By Adeela Naureen and Umar Waqar
As the morning sun rays reflect across the lofty peaks of mountains overlooking Kabul and bring in the dawn of a new morning every day, the Hindu Kush range stands sentinel as it over watched Alexander’s Army marching through deep gorges and rocky deserts of Afghanistan and the British troops huddling back through the passes to India as well as the Soviets crossing the Oxus River on their way back home. Hindu Kush has seen many a foreign warriors and their kings and military captains of war coming and perishing in the Land of Afghans.
Is it a redoubt of history , OR an Empire smasher, a shatter zone of superpowers or the abode of Afghan spirit, OR an enigma most misunderstood in the history of mankind; the Hindu Kush and its Afghan people will always remain a mystery. Spanning the good part of Pakistani tribal areas and Afghanistan’s eastern halve, the Hindu Kush draws its name from the power struggle which lead to Central Asians colonizing good old India and taking away the captive Hindus through the harsh and unkind freezing mountains to Central Asia, some of them dying en route, thus giving it the name HINDUKUSH or the killer of Hindus.
But the Hindu Kush and its people have the culture of freedom nurtured by nature and history over a period of number of millennia, irrespective of who tried to come here as an occupier, the Afghans have fought with spirit of a tiger and patience of an Elephant and made sure that the occupier leaves their land, lock stock and barrel, even at the cost of long wars and suffering of the Afghans and their children spanning decades.
Today it is the turn of Yankees and their cohorts to learn it the hard way, intoxicated with notions of invincibility, the US lead NATO came into the historical trap with slogans of Shock and Awe and Bush doctrine and with an apparently benign role of liberators of Afghanistan, having smashed the rule of Taliban regime and installing Hamid Karzai, the NATO commanders thought they had proven history wrong. Probably they did not read the treatises and epitaphs of British and Soviets engrained on the tombstones of erstwhile super powers written with Afghan blood, despite having first-hand knowledge of the strength of Afghan spirit in the Afghan Jehad.
The Hindu Kush today has become NATO- KUSH, the mightiest superpower of our time with latest military technology and virtually with support of entire international community is packing up and preparing to leave the Hindu Kush mountains in disgrace. Afghan Freedom Fighters are everywhere, from the Camp Bastion of the Brits in Kandahar to the very heart of Green Zone in Bagram Air Base manned by Yankees and from the desolate desert of Herat to the lofty peaks of the NATO-KUSH mountains. The so called Green on Blue engagements (Afghan National Army trained by NATO attacking NATO troops) are becoming order of the day. Despite denial of this phenomenon as individual acts by reactionary Afghan National Army(ANA) troops by the senior military commanders of ISAF, it is a well-known fact that Afghan freedom fighters have already penetrated the rank and file of ANA through an elaborate strategy spanning the last decades or so, some of the Taliban sympathizers have reached the rank of Colonels. The current wave of Green on Blue engagements is just the unveiling of new strategy of Freedom Fighters and is likely to play a major role in coming days and months. Afghan resolve for freedom from the NATO’s occupation has been further strengthened by Quran Burning by American troops in Afghanistan and recent telecast of a blasphemous film targeting the personality of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(Peace be Upon Him) in the US.
The fear factor is overtaking the NATO and US troops and officer cadre alike, Freedom fighters’ ability to track each and every move of NATO can be gauged from the recent attack on Camp Bastion and targeting of British troops and Aircrafts on the birth day of Prince Harry who after a controversial voyage of Las Vegas last month was performing his ROYAL duties at Camp Bastion. The NATO troops have been passed some strange orders and rules of engagement. Yesterday every man and women, boy and girl,old and young Afghan was a suspect and could be killed on grounds of suspicion(less the ANA officers and soldiers),today every ANA soldier and officer is to be looked as a suspect, with orders to shoot at. Today the NATO soldier cannot sleep with eyes closed ,cannot move in his own camp freely and cannot rely on ANA soldier when he goes out on joint patrolling. The NATO convoys and logistic bases are unsafe and the Aircrafts parked in hangers or taking off from Bagram and Kandahar or Mazar e Saharif are no surer of a safe landing or take off.
The fear factor gripping NATO soldiers can be compared with the fear of the last British soldiers in Second Afghan war in late nineteenth century, out of thousands of British and Indian soldiers killed and slaughtered by the Afghans in the Hindu Kush range and its subsidiaries, surviving British stragglers were intentionally left out to go back alive and tell the story of Afghan revenge so that no British soldier walks into the Afghan land with the aim of occupying it. The history seems to be going in circles and repeating itself time and again, the Hindu Kush becoming NATO-KUSH, reminding all the future adventures that Afghan Land belongs to the Afghans and they hate any one sharing it as an occupier. We end the paper with some lines from Rudyard Kipling mourning the rout of British 66 Foot regiment in the battle of Maiwand on the hands of Afghans, fought on 27 July 1880.