AFGHANISTAN IS THE GRAVEYARD OF THE EMPIRES
By Zaheerul Hassan
On May 21, 2010 NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander General Stanley McChrystal visited Pakistan and provided an update on the alliance’s current operations in Afghanistan. He also called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and discussed matters of mutual interest and defence cooperation. ISAF commander also briefed a group of Pakistani parliamentarians on current operations and strategy in Afghanistan.
According to the US Embassy, ISAF Commander frequently used to visit Islamabad to consult with General Kayani and Pakistani leaders to collaborate with Islamabad to achieve their mutual goals of defeating terrorism and establishing regional peace and security. This was the press release made by US embassy in Islamabad. The question arises whether the continued interactions of visits of ISAF chief and other commanders as claimed by the embassy have helped in improving the security situation in Afghanistan or not.
On ground situation is simply quite pathetic and horrible. 70 % area of Afghanistan is under control of Taliban despite presence of more than 113,000 US led NATO’s troops. During last one week, two bases (Kandahar and Bagram) were attacked by the Taliban, resultantly many troops from coalition forces and civilians sustained deaths and injuries. Again on May 18, 2010, a suicide bomber hit an expolosive laden van into a lightly armed convoy of coalition vehicles, killing 18 people including five Americans and a Canadian. ISAF troops have failed to control the Afghan situation. The troops are reported to be questioning the justification of this war. Many have gone on record before the media and appologised for the wanton killing for no human justification.
It is painful to know that since 1979 over one million Afghans have been killed and more than five millions have become refugees. Major bulk of the refugees were shifted to Pakistan and created dilemma to her security. Two million Afghans have been displaced within the country as a result of ceaseless fighting. The capital of Afghanistan is presenting horrible scene of tragedy where over 30,000 people have been killed and buried in mass graves. Thousand of the people suffered death and injuries because of land mines, US bombing, suicidal attackers and poverty. The tragic part of this so called war against terror is that the country having 652, 000 square kilometers area and with the population of 25,838,797 is at the mercy of western forces, Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies.
However, the fall out of Afghan crises has directly affected Pakistani security. The imposed war put Pakistan under worst kind of insurgency. She was forced to deploy more than 140, 000 troops to tackle the foreign sponsored militancy, to extend sponsorships to such militancy, CIA/Blackwater stand up front followed by their proxies India and Israel. If America is sincere to bring about a lasting peace, she must not play double. Why has the US given an open hand to Israel and India whose sole interest is the destablisation of the region, keep America deployed for an indefinite period of time and reap the maximum economic and strategic gains.
Pakistan has suffered the highest casualties both in terms of military and civilian population, our economy has been crippled still America wants us to do more. Pakistan has been far more successful in controlling the situation that was thrusted upon us as compared to the US and NATO who waged this war under false pretext to deceive the world.
Tens of thousands of people and security forces’ personal have been killed because of suicidal bombers and sabotage activities. Pakistani military had launched 209 major and 510 minor operations in 10 regions. According to reliable sources 2,573 Pakistani army officers and soldiers had been martyred in the fighting so far, which include one 3-star General, two 2-star generals and five brigadiers .whereas western, Jewish and Indian media continues to blame Pakistan and her intelligence agencies for playing double game. In this connection while talking to senior journalists in Islamabad, Army Chief Gen Kayani rejected the allegations of double game leveled against Pakistan intelligence agencies, saying that 73 intelligence officers had embraced martyrdom in Pakistan, while 11 others were martyred in Afghanistan .
Coming back towards the discussion, it is worth mentioning here that US has increased the intensity of drone attacks during the democratic era. She has violated Pakistan territorial boundaries and carried out 131 predicators strikes inside FATA area. As result more than 1100 people got killed and many wounded. Out of these 1100, how many were the terrorists I leave it anyone’s guess. If the exact fig is divulged the drone operation would all stand to be a mockery.
The comparison of causalities and deployment of forces shows that Pakistan has scarified a lot in war against terror. According to ISPR, Pakistan has deployed 140,000 strong force with 821 posts on its side of the border whereas Coalition force have a total of 113,000 force with just 112 posts along their border. The war against terrorism has affected 30,452 people since 9/11, out of which 21,652 are civilians whereas 8,765 are security forces who embraced shahadat. NATO led ISAF forces has just lost 1184 troops so far. Thus asking Pakistan to do more times and again by the US authorities is not understood.
In fact, American should provide all that assistance to Pak as promised in the recently held Pak-US Strategic Dialogues. The second round of strategic talks is being held on July 21, 2010. Unfortunately, Indian lobby present in Obama administration always tries to sabotage the event and keep on planning and staging some activity for maligning Pakistan. The unexploded Bomb incident of Times Square is also one of the episodes of cocktail serial of “Propaganda against Pakistan”. The producers and directors of the crafted serial are RAW, Mossad and anti Obama elements of CIA. Reports are there that the remaining episodes of the said serial would also be arid shortly, preferably around July 15, 2010. Therefore, it’s the need of the time that foreign office should hold some talk with US counter part and express Pakistani future worries.
Pakistani main worries is Indian deeply involvement in the name of development of Afghanistan. Presently, her four consulates and 30 Intelligence detachments are deployed all along our western border and are busy in spreading terrorism in Pakistan. Thus, the key players of GWOT have realized that Afghan issue cannot be resolved without taking into confidence Islamabad. US should be mindful that intelligence failure of her agencies and using pressure tactics against Pakistan by launching nonsense’s might not be acceptable to Islamabad in future. Thus foreign offices of both should try to remove the ambiguities in bilateral relations.
American administration and so called civilized western should respect the emotions of Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi masses before demanding and repating the music of do more. This do more music becomes very painful once we come across the stories of our comrades who laid their lives, the civilian who have been victimized through suicidal missions, internally displaced refugees who bore the material and live losses during this war on terror. One of the leading newspaper “Daily Times” on May 22, 2010 covered and reported an occasion, when a retired army captain Zafar Tajammal dismisses US demands for Pakistan to do more to fight terrorists as he choked back his tears. His son, Captain Bilal Zafar, was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade while leading a charge against entrenched Taliban fighters. He said, “I loved him so much that once I told him, I will not get you married because I love you so much, I am afraid I will not be able to share my love with your wife,” (unquote). The sahadit of Captain Bilal also reminded me Major Muhammmad Ehsan a brave son of “Frontier Force Regiment’s unit ‘The Volunteers’. I trained Major Ehsan once he joined my team as Second Lieutenant during escalation 2000. later on , I put him as adjutant but could never imagine that just after eight years a day will come once I will identify his completely burnt dead body as witness and dispatch him to his home town.
The father of Captain Bilal very rightly said that if there was an American dignitary sitting in front of him then he would certainly try to ask him, what else a human being can do more than sacrificing their life. American and western think tanks must ask from their authorities, has any other army in the world suffered so many casualties while fighting terrorists. But unfortunately the Indian and Israeli funded think tanks ignore Pakistani scarification and starts yelling against Pakistan to hide their own intelligence failures in the case of incidents like bombing in New York’s Times Square and Twin Tower incident of 9/11. Therefore, such type of propaganda does add in straining US-Pak relations and keep on widening the gap between Islamabad and Washington. In this connection US leadership if serious in improving the relations then has to take steps to chain her domestic and external watchdogs.
The solution to war against terror is lies in unconditional withdrawal of NATO led forces after holding elections under UN. The true elected government should be provided assistance through united nation security council for elimination of militancy and developing Afghanistan. Pakistan and Afghan border should be sealed with concertina wire .Afghanistan should acknowledged Durand line as international border. Immediately schedule of withdrawal of forces be announced. India should be asked to roll back his intelligence set up from Afghanistan. The restructuring of Afghanistan should be the primary objective of UN and Afghan government. Pakistan be handed over predicator technology to guard her area. The economic aid as promised to Pakistan be provided immediately to carry out development in the affected areas of FATA and Swat. The war on terror would be end subject to win the heart of the inhabitants of that area. For that Pakistani political leadership should go to their respective areas and carryout development work. The local political leadership and general masses should be provided protection against militants at all cost. The operation in any Pakistani area if require be the planned with the consent of national assembly. No foreign dictation should be accepted against our sovereignty.
This war must be brought to an immediate end before it announces the end of the occupying forces. Once again the proud Afghans would get a feather in their cap to have destroyed yet another empire.