Few days back, I happened to meet an Afghan in Peshawar. In the informal discourse I enquired him what was left in his country after so much of fighting? Any thing significant or visible there? I further refined my question.”Nothing” was the expected answer. Poverty, misery, dictators, anarchy, Soviets, Mujaheedin, Intelligence Agencies, Taliban, Warlords, and now NATO, a time line, as lengthy as my age, 50 years, was before my eyes, I could hardly recall a moment when Afghanistan was smiling.
The Afghan gentleman, a refugee, who appeared to be more mature than his age, replied “Yes there remains something very significant, it is the ego; overly inflated ego of Afghans. And terrible thing is, he added, people don’t understand this. Foreigners and our neighbors, constantly try to teach us what is good for us .Our country has become the proverbial aunt’s courtyard. (Free passage)
Afghan are good people. They are extremely hard working, out spoken and free of complexes, majority of them don’t deserve the leadership imposed on them since many decades.
Like it or not, Americans are leaders of the day .Their technology, culture, & way of thinking, dominate the world. As Americans claim chauvinistically that they have “vital national interests” in every corner of the world, so do the neighbors of Afghanistan. They too don’t feel shy stating that they have “vital interests” in Afghanistan and ironically world community acknowledges them as stake holders. So let us look at these neighbors one by one.
Russia and Iran want immediate end to American occupation of Afghanistan, but want to see Taliban crushed first. They don’t want to see of Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.
Pakistan wants to see friendly government in Kabul as a prize to its long suffering during war on terror and support which it lent to Americans.
China, thanks to its anti interventionist policy, is only putting its weight behind Pakistan, not demanding anything new in Afghanistan.
India, the distant neighbor of Afghanistan, is more assertive than its actual neighbors. It wants to render Pakistan’s Western border as vulnerable as eastern one. They are pining their hopes on a prolonged American engagement in Afghanistan & are actively wooing for the same.
USA and Western countries want to leave Afghanistan and talk to Taliban but from a point of strength, leaving behind “security check post” in energy corridor for future.
May God bless all these neighbors, distant neighbors and aggressors in Afghanistan who are sincerely trying to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Russians, apart from settling scores of previous war, see Taliban as emergence of a political Islam, an upcoming threat to Central Asian Republics .They are not realizing that Taliban may be a growing force to reckon with in Afghanistan due to their deep rooted xenophobia, but their brand of Islam has not appealed even to Afghans themselves. So export of such brand of Islam is unlikely. Apprehensions of Iranians like Saudis are always sectarian .Both these countries have yet to rise above politics of Shia, Sunni and Wahabi .
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“Intellectuals” in Pakistan don’t know what even a cart handler can understand that after American departure, Government in Kabul will be dominated by Pushtuns mainly Taliban for at least a decade. Demography and character of different communities of Afghanistan is so loud and clear. Pakistan needs to focus on trust deficit and deteriorating good will even amongst Pushtuns rather than requesting friendly government from USA, who themselves are empty handed and exhausted. Americans will be lucky if their own vital national interests i.e. establishment of “security check post” in Afghanistan’s energy corridor, are taken care of after withdrawing bulk of their forces in July 2011.
 Pakistan is being seen as spoiler in Afghanistan by US and Western main stream media. It is mainly because of “sun glasses” of west through which they see the Muslim world and their deep rooted desire to out source this war to Pakistan. However, defensive and secretive nature of Pakistan’s Afghan policy is also contributing to this image.
Indian” intellectuals” too are encouraging Indian Government to rise up to the level of emerging super power and play a bigger role in the region, i.e. sending Indian troops to Afghanistan. Americans or Indians may be heading for a self defeating mission… Their fate is written on the wall.
RAW and CIA are playing with fire in Afghanistan. Cheating and exploiting Pakistan’s spoiled children (Pakistani Taliban) against Pakistan. At present these de-tracked Muslims are being blinded with loads of money and brain washing. This is temporary arrangement and will not last long. Good will, which the Indians have earned overtime in Afghanistan, will soon evaporate in view of their total enmity towards Pakistan. Such activities will be countered by the same people. RAW sleuths are under estimating the bond of Islam.
Americans, who are trying their best to make their armed forces productive by backing their multinational companies across globe, could be told that their recently adopted policy is not going to work. Any more surges will waste resources apart from bringing further miseries to people of Afghanistan. The Americans are victorious. The punishment that has already been inflicted on Afghans is enough, whether or not they sponsored the terror acts of 9/11…. People of Afghanistan are egoist. Respect them. They will be willing to take care of US interests more eagerly than India or Pakistan. This is a sincere advice for our Americans friends who have been a helping hand to Pakistan on many occasions.
Pakistan and its intelligence agencies need to focus on internal security. On western front our depth and strength lies in FATA and Balochistan and no where else. We have to win the hearts and mind of our own people. Pakistan’s concept of peace and stability in Afghanistan should be based on ground realities and principles.
Pakistan should support true representative government in Afghanistan according to demography and wishes of Afghan people. Meanwhile Americans could be encouraged to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible after putting effective government infrastructure which has been destroyed.
Pakistan has nothing to hide in Afghanistan. We want stable and peaceful Afghanistan and the same should be pursued by our politicians in transparent manner. Pakistani establishment to give some space and politicians of the country should spare time for this important issue.

Author hails from semi tribal areas of Pakistan and holds Master degree in International Relations from University of Balochistan.