Rubbing the wrong way

By Farman Nawaz (unpublished article)


Here in Pakistani politics now it is becoming a common trend that truth is buried not only under the lies but a heap of allegations is raised with such a technique that even after knowing the truth one hesitates to rely upon the facts. Now facts are no more facts in Pakistani politics. But sorry to say this spurious modus operandi is also adopted in international relations. We have started using this expertise on international level too.

Here are some of the allegations and observations expressed by Pakistan against Afghanistan. ‘Karzai government is just confined to Kabul. Baloch leaders are hiding in Kabul. Kabul must stop terrorists to enter Pakistan. Pakistan is worried about the Indian presence in Afghanistan. Pashtuns are not having proper representation in Afghanistan. Afghan army mainly consists of other minor groups. Pashtuns – the natural soldiers – must be given fair share in Afghan army. Afghan solution is impossible without Pakistan’.

Truly speaking Pakistan considers Afghanistan its colony. Still we are living in 80’s and 90’s. Now it must be realized that after 9/11 the world’s outlook is changed about this region. Taliban are no more in power in Afghanistan. We must remember that the day when Taliban were defeated, Afghanis celebrated that occasion and it was Pakistan that cooperated with US and Taliban were attached.

There was a time when India was blamed for every terrorist activity in Pakistan but now India is replaced with Afghanistan. In 1971, we blamed India for supporting leaders of Awami League and Mukti Bahini. Now because of Balochistan issue a similar kind of allegation is charged against Afghanistan. Do we want to repeat the episode of 1971? If we did not change our attitude then history will have to repeat itself. Instead of solving the Balochistan issue, we are trying to make the matters worse by involving Afghanistan. It is the failure of our intelligence agencies and politicians that they could not reconcile with the rebellious Baloch leaders.

The only difference between Bangal and Baloch issue is the absence of public support on the part of separatist Baloch leaders. The day they got public support, we will definitely lose Balochistan too. Bangladesh is now a sovereign country with independent foreign policy. But Independent Balochistan – because of its geographical importance – will surely become a victim of the hostility among various regional and international powers. Our Intelligence agencies and politicians must try to win over the confidence of exiled Baloch leaders. The same Baloch nation is there in Iran but no body can dare to use them against Iran. We must find out the reasons that why our Balochistan is burning.

Instead of deriding Karzai for his loose control on Afghanistan we must concentrate on our own control on tribal areas. We should be realistic. Do we have complete control over tribal areas? Once these areas were fugitive land for murders, kidnapers and looters and now anti-state elements have their safe heavens in these areas. Breeding terrorists in these strategically and economically important areas will make our life miserable in future. These non-state actors have no constitution, no religion, no specific goals, no specific area, and no central command. How we will control them if these ‘paid killers’ turned against us?

Today Afghanistan is on such crossroads that it can not afford the opposition of any nation. Is it logical to dictate the sovereign Afghans to come apart with India? Isn’t it an attack on their sovereignty? India may seem us an enemy but for distressed Afghans India is investing money. However on the other hand we are so self-interested that even after signing agreement with Afghanistan we can not see Afghan trucks carrying trade items to India. Is this the way to treat neighbours?

It is also very embarrassing to tell Afghans that their army is incomplete without Pashtuns.  Do we know how many Baloch and Pashtun we have in Pakistan army? Why we are making such demands from Afghanistan that can lead to create distances between us? Afghanistan is a mineral rich country. In a near future it can become a prosperous country. Most of its mines are situated near Pak-Afghan border. If we will get on Afghans’ nerves in this way and will provide hideouts to those people whom Afghans consider a threat for their solidarity, so in their better judgment Afghans will have to secure its border. And unwillingly but we will have to invest on our eastern and western borders.

Our retired army generals were the heroes of Afghan Jihad. Afghan Jihad was an episode where these people learned how to organize extremists and to expel USSR. Now cold war is over. China and India are becoming economic giants of the future. Iran is going to play a role in the Middle East after its settlement of issues with US. Russia and Turkey are searching new routes between Asia and Europe. In this scenario we must not listen to the fairy tells of retired heroes. They will just misguide us and we will remain dependent on others like cold war era.


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