By Farman Nawaz (Daily Outlook Afghanistan)
The outcome of war on terror under the auspices of US and NATO is not encouraging as well as acceptable. Billions of dollars have been spent during these ten years but still peace is not only fragile but war on terror has destabilized the neighboring Pakistan too. Pakistani security agencies are exposed to multidimensional threats while common Pakistanis and Afghanis too are slaughtered like animals during these ten years of US led war. But in contrast we see that the same powers instantly solved Balkan, Easy Timor, and the recent Libyan issues.
It is because of this war that Pakistan People’s Party government is trapped between local and national establishments. Whereas the same prolonged war on terror has strengthened conservative elements inside Pakistan.
The economic problems created by this war have given the chance to conservatives to point fingers at People’s Party government. Now government is squeezed in between the judiciary – which is only free at Supreme Court level – and an opposition – which is also blamed for having links with hardliners in the past. Common Pakistanis expect good governance from a government which is busy in war governance on one side and competing against nonissues on the other.
The war on terror has also affected Afghani government too. The willingness of Afghani government to sign an agreement with US to allow it establishing military bases is the result of the fear of growing terrorism and starvation in absence of US forces.
Almost the same is the case here in Pakistan. Government has denied to attend the Bon Conference and informed US to evacuate the Shamsi Air Base but there is a fear of economic panic incase of unavailability of international funds. The meager economy may compel Pakistani government to kneel down.
My these next few lines may hurt the ambassadors of China and Russia but It is very regrettable to see that when it comes to interests of regional powers then we observe that these regional powers starts slobbering and they are eager to have a share in the mineral resources of Afghanistan and to use the corridors of Pakistan for their economic growth.
But when it comes to the day to day financial crisis of both these countries then we see that our leaders are compelled to beg in the corridors of Washington. Russia did not hesitate to attack its neighbors when it felt insecure; similarly China also expresses its reservations when its ally Pakistan is militarily threatened but isn’t it lamentable that both Pakistan and Afghanistan has become puppets in the hands of the West for the last three decades but these superpowers in our neighborhood are feloniously silent. What are they waiting for?
War on terror is a tool in the hands of Western powers to reside in the region. Regional powers must come forward to own this tool to save the future generations of Afghanistan and Pakistan from economic catastrophe.
In the past it was a dilemma with Communist USSR that it could not utilized its surplus capital. But now when Russia and China has reformed their economies and now when they have surplus capital too so they must invest it in these dependent economies in their neighborhood.
May be they will not see an immediate outcome and return but once the minerals of Afghanistan started pouring out and corridors of Pakistan started working, their investment will surely not only paid back but they could then take sigh of relief not be surrounded by destabilized states under Western hegemony.
Today Afghanistan has compulsively accepted US offer of military bases but tomorrow may be western powers can force them to let them install Missile Defense System in Afghanistan to secure their bases in Afghanistan and Middle East.
Pakistan at the moment has dared to threaten US to reconsider its policy towards US. As far as I remember it did not happen in the past. But I fear that soon we will surrender as there are strong US lobbies here in Pakistan.
Only strong, explicit and pronounced regional support can change the destiny of the region. Chinese Embassy Spokesman in Afghanistan wrote an article on September 21, 2010, in which he claimed that China cannot assume the international obligations that are beyond its capacity but China is an important international player that is committed to build a harmonious world. I think China must first try to build a harmonious neighborhood.
For Russia and China the first step to get involved is to redefine the terrorism and war on terror. It is well-known to all that terrorists are not willing to sit with the West. Now in this scenario the regional powers must step in to invite terrorists to table talks.
This will shift the reigns of war on terror into the hands of regional powers. What I am suggesting is not an enchanted story. We know Humas was invited by Russia when it won the elections in Palestine. So why not this time Taliban? If Taliban will not cooperate with regional powers then it can be easily proved that Taliban are just agents of the west to prolong western occupation.