"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: Asif_Haroon_Raja
Full Name: Asif Haroon Raja
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Part 2

Glitches after historic peace agreement

Asif Haroon Raja 

Mistakes Made by USA

Mendaciousness of purpose and intentions.

Underestimating the enemy and over-estimating own capabilities.

Installation of pro-India and anti-Pakistan regime of Northern Alliance in Kabul and ignoring majority Pashtuns.

Continued reliance on most inept and corrupt regimes of Karzai and Ghani in Kabul.

Spending $90 billion on raising non-Pashtun heavy ANSF which lack combat ability.

Establishing biggest base for covert operations to destabilize and denuclearize Pakistan.

Opening 2nd front in Iraq without consolidating gains in Afghanistan.

These distractions veered away occupiers from their main mission and allowed the Taliban to regroup.  

Distrusting and blaming Pakistan, and trusting self-serving India, Israel and puppet regimes in Kabul made Afghanistan perpetually unstable.

US Civil & military leadership lied and misled American public about the war.

2002/03 was the best time to sign peace deal with Taliban. Next best time was December 2014 to make a clean break.

Mistakes were never corrected and no military strategy made to convert defeat into victory.


What Impelled Trump to End Longest War?


The US was forced to sign agreement with the so-called monsters, after it concluded that it could neither win the war, nor defeat or contain the Taliban, or to exit safely and honorably.

USA vainly tried to convince the Taliban to share power with Ashraf Ghani.  


Wish of USA to make India a key player in Afghanistan couldn’t be fulfilled.


India couldn’t be convinced to take over the security duties.


ANSF lack capacity and will to fight Taliban. They lost 50,000 soldiers in last 5 years.

Pakistan restricted its support to peace process only and refused to fight other’s war. 


Taliban broke their isolation by gaining support of Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Arab States and Turkey.


Peace process was meant to white wash war crimes of USA and to conceal defeat.


USA faced fiascos on all fronts.


2020 being the election year, Trump is desperate to pull out 60% of 13000 US troops before Christmas as promised by him and earn few electoral brownie points.


Spoilers of peace

USadministration. It wants to retain a foothold and extract mineral resources from Afghanistan, CARs.

Pentagon&CIA. The duo want their arms industry and drug business to continue.

India. It doesn’t want to lose its $2-3 billion investment and influence in Afghanistan, and would like to keep Pakistan in a nut-cracker situation.

Kabulregime/NDS. Doesn’t want to lose power. The Taliban dub the regime as illegitimate.

Israel. Loss of Afghanistan implies gains for nuclear Pakistan, China, Russia and Jihadi forces. 

SecuritycontractorsdrugMafia,warlords. They have their mercantile interests.

Islamic State of KhurasanBlackWater. It is an alternative force to back up ANSF and to keep the pot boiling.To malign Taliban, Daesh carried out deadly attacks on Sikh Temple, hospital and a funeral in Kabul.

Uncertainties in Peace Deal

Lack of guarantors

Structure of future government

Power sharing mechanism within stakeholders

Absence of ownership

Economic commitment by USA

Lack of involvement of local leadership

Understanding among local tribes to bring them on one page

Peace agreement rejected by Iran

Challenges to Peace Agreement

Integration among ethno-political factions is a difficult proposition.

Afghan government controls only 40% of territory mostly in central Afghanistan, while Taliban have full control over the entire rural belt in eastern and southern Afghanistan and parts of urban areas.

USA, India and Iran are averse to the idea of establishment of IEA, and would like the present unity government in Kabul to share power with Taliban as a senior partner.

The US is keen to retain their strongest Bagram airbase which has multi-layered defence system and can house 10-12000 troops.

Russia is keen to regain its influence in Afghanistan with the support of Taliban.

China wants peaceful and friendly Afghanistan for the success of CPEC, to explore minerals and expand trade, and to safeguard its soft belly in Sinkiang.

Islamic State of Khurasan and militias under warlords would keep the country turbulent.    

Options for USA


Seeing that Afghanistan has slipped out of its hands as well as of India, the US is looking for an alternative base in the Af-Pak region.


Ladakh in J&K suits USA from where it can keep an eye over it chief rival China, CPEC and Pakistan.


This strategic consideration impelled Trump to elbow Modi to integrate disputed occupied Kashmir into Indian Union.


Offer of mediation on Kashmir by Trump is to keep Pakistan pacified and to lure it to provide a military base.


Resolution of Kashmir dispute through Trump’s mediation for sure will be on Indian terms and Pakistan will be a loser.   


Yet another option could be to deploy UN peace keeping force with heaviest contingent from India.


Unpredictable Trump may put the blame on Taliban to snuggle out of peace deal once he wins elections in coming November and decide to hold on to Afghanistan with reduced troop level, backed by 25000 Blackwater and Daesh.


Future Prospects

Many countries and groups with vested interests are involved in Afghanistan. It is brimming with sectarian, ethnic and religious fault lines and is primed for chaos. If intra-Afghan peace process doesn’t succeed, the country is likely to plunge into another civil war. 

USA, India, Ghani will not handover Afghanistan easily.

If the Taliban try to take over power by force, the liberals, nationalists and non-Pashtuns will resist fiercely thereby igniting ethnic/sectarian flames.

While USA will play a double game to maintain its importance in both camps, Pakistan will remain in two minds.

Peace in Afghanistan is dependent upon the US intentions and hidden motives, and ability of the Afghans to think beyond parochial interests.

If the US is sincerely interested in restoring peace, it will have to co-opt Pakistan, Russia, China and Iran to arrive at viable power sharing arrangement.  

Some Suggestions for Pakistan

Pakistan will have to become proactive to save the peace agreement and arrive at a political settlement.

After their well-deserved victory, Taliban are in better position to conduct intra-Afghan dialogue.

Pakistan should take China, Russia andpossibly Iran in loop and arrange a meeting at Islamabad or Beijing to chalk out a comprehensive way out.

Political office of Taliban to be opened at Islamabad.

Let the 14-month troop withdrawal get completed smoothly.

Remove trust deficit between Taliban-US and veer the US from minority NA to majoritarian Taliban.

Press USA to rebuild war-torn Afghanistan, former FATA.

Complete fencing of western and southern borders and further improve border management.

Return all Afghan refugees by end of this year.

Prevent balkanization of Afghanistan.

Seek war/drones compensations from USA.

Ask US to release Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.

Ask US to settle Durand Line issue.

Insist on closure of RAW-NDS-TTP-BLA terror infrastructure and return of runaway terrorists.  


USA failed due to its own blunders; the Taliban earned victory due to their superior cause, steadfastness and extraordinary valor.

Pakistan suffered since it couldn’t differentiate between friend and foe, and never had a strategy to get out of inferno of imposed war. 

There are still many a slip between the cup and the lip. Euphoria seem to be dying down and ominous shadows of civil war are looming.

We have been unwisely trusting USA and supporting anti-Pakistan regime in Kabul which in collusion with India has caused excruciating pain to Pakistan.

Single-handed facilitation by Pakistan when it has no influence over USA and Kabul regime, and modest influence over Taliban, will not produce results.

For lasting peace, Pakistan will have to stay engaged with all Afghan power centres in Afghanistan, and tread our course steadily, prudently and wisely.

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