It is important to find out who are the beneficiaries of the mistrust and tensions between Pakistan and US? Those who allegedly made big promises in Pakistan and couldn’t deliver must have myopic vision as well as overestimated themselves. Problems in Afghanistan are not because of its neighbours? One must see who want this conflict prolonged? Are they drug dealers, arms dealers or private mercenaries?
By DR. SHAHID QURESHI
AFTER the Bonn International conference in Germany and protest boycott of Pakistan due to NATO attack on its border post and killing of 24 soldiers, it is high time that Pakistan – US and other stake holders in Afghanistan sit down with cool minds and look for a viable exit plan which is acceptable to all the parties including militants.
Surely as many analysts say that; ‘solution to problems in Afghanistan lies within and not outside’. The recent tension between the US and Pakistan due to the 26/11/11 incident has already made things worse in terms of mutual trust. It is important to find out who are the beneficiaries of the mistrust and tensions between Pakistan and US? Those who allegedly made big promises in Pakistan and couldn’t deliver must have myopic vision as well as overestimated themselves. Problems in Afghanistan are not because of its neighbours? One must see who want this conflict prolonged? Are they drug dealers, arms dealers or private mercenaries?
It is very important to understand how US and NATO are seen and perceived within Afghanistan. In response to a question from an international tv channel I was of the view: “The US is seen as an invader in Afghanistan. The people who are fighting the invaders come from all walks of life. The militants see this war against invasion and occupiers. USA is a great power there is no doubt about that, but to be great, they need to show themselves what greatness is.
Greatness is not [measured] by you going in bombing and killing millions of people because you have this terrible incident (9/11) that took place in your country ten years ago. In response to this terrorism millions is placed,thousands killed without knowing why they are being killed. The United Nations mandate was to fight with the al-Qaeda. It wasn't about reconstruction or to fight with the Taliban. The cost of the war is overwhelming. Seven billion dollars a month to fight with 150 al-Qaeda suspects across the whole country, plus one hundred thousand troops.
US should learn and leave Afghanistan as soon as possible to cut losses. One should know that sometimes it is better to use common sense than the intelligence, as intelligence doesn't work all the time? There are incidents where the intelligence has failed to provide correct information. The problem of the US is that if they solve their internal problems, lots of external problems will automatically be resolved. And one of the problems the US is facing is their internal debt and deficit. And that is caused by the bankers. Many experts are saying that US real enemies mostly lie in the Wall Street who has robbed the US government and the US people billions and trillions of dollars. The US's real enemies are in the Wall Street. US need to stop war in Afghanistan which is costing them about seven billion dollars a month.
The best solution for the US is to wrap up and leave. The sooner they leave the better and they will save money as well as lives of the human beings mostly the Afghanis and Pakistanis. The problems we are having in Pakistan are not because of the Pakistanis, it's because of the US invasion of Afghanistan.
Pakistan was very peaceful before the 2001 invasion. There were no suicide bombings and no violence. That is the cause which people must understand. If the people that are partners in this war start blaming each other, then there will not be any outcome from it, especially with the involvement of the US with neighbours like Iran, Pakistan, China, and Russia to solve this problem as soon as possible, that will be in the interest of NATO and US forces, and will save hundreds and thousands of lives.
The real problem is the occupation. This is an illegal occupation in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. And my friend in Washington must understand that the real enemies of your country where you are sitting now or your adopted country are the bankers in the Wall Street where the people have been conned in the broad daylight.
If the US is thinking of taking a military action inside Pakistan it would be really an unwise move with drastic consequences for the region. On the one hand the US would like to talk to Taliban to have a meaningful negotiation but on the other hand United States is also bombing the same Taliban.
If Taliban wants to come in the main stream they should also start talking to the forces who are occupying Afghanistan. I am looking into the future because in the past they were isolated because nobody recognized their legitimacy. Now if the Taliban or the people in Afghanistan want to have legitimacy, they need to become part of the negotiation process.
At the same time United States should not blame its friends for its failures.We know that the US is on the way out, and we also know that US wants honourable way out but that does not mean that they should blame the neighbouring countries for its mistakes.
The problem with the US policy makers is that they are more interested in what they want to hear instead of what they should know? British have a long experience in this region, dealing with the Pashtuns. They have written hundreds and hundreds of books about their tradition culture. Pashtuns are going to be staying there even when the US is long gone?
As far as the Indian factor is concerned they were quite clever for example they did not send their troops into Afghanistan but they did send their civilian operators or intelligence agency staff to conspire against Pakistan? That is what it is coming from the many sources that there are camps operating against Pakistani interests from inside Afghanistan. But in the long run, the problem with the United States is that something which they can get by simple adjusting their own policy instead of accepting that. They want the other side to adjust themselves simply which is not even possible for them to adjust simply asking the other side to do something which they don't even have. British role is very crucial because the Brits have a lot of experience in Afghanistan and they can assist the United States in terms of a suitable and smooth withdrawal without losing its friends in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan. The solution lies inside Afghanistan and all it need is to talk to everyone who matters and not over them.