Takfiri cult, a sectarian war was superimposed on an ethnic mosaic with no one providing a basis for national unity and cohesion. The question is whether the political and religious matters going to be settled by the gun or by international agreements. My suggestion is that occupying powers lead the first and the third agreements and offer help and advice on the second agreement only when asked.

Let us get back to Pakistan based Pashtun factions. A large number is still focussed on defeating the occupation forces. By now they realise that the occupation forces are ready to leave Afghanistan. The question they face is how to deal with their exit. They fear the return of a civil war which will be very unpopular with the populace sick and tired of war. They had hoped to establish a safe haven in Pakistan. That led them into a war with the Pakistan Army, their former mentors and protectors. They saw their chance in Pakistan when they found how much India and the CIA had been involved in creating and sustaining an insurgency in Pakistan. They noted that the political parties they were sympathetic to, are too afraid to call the ruling coalition of the Zardari led PPP, MQM and ANP to be Indian puppets. They decided to fight the PPP, MQM and ANP and prevent them from winning another electoral victory by fraud and intimidation. Is there an understanding between the parties they do not target and the Taliban? No. That is not the method of the Taliban. But they have learnt from their experience. They spell out their objective and let the guns do the talking. Liberation of Jammu & Kashmir and union of Pakistan and Afghanistan is not the ‘imperial objective’ of Pakistan as India would have us believe. But it is the objective of the Taliban. The defeat of Indian puppets in 2013 elections would set the course; but it is not the final objective. But if the victors in elections do not pay attention to the guns that defeated the BLA and other armed bands in Karachi and Balochistan, they will be sidelined as well. That is why I say that the price to pay for ignoring the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan and of Jammu and Kashmir would be very high. ++


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