Pakistan, joined Americas’ war on Afghanistan in 2001, but the Afghans never called us their enemy. It’s time for Pakistan to pay back to the Afghans for their empathy, their remarkable sense of sacrifice and their love for freedom, their quintessential values of a proud nation – something the Pakistani nation has to learn to respect
GEN (R) MIRZA ASLAM BEG
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he ‘Heart of Asia Conference,’ held at Beijing late last year, gave the hope that the post 1990 mindset, which tormented the Afghan nation in the past, may not be repeated when the 2015 draw down came to an end. But that was not to be. The Americans and the proxy government at Kabul once again are conspiring to deny to the Afghans, the right to determine their future, who are the winners of the grim struggle for freedom against the two super powers of the world, in a short period of thirty five years. The main elements of this mindset are not difficult to identify.
The Afghans are fighting for the freedom of their homeland for the last thirty five years. Their struggle for freedom is as sacrosanct as those of Mao of China; Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Fiedel Castro of Cuba. Yet the Afghan struggle for freedom has been dubbed as terrorism, which distorts the very meaning of human values of freedom, peace and security. Unfortunately, Pakistan has also joined this club, by calling Afghan Taliban terrorists, for their recent attack on the Afghan parliament.
The Taliban cannot compromise on their struggle for freedom. In 2003, in reply to my suggestions, Mullah Omar said, “We have decided to fight to win our freedom, and win we will, Insha Allah. Our traditions and national ethos do not permit us to follow the occupation forces agenda for Afghanistan. When we are free we will decide our future acceptable to all the Afghans.” Taliban, therefore will not agree to talk to the government at Kabul; to the Americans, Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan or any one else. Their message is loud and clear: “You are defeated. Exit now, and leave it to us to decide our future.”
The civilized world is allergic to an Islamic government at Kabul. Even political Islam is not acceptable. Even the moderate Muslim countries like Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey, want to see them as secular, which is a dangerous trend and has helped extremist elements to rise such as the Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Takfiris, Salfists and Jehadis in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia; Al-Shabab in Somalia; Bokoharam in Nigeria, the Houthis and Daesh in Yemen, while the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan has consolidated its gains in the North-west of Afghanistan and is providing sanctuaries and support bases to the Afghan Taliban.
The Daesh, is thus fast expanding its tentacles, threatening far-off places in Europe and mainland America. And the situation appears to be hopeless because the world at large has no definite plan to contain and curb the surging tide of terrorism.
Afghanistan is the test case where the jehadi movement against foreign occupation, developed into a full-fledged resistance movement, launched mainly by the Pakhtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and remains undefeated, under the leadership of Mullah Omar. It can deliver and can provide the base for peace in the region. Whereas our present dealings with the Taliban is faulty, attempting to establish a Unity Government in Kabul, led by the Northern Alliance, who collaborated with the enemy – the Soviets and the Americans, hurting Afghans sensibility and their love for freedom.
If this course is adopted, a dangerous phase of internecine conflict will engulf Afghanistan, with new pockets of terrorism emerging under the name of Daesh, Islamic movement for Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan Freedom Movement, while the Taliban resistance will demolish Kabul government, brick by brick, creating a worst kind of polycentrism, threatening the regional countries, such as Pakistan, Central Asia and North-west China. Pakistan will be the worst affected, because its army will be sucked into this conflict to guard the 1700 Kms of the borders with Afghanistan; to maintain control over the FATA territory, and to secure the disturbed areas of Balochistan to Swat. A very dangerous situation indeed, which must be avoided at all cost.
However, there is an option to ensure peace and stability in the region, with Afghanistan serving as the base to initiate action against expanding global terrorism. As the first step, we have to reconcile with the idea that, an Islamic Revolutionary Afghanistan (IRA), would pose threat to regional peace and stability.
On the contrary, similar to the Islamic Revolutionary Iran (IRI), Afghanistan would also be a factor of peace and stability in the region, under the same logic, America now has decided to court Iran, after a long period of hostility. In fact, the threat of Daesh and other such terrorist elements can be contained and curbed by the Muslim countries alone, as it happened some fourteen hundred years back, when Caliph Ali (KW) defeated the Kharjis – the Daesh of our time – in the battle of Nehrwan. Countries like Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan (under Taliban), could deliver. Think of it, because, that is the only way out.
The Afghans are a very gracious people. Pakistan, joined Americas’ war on Afghanistan in 2001, but the Afghans never called us their enemy. Pakistan destroyed their support bases in FATA area, but the Afghans did not complain and quietly shifted their support bases to the North-east of Afghanistan. It is therefore obligatory for Pakistan to pay back to the Afghans for their empathy for Pakistan, their remarkable sense of sacrifice, for their love for freedom, their traditions and national ethos, their quintessential values of a proud nation – something the Pakistani nation has to learn to respect.
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