By Anwer Kadri


The issue is not whether the US/NATO/UK can win the war in Afghanistan or not because winning and losing depends on the achievement of objectives set before the war was started. When I reflect to the period of 2001, I remember the Bush saying, “either we shall bring them to justice or we shall take justice to them ”.Ironically, nothing happened. The only reason for this debacle that I can think of, is, that it was not planned at all and none of the objectives pertaining to 9/11 were set. To me, the warmongers had three things in mind. 1) Neutralising Pakistan’s nuclear assets 2)To encircle China from this end. 3) To get as much access to the oil and mineral resources of Afghanistan and Central Asia as possible and pose a permanent threat to Russia from this here.

My reason for assuming this is simple. All one has to do is to look up the track record of the people at the helm of affairs at that time. It was Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Ashcroft and my admirable soldier boy General Colin Powell . All these people had interests in the oil, armament and sophisticated gadget industry in the United States and top it all they were necons who had taken upon themselves the Almighty right of saving Christianity they thought was being ravaged by the Muslim extremists.

The other day a friend of mine ,working for an agency close to the CIA quipped, “such delusions are not surprising from a recovering alcoholic. He needs to be put into a nut house or else he will endanger the life of ordinary Americans 100 times more and the Americans would be totally unsafe travelling overseas.” The then President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf had to take the painful decision of reversing Pakistans policies toward the Taliban in Afghanistan much to the dislike of the people of Pakistan but it was a decision probably well taken at that point of time.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have been neighbours for over 3000 years and it would be interesting for the readers from the West to note and it is the Pushtuns who live on both side of the borders and Afghanistan and constitute 70% of the population. Therefore it is absolutely suicidal for Pakistan politically to give up the Pushtun for people coming from 12000 miles away and who have proved to be the most unreliable people in the world. Still Pakistan ensured that no hostile action should take place from this side of the border into Afghanistan and at one time Pakistan even offered to build a wall along the border or mine the area so that no cross border infiltration would be possible. This was resented by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his lackies in the Western Intelligence Agencies because it would stop the drug and arms trade run by Hamid Karzai and the members of his family with multiple beneficiaries in the West.

It is interesting to note that Pakistan has nabbed more Alqueada operatives than any other country in the world including the US. Yet the US demand of,” do more”, did not diminish because in fact the US wanted Pakistan to fight its proxy war in Afghanistan . Pakistan was forced to reluctantly succumb to the intense U.S. pressure and abandon the Taliban, which had served as Pakistan’s proxy army in Afghanistan battling  active Afghan Communist Party — Tajik Northern Alliance, also backed by Russia and Iran. India intensified its efforts tremendously to extend its influence into Afghanistan and this fact  deeply worried Pakistan. Pakistan was forced by the U.S. to act against its own vital strategic interests. Southern Afghanistan has long been Pakistan’s sphere of influence.

Sometimes in 2007, Pakistan and India both came to the conclusion that the U.S. and its allies would be bogged down, defeated and driven out of Afghanistan. Both historically arch enemies began implementing a proxy war to control strategic Afghanistan. Pakistan was compelled to follow a policy whereby they would not be left defenseless in case its slippery ally decide to slip away in the night like in 1989. Pakistan continued its logistic and intelligence sharing service to the U.S.-led war, while it ensured no cross border infiltration into Afghanistan from this side of the border. To set the record straight let me remind the US and its Allies that Pakistan has nabbed the majority of the senior command of the Taliban called Quetta Shoora while the US/UK and NATO were negotiating limited deals with the Taliban in the south.

If Pakistan did not take on the Taliban inside Afghanistan, no one should have been surprised because this was basic common sense — particularly not Washington which has a long record of abandoning faithful allies. Washington and U.S. media are heaping blame for the growing fiasco in Afghanistan on the ISI that led the anti-Soviet struggle in Afghanistan in the 1980s and was one of America’s most formidable allies. ISI is not anti-American but committed to safeguarding the interest of Pakistan. To expect the ISI to do anything different would be like expecting the CIA to be catering the interest of Pakistan at the cost of the US.

If the US wants ISI to safeguard the American interest totally it should try to address the Pakistani concern.  The presence of India with twenty two consulates  on the Afghan border,all operating as training and launching pad for insurgents in Swat and Baluchistan is a major danger to Pakistan. Pakistan has already shown irrefutable proofs of the involvement of RAW, Mossad and CIA in Swat and Baluchistan, but the US turned a blind eye to it and continued to woo India for future gains. What the US really wants is a totally obedient, obsequious Pakistan and ISI, not a real ally. But the interests of the two nations at times diverge. What the think tanks in the US do not realise that in trying to make Pakistan into a satellite state will result in the nuclear-armed nation one day exploding with anti-American hatred, as the US faced in Iran in 1979.

As long as the Afghan Communist Party, the Northern Alliance and the Tajiks backed by India Russia and Iran and the intensified Indian efforts to enlarge its area of influence in Afghanistan are present it will deeply concerns Pakistan’s security and this leaves Pakistan  with no choice to use any option available to her and it would be foolish for anyone to expect that Pakistan or ISI can be convinced, bought or pressured to act against Pakistan’s vital strategic interests. At the end of the day, what political and military victory has US and its Allies achieved by attacking and invading Afghanistan? US/Nato/UK and Hamid Karzai are all contemplating reaching an understanding with the Taliban in Afghanistan. So what were these eight years all about? Gordon Duff was right after all when he said that the only road out of Afghanistan for US and its Allies passes through the Taliban.

The U.S.-led war in Afghanistan is putting the two nations on a collision course. Here in Washington, the U.S. Congress just ignored the Wiki Leaks scandal and voted for yet more billions to fuel the Afghanistan War. Pakistan is left with no choice but to change its policy and try to maintain a loose link with the anti India warlords and tribal militants while continue to help the US with intelligence sharing, logistic support after all what reason has Pakistan got to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan when the US/NATO/UK and Karzai are trying to negotiate their way out.

We are not anti-American people. We are pro-Pakistan. Let USA appreciate the different between both. Many of the false charges against ISI and the army come from the Communist-led Afghan secret police,from the Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad. Politicians in the US are petrified to oppose this nine-year war, lest they be accused of being anti-patriotic, the kiss of death in hyper-patriotic America — where flag-wavers root for foreign wars so long as their kids don’t have to serve and they don’t have to pay taxes to finance them.

(The writer is a Consultant in fields of Security and Public Health Hygiene, Female Education and Crisis Management).

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  • Rauf Engineer  On September 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Fair and factual Analysis by the author. Most of Pakistan’s intellectuals
    as well as general public feel the same way.

  • Qamar Taseer  On September 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Superb summation!

  • Khalid Iqbal  On September 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Good article. But it just recounts what is going on. The subject has been thoroughly trampled hitherto. What we need is how the road ahead looks like. IN this article author simply defends Pakistan which is well done but he does not go further.

    Why the US came to Afghanistan is no longer a relevant debate becuase the US is here. The US wants to get out whatever the reason for coming in.

    Pakistan should concentrate in helping the US get out and at the same time help in seeing to it that when the US leaves the region is not in a chaos. The multifaceted task is self negating and that is dilemma. Pakistan is in Catch 22 situation. What looks like every which way but loose is to be turned into a win win situation. Pakistan has to play that vital role. But Pakistan needs to have the key which so many vested interests would not allow.

    Khalid Iqbal

    • anwer sultan kadri  On September 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      Agreed Khalid therefore the follow up to this should be the stategy to be adopted in the future in order to safe guard our national interest without much antagonising the Americans, maybe we should help them safe passage with face saving if we can…but this is dangerous the americans do have Laos and Cambodia in mind before withdrawal from vietnam

  • Haidre  On September 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    A sound analysis. Till such time a permanent solution to Kashmir problem is not arrived at, Pakistan will be constrained to keep her options open so far as its relationships with warlords, and certain factions of Taliban / Mujaheddin are concerned. With India doing all sorts of mischief in Baluchistan from Afghanistan, sitting under the nose of Americans, Pakistan cannot be blamed for playing double game. Pakistan’s national interest is well known to the American friends, who also know about the undue advantage India is taking of their soft corner for them.

  • Nasim Hassan  On September 2, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    The solution of this problem is to educate European and American public. There are many people who done this job. Tariq Ali has written two books:

    a. Clash of Fundamentalism

    b. Bush in Babylon

    He has also addressed public meetings, given interviews and answered questions posed by students.
    We need another round to educate the current administration. Once the public is convinced then the rulers have no choice.

    Nasim Hassan

  • zubair  On September 2, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    A most realistic article. It is amazing that the big shot analysts of a super power cvan’t see ground reality. It is time we, in Pakistan concentrate on safe and some kind of honorable exit of the great super [power. US has no other option. Also this was the right time for Pakistan to have a patriotic and “PAKISTAN FIRST” Govt to support the ISI and the ARMY.

    • anwer sultan kadri  On September 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

      Nothing short of a Pakistan first leader can handle this situation Zubair and mind you sanyone trying to indulge in politics on this issue would be signing a death warrant at the hands of the nation. I have full confidence in the ISI and the Army that they can thwart any attempt to harm Pakistan from inside or out. May God be with us.

      • pakpotpourri2  On September 3, 2010 at 1:19 am

        My tuppence:
        1- USA needs to get out of Afghanistan. No rebuilding, no restoration of institutions,civic amenities has been so far done in Afghanistan in these 8 years.
        2- Karzai lacks grass root support & is widely seen as CIA. Unless he is simultaneously removed,USA might as well stay there.
        Views are invited on ALTERNATE GOVERNMENT for Afghanistan.
        I personally believe, unless a sane & sensible set of people are handed over Afghanistan ,Afghanistan will not see peace for a long time to come.
        Pakistan can only play a supportive role.The REAL answer must come from WITHIN Afghanistan!

  • Ayesha Khan  On September 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    The US/UK/NATO lost a farcical war they started. And now they will lose face if they don’t withdraw and let the Afghans rebuild their country. Pakistan needs to step back with its India fear and build trust with Afghanistan. We need to build people to people ties also. The Establishment has been systematically playing the American game and killing Pukhtuns, one for being Muslims, two for protecting their homeland and the right to move freely across the border. There was Pukhtunistan movement which the Punjab centric Army was paranoid about and they started a game which the US not so strategic thinkers thought they could piggy back. I am sorry but I cannot forgive Musharraf for starting the ethnic cleansing of the Pukhtuns. The ISI for a long time has been an extension of the CIA for us in the Frontier. MOSSAD and RAW is just and added complication. 20 to 30 years ago in this same Muslim country where were these “terrorists”. Why this large US/NATO presence in our tribal belt, why the drone attacks still? US needs to get out of Afghanistan and Pakistan especially in Pukhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
    Yes the Pakistani establishment is very reliable, they can be relied upon to make a mess for themselves and to be paranoid about the Pukhtun nation whether in the Frontier or in Balochistan.
    Pakistan needs to be honest with itself and strategically smart with its neighbors. IF you recognize the real problem then you can solve it but if you keep lying to yourself then you keep repeating your mistakes.

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