By Farman Nawaz (Daily Outlook Afghanistan)
If our politicians, bureaucrats, army, journalists and business community can not establish, guarantee and safeguard our interests in our neighboring countries so how can armed groups, rejected by the Afghans and Indians, compel our neighbors to bow in front of us and care for our interests. This ground reality will twist our arm to change our concept of strategic depth.
Even during the peak of Taliban regime in Afghanistan, what we have achieved? Had we compelled India to come to our terms? Had we convinced the world to cooperate with Taliban – the combined assets of Pakistan, American, and Saudi Arabia? Still we do not have access to central Asian markets and resources. Rather our own assets became a headache for us and a threat to our nuclear assets. Are we brave enough to realize that what we have done with our own assets when the world turned against it? We just acted upon the commands of our masters. The same we will have to do with the remaining segments of Taliban, enjoying the mercy of Pakistani establishment. We must get rid of this cancer before the world comes to operate it. In reality, Taliban were never our assets. We just nourished them for the selfish interests of western nations. And still their activities are beneficial for western powers to stay in Afghanistan. What we are dreaming that will never come true. Reconciliation with Taliban will only serve the vested interests of imperialist powers.
Have we ever thought of reconciliation with other segments and otherstakeholders of Afghanistan? The way Hamas destroyed the true efforts of Yasir Arafat of settling the issue peacefully with Israel, in the same way by supporting intruders in Kashmir; we have destroyed the true efforts of genuine leadership of Muslim leaders of Kashmir. By supporting Taliban in Afghanistan, we have lost the support of those Pakhtuns who respect Bacha Khan and his followers. Molana Fazal ur Rehamn and other religious leaders do not have strong relationships with Pakhtun belt of Afghanistan.
We will have to change our concept of strategic depth. The wrong decisions of Taliban brought international forces to Afghanistan. It seems that these forces will remain our next-door neighbor for a longer period and on the other hand, now our neighbors want to have business with the same Afghanistan that is deserted by our wrong policies. If we want a friendly government is Afghanistan than we will have to accommodate the interests of others. Otherwise, the situation in Waziristan and Balochistan shows that the imperialist powers have decided to disintegrate our territory.
These powers have divided the world in such a way that it is very easy for them to vivisect territories. Look at the Kurds; they are living in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey. Balochis are part of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Pakhtuns are living in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Different races of central Asian origin are living in Afghanistan. Punjabi are part of Pakistan and India. Bengalis are living in India and Bangladesh. Any time imperialist powers can intrigue and again they can draw the boundaries of hatred as they have done in 1947. Balochistan must not become the East Timor of Islamic world. It will destabilize Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the most affected countries of terrorism. However, luckily these nations have the remedy for it. Afghans will have to manage to stop those usurpers, local and foreigners, who are supplying arms and funds to Taliban. Pakistan will have to eliminate all hideouts of Taliban. India as an independent, free of imperialistic influences and impartial nation of the region, will have to cooperate with Pakistan to curb terrorism and come out of clenches of western jaws. India will have to make such an environment in Kashmir that innocent angry people should not support extremism. India as a big brother will have to sacrifice more than Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It is feared that soon in Afghanistan there will be a tough competition among Pakistan, China, and India. If it is true, it proves that imperialist powers are successful in their planning. Pakistan should not use Chinese favor to counter India but rather their mutual cooperation should enable Afghanistan to stand on its own feet. We will have to compensate the Afghanis.
The question is still there that what should be the shape of new strategic depth for Pakistan in the region. The answer is “Business”. Pakistan will have to accommodate the interests of the neighboring nations by opening its corridors for them. It is the only way to save Pakistan. By accommodating diverse interests of the regional countries, we can bring Pakistan closer to the regional nations. Surely, they will start trusting us. Now this the duty of Pakistan People’s Party coalition government, General Kiyani and Chief Justice Iftakhar Muhammad Chowdry to lay the foundation of NEW PAKISTAN – a Pakistan that can change the destiny of the region.