By Rayyan Baig
Afghanistan after Cold War
Pakistan a land of peace and tranquility, welcomed anyone who came over to it in distress for help. It accommodated and shared everything including its piece of bread with over 4 million Afghan refugees when they were driven out by the USSR invasion in 1979. To stop USSR and help Afghans regain the control of their country the entire world got together to help Afghanistan. After a protracted bloody war Afghans succeeded in their struggle and the USSR left. The USA felt contended on USSR’s defeat and felt no obligation to help Afghans in gaining stability and peace.
The entire Afghanistan which had become stockpile of latest weapons and explosives was left to smolder for the times to come. The period post US abandoning Afghanistan was marked with infighting and instability which enabled fundamentalist Taliban to take control and Afghanistan became a hotbed for the Al-Qaida to flourish.
The USA can’t be exonerated from the sin of creating Al-Qaida as all its top leadership was brought by her to Afghanistan and radicalized to fight USSR. After the war all of them were lefts unbridled, armed to the teeth and without being de-radicalized. They did create trouble in various parts of the world, however comparative peace and order prevailed in Afghanistan. Though Pakistan had problems due to the presence of around 4 million Afghan refugees but overall the security and internal situation remained peaceful.
After US invasion of Afghanistan, in the backdrop of 9/11, many of the rogue elements spilled over to the rugged mountainous region of Pakistan. After 9/11 Pakistan not only became US partner in its war against terror, rather fought it on the forefront.
Pakistan paid a very heavy price for becoming US partner in this dirty war, it suffered a financial loss of around 130 billion dollars, sacrificed over 7,000 soldiers and around 70,000 civilian lives. In return for these sacrifices Pakistan didn’t receive even the agreed reimbursement of collation sport fund “CSF” from US. Pakistan could charge huge amount from USA on account of transit charges but it didn’t, on the contrary it has been receiving the blames for all US failures in Afghanistan and infantile demand to “Do More”.
Had the US been sincere in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan it could do it and leave the country honorably, but the sole purpose of her coming to the region seems different. In the hindsight, the grand political aim of controlling China, containing Russia and possession/control of the deposits of precious minerals in Afghanistan and the oil and gas reserves of Central Asian States seem to be its main objectives of waging war in Afghanistan.
Terrorist Organizations in Afghanistan
Despite the prolonged presence of US troops, with the state of the art weapons and equipment, the TPP and other terrorists are controlling more than half of the country and thriving. The Indians have been given free hand by the US in Afghanistan to conspire with NDS, TPP and other terrorists to hurt and destabilize Pakistan.
Now the ISIS is also gaining foothold in Afghanistan, surprisingly the same ISIS which was defeated in Iraq and Syria has established itself in Afghanistan without much effort, reportedly their families have also joined them safe and sound. There is no doubt about who created, equipped and financed ISIS to fight against Asad. Till their defeat in Syria and Iraq the ISIS had uninterrupted economy of Billions of dollars, the question is who is financing them now and for what purpose they have been shifted to Afghanistan?
Pakistan War on Terror
Pakistan has done more than its share in this fight against terrorism, it has acted against all the terrorists indiscriminately. Through the operations Zarb-e-Azab and Raad-ul-Fassad Pakistan Army has rooted out all the terrorists from the Tribal regions of Pakistan. The safe heavens available to these terrorists inside Afghanistan and Indian/ NDS support provides these terrorists the opportunity to refit, re-equip and reorganize. The absence of requisite forces along the border in Afghanistan or their lack of will to stop the terrorists still provides them the opportunity to cross over and undertake isolated terrorist acts inside Pakistan.
The sealing of border with Afghanistan, which Pakistan has started, would help to prevent these terrorists moving freely across, provide protection to Pakistan and stop US/ Afghan government from blaming Pakistan. The US and all its allies need to curb the terrorist nurturing in Afghanistan, dismantle their safe heavens and prevent India from playing dirty game in the region. The US also has the obligation to help Pakistan to seal the border so that it can fight the terrorists without worrying about their slipping over to Pakistan. Pakistan sincerely wants to see a peaceful, independent and stable Afghanistan, as only a peaceful Afghanistan guarantees peace to Pakistan.
Certain distorted articles have recently appeared in a few Western/ French media claiming that ISI is responsible for creating Daesh in Afghanistan and supporting them. The Western media rather needs to carryout sole searching, as they are well aware of the birth place of this notorious organization. They need to find out/ answer as to how did Daesh seize Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, where thousands of NATO troops were present since 2003?
Just last year President Trump congratulated Iraq on defeating Daesh and stated that their days were numbered, then how come they safely spilled over and got control in Afghanistan? Why were the sources of funding of Daesh not identified and seized by Western powers? Why Daesh does kills only the Muslims and ransack Muslim countries alone? How could the NATO with all the latest gadgetry, communication network and satellite coverage couldn’t trace Daesh moving from Iraq and Syria, after the defeat, to Afghanistan? There are so many other questions as well which agitate a neutral and thinking mind about the Daesh and the role of NATO.
Pakistan is the only country in the world which has killed over 33,000 terrorists and arrested over 17,000. It has no love lost for any terrorist whatsoever, and is leaving no stone unturned to eliminate them, the fencing of Pak-Afghan border is also a step in the same direction. Instead of repeating the stereotype rhetoric of “Do More” from Pakistan the NATO/ US needs to “Do More” to bring peace and stability in the region and the world.