I think one clear lesson that Iraq invasion offered was that states with diverse population where the ruler, even at the cost of being ruthless towards those who opposed his rule, managed to give the vast majority of people a fair degree of peace, progress and prosperity, are best left alone to grow, develop and mature to a full-fledged democracy at their own pace. And this because intervening in such states makes things thousand times worse.
But despite this simple and clear lesson, the US intervened in Libya and Syria and messed up both. And this offers the other lesson which is that the US is least bothered about massive death and destruction in Muslim countries so long as this serves the interests of its allies , Israel in this case. And US aggression towards Iran is similarly motivated.
And the above would make it absolutely clear that the US would hardly be concerned over the plight of Afghanistan and Afghans. If possible, it would like to stay there to destabilize Pakistan, Iran and of course China.
And now the US has another ally, India, whose designs against Pakistan and China are a perfect match, apart from Israel which sees nuclear Pakistan as an even greater threat than Iran. Hence, only a fool will fail to understand the real US aims in the region.
And how absurd is the US position can be guessed by the fact that having accomplished nothing with the expense of nearly a trillion US dollars, and having nearly 300,000 men comprising US soldiers, civilian contractors and the NATO servicemen, it is now trying to sort out Afghanistan problem with under 20,000 soldiers and on a petty cash budget of a few billion dollars.
In these circumstances, cooperation that the US would want from us would be for us to embark on a suicidal path to suit American designs and pocket.
Needless to say, it would be suicidal to try to please the US more so, when China is on our side whose interests match with us.
Lack of any headway in the limited budget in men and moeny and opposition in the US to this fresh build up in Afghanistan would force the US to withdraw, leaving Pakistan, China, Russia and perhaps Iran to solve the problem through a comprehensive approach including economic uplift of mineral-rich Afghanistan. China sure has plentiful funds seeking investment opportunities abroad as well as the technical know-how. It would welcome an opportunity to dig up vast mineral wealth of Afghanistan for mutual benefit. And by reviving Afghan economy and providing alternate employment opportunities, China can lure many Afghans to peaceful means of earning a living, instead of them just joining the terrorists outfits because of lack of other employment opportunities. China can also easily substitute the little aid that US and India give to Aghanistan.
Of course, being its neighbours, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran have a natural interest in peace in Afghanistan as opposed to the US which wants to keep Afghanistan in a permanent state of turmoil in order to justify its presence there. It is because of this that despite agreeing that peace could come to Afghanistan only through a negotiated settlement with Taliban, twice that a possibility of negotiations with Taliban emerged, the US killed the Taliban leaders through drone strikes and scuttled the process.
As for threats from Donald Trump, I think the best option would be to let the big clown stew in his own juice, which would make him more inclined to get out of Afghanistan fast.
فواد – ڈيجيٹل آؤٹ ريچ ٹيم – يو ايس اسٹيٹ ڈيپارٹمينٹ
دہشتگردی اور شدت پسندی کےخلاف جنگ میں پاکستانی عوام نےکافی نقصان اٹھايا ہے
فواد – ڈيجيٹل آؤٹ ريچ ٹيم – يو ايس اسٹيٹ ڈيپارٹمينٹ
- فواد – ڈيجيٹل آؤٹ ريچ ٹيم – يو ايس اسٹيٹ ڈيپارٹمينٹ
کچھ تجزيہ نگاروں کی جانب سے امريکہ کی پاکستان کو مبينہ دھمکيوں کے حوالے سے جذبات سے بھرپور بحث ديکھ کر حيرانگی ہوتی ہے کيونکہ زمينی حقائق، تحقيق شدہ اور تسليم کردہ اعداد وشمار کی روشنی ميں ايک مختلف تصوير پيش کرتے ہيں۔ ياد رہے کہ گزشتہ ايک دہائ کے دوران پاکستانی شہريوں کو داعش، ٹی ٹی پی، القائدہ اور ديگر دہشت گرد تنظيموں کی بربريت سے محفوظ کرنے کے ليے سب سے وسائل اور امداد امريکہ نے ہی فراہم کی ہے۔
اس میں کوئ شک نہيں کہ امريکی صدر اور کچھ ديگر اہم امريکی حکومت کے عہديداروں نے بعض دہشت گرد گروہوں کی پاکستان کے اندر محفوظ ٹھکانوں کے ذريعے اپنی متشدد کاروائيوں کو جاری رکھنے کی اہليت کے حوالے سے تحفظات کا اظہار کيا ہے۔ ليکن انھی عہديداروں نے اس بات پر بھی زور ديا ہے کہ پاکستان کے ساتھ باہم تعلقات اور روابط جاری رکھنے کی ضرورت ہے تا کہ دہشت گردی کے محفوظ ٹھکانوں کو ختم کرنے کے ليے جاری کاوشوں کو مزيد فعال کيا جا سکے۔
ہمارے تحفظات، اختلافات اور تشويش کے باوجود اہم نقطہ يہ ہے کہ ہم بدستور پاکستان کے ساتھ تعاون کر رہے ہيں تا کہ دہشت گرد تنظيموں کی محفوظ ٹھکانوں تک رسائ کو روکا جا سکے اور کئ مواقعوں پر حقانی نيٹ ورک سميت مشترکہ خطرات سے نبردآزما ہونے کے ليے مشترکہ کاروائ کے حوالے سے ہماری ترجيحات کو اجاگر کيا گيا۔
وہ تبصرہ نگار جو دونوں ممالک کے مابين جنگ کے حوالے سے ايک فرضی اور ناقابل يقين مفروضے کو بنياد بنا کر جذباتی بحث کر رہے ہيں انھيں چاہيے کہ وہ دونوں ممالک کے مابين جاری ترقياتی منصوبوں، لاجسٹک سپورٹ، وسائل ميں شراکت اور امدادی پيکج کے حوالے سے اعداد وشمار کا بغور تجزيہ کريں جو ہمارے اسٹريجک تعلقات اور باہم مفادات کی بنياد پر استوار ہونے والے طويل المدت شراکت کا منہ بولتا ثبوت ہيں۔
جب پاکستان اور امريکہ کے مابين باہم تعلقات کا ذکر آتا ہے تو بعض افراد جو ايک مخصوص سوچ اور سياسی ايجنڈہ پر يقين رکھتے ہيں وہ صرف ان ايشوز اور معاملات پر اپنی تمام توجہ مرکوز کر ليتے ہیں جن پر بحث جاری ہوتی ہے جس سے لامحالہ اختلافات کا شائبہ ہوتا ہے ليکن وہ اس حقيقت کو نظرانداز کر ديتے ہيں کہ کسی مشترکہ ہدف کے حصول کے ليے جاری شراکت داری میں ان مراحل کا آنا محض ايک فطری عمل ہے۔
يہ نہيں بھولنا چاہيے کہ امريکی حکومت واضح کر چکی ہے کہ پاکستان کے ساتھ ہمارے تعلقات انتہائ اہم ہيں اور مشکلات کے باوجود ان کی وقعت برقرار ہے۔ ہم دونوں حکومتوں اور عوام کے مابين مختلف نوعيت کے معاملات پر جاری شراکت داری کو قائم رکھنے کے ليے پرعزم ہيں۔
فواد – ڈيجيٹل آؤٹ ريچ ٹيم – يو ايس اسٹيٹ ڈيپارٹمينٹ
Coming from the Digital Outreach Team of the US State Department, the post is very disappointing indeed. Surely, while responding to a particular post, one is expected to deal with the points raised therein instead of making generalized statements just pledging and emphasizing cooperation, support and aid more so in the circumstances where all of these are on a downward trajectory.
As for US allegations of terrorists from safe havens in Pakistan staging cross-border attacks, well, with forty percent of Afghanistan under their control, it is much easier for them to launch attacks from inside Afghanistan instead of travelling all the way from Pakistan. Also, years back, Gen. Pervez Musharraf had offered to fence the Pak-Afghan border with controlled cross-over points in order to check illegal movements. However, the US administration showed no interest in it, neither is Trump too keen on it. Instead, he has been most vocal about building a wall against Mexico.
And for sometime now,Pakistan has already been building the fence, despite opposition from Afghan authorities.
And come to think of it, the United States is itself the worst terrorist haven on earth which harbours criminals and mass murderers like George Bush, Barack Obama and others who have blood of millions of innocent men, women and children on their hand.
Also, Pakistan authorities have often handed over to US and its allies the lists of Mulla Fazlullah and others who fled Pakistan and are now safely entrenched in Afghanistan, from where they plan and stage attacks on Pakistani soil, but the US and its allies have done nothing about it.
The post claims that during the last one decade, the US has played the biggest role and has provided the large amount of aid and help in preventing Pakistan from terrorist attacks by Daish, TTP, Al-Qaeda and others.
Now, Taliban emerged as a result of unnecessary and stupid involvement by our General Ziaul Haq in US revenge war with the Soviet Union, to fight which large chains of religious seminaries were established to churn out half-baked mujahids to fight the US war. Additionally, fighters like Osama bin Laden and others were brought to Afghanistan from other regions. In fact, Osama bin Laden who was once a hero for Americans and he enjoyed direct access to the high ups in the US government. However, Osama bin Laden had hoped that after defeating Soviet Union, the US would solve the problems of Muslim states, including the Palestinian-Israeli problem. But when that did not happen, he turned against the US and overnight, his status changed from an American hero to America's enemy number one.
And even Daish emerged as a result of the unjust, illegal, brutal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq by the US and its lap dog Tony Blair and removal of Saddam Hussein who had ruthlessly dealt with opposition to his rule and did not let divisive elements firm up in Iraq. And it was his forced removal/killing and disbanding of his army - without putting in a substitute - that created space for, and eventually gave birth to Daish. And it is common knowledge that the US and its allies trained, armed and supported men to fight Bashar al-Assad and these were the elements which ultimately morphed into Daish.
And now that with the support of Iran and Russia and Kurds, the Daish have been defeated in Syria and Iraq - who have already achieved US objectives of destabilizing the region though excluding the removal of Bashar al-Assad - the US is relocating these Daish fighters to Afghanistan.
And relations between US and Pakistan have not been a success story, one of goodwill and cooperation flowing in both directions at all times. Like for example, after achieving its objective of dismembering the Soviet Union, the US just abandoned us, leaving us to look after three million Afghan refugees, including introduction of extremism and proliferation of arms. The US even imposed sanctions on us.
And Pakistan's association with the United States has been a loss-making business. Pakistan has suffered killing of 70,000 men, including 8,000 soldiers with senior officers up to Major General rank. On top of that, Pakistan suffered over $ 100 billion loss because of associating with the US which is much higher than the total aid given to us by the US from the time of its creation to date.
And there was a time when the US was even refusing to supply us the F-16s for which Pakistan had already paid. And to make it worse, it was reluctant even to pay back the money. Compare that with the US gesture of allowing production of F-16s in India. Also, the presence of Nikki Haley in the US administration doesn't help Pakistan much. And remember that while US presidents visited India and Afghanistan, they deliberately gave Pakistan a miss.
And the US forces had launched a brutal attack, using fighter jets and helicopter gunships on our clearly marked, Salala military check-post near Afghan border, the location of which had already been communicated to the US and its allies. The attack continued for nearly an hour, killing 24 of our soldiers who were not equipped to deal with such attacks and were lightly-armed to tackle minor incursions from Afghan side. What is worse, the US president even refused to immediately apologize for it and only offered half-an-apology much later, in order to have the land route for supplies to Afghanistan reopened. You don't do to an ally.
Every now and then, Indian border forces open unprovoked fire on Pakistani civilians living the border, killing innocent men, women and children. And while Narindra Modi boasted about India breaking up Pakistan, and constantly spits venom against us his generals are promising and expressing readiness for a two-front war with Pakistan and China. And instead of using their influence to restrain India, the US leaders are arming India to the teeth and preparing to give it a big role in Afghanistan. Such American designs, which would enable India to squeeze us from both sides, could hardly be considered Pakistan-friendly.
At one time, the US had nearly a hundred thousand US soldiers, an equal number of mercenaries called civilian contracts and a substantial presence of NATO forces. Still, it could not defeat Taliban completely who are in full control of forty percent of Afghan territory. And this makes it absolutely clear that peace is possible in Afghanistan only through a negotiated settlement with Taliban. Yet, twice that an opportunity for negotiated settlement arose, the US killed Taliban chiefs through drone attack. And if the US wants to weaken Taliban sufficiently before negotiations, it needs upwards of half a million soldiers and trillion of dollar budgets. However, all it is prepared to cough up is a force of under twenty thousand troops - including the planned increase - and a budget of much less than $ 100 billion a year. This could hardly cripple Taliban.
And that means the US is not prepared to negotiate with Taliban while they are still strong. And what makes it worse is that it is not even prepared to spare men and money what would be required to weaken Taliban sufficiently.
So, just what is it that the US is hanging around in Afghanistan for? And the logical answer is 'to keep an eye on China and to create complications for Iran and Pakistan, making them suffer an Iraq, Libya or Syria-like fate and to further expand the influence of its ally India right through Pakistan up to Afghanistan where it is already deeply entrenched.
And recently, Donald Trump and some of his top officials made some very offensive remarks against Pakistan while some others were a bit re-conciliatory, in order to keep the channels of communication open. Of course, this was akin to heavy aerial bombardment of the enemy position in order to soften the enemy targets before advance by the ground troops. Obviously, this was meant to frighten Pakistan officials to submit unconditionally. However, Pakistani officials are well aware of such American tactics and are not too impressed.
Also, George Bush destroyed Iraq, causing death of nearly a million innocent Iraqi men, women and children. The Nobel Laureate Barack Obama didn't too badly either, and destroyed Libya and Syria, bagging half a million Muslims in the process. Of course, the upstart Donald Trump would aim higher still and what could be better trophies for him than nuclear-armed Pakistan and Iran, which would be greatly appreciated by his Jewish in-laws as well. Trump once said "We should not have let go of Iraqi oil". And the greedy one has also set his mind on a few trillion dollar worth of Afghanistan's mineral wealth. And for achieving this sort of targets, presence in Afghanistan of around twenty thousand conspirators and a budget of a hundred billion dollar or two could be adequate.
There are also allegations by former Afghan president Hamid Karzai regarding the US air-dropping arms, ammunition and other supplies to Daish in Afghanistan. Alarmed by these 'developments' Karzai is suggesting closer cooperation with Pakistan while Afghan President Asharf Ghani is also expressing similar sentiments. However, Ashraf Ghani can't order Americans to leave since they pay the salaries of Afghan armed forces and also provide a bit of economic aid to Afghanistan. However, if it wanted to, China could easily replace all this and prevent Americans doing in our region what they did earlier to Iraq, Libya and Syria. With foreign exchange reserves of over three trillion dollars, part of it awaiting opportunity for investment abroad, and with its technical know how, China could even help revive Afghan economy by digging up its massive mineral wealth.
I would say that like humans, empires and the like also have a life span. Apart from earlier empires, the huge British empire ended only decades back and is fresh in memory. And it is more than obvious that the United States is well past its glory. Who would have thought that the Saudi government will sign a multi-billion dollar investment fund with China. And it would have been inconceivable that Saudi King will visit Russia and sign various agreements, including those for supply of armaments. But all this is happening and gives a clear indication of a move away from the United States.
So, it would be much better for the United States to admit gracefully that its time as world leader is over and China is the emerging world power. And as against the United States dividing the countries in the world in friends and foes, and starting wars and conflicts all over, China is building roads and bridges and thus linking the countries, bringing them together.
So, I would say that the United States would do the rest of the world, as also itself a great favour by withdrawing its forces from around the world where they are involved in unhealthy activities. It would also save its men, as also its dollars, which it better spend on the welfare of its own people, a lot of whom are in desperate need of help.