Attack on the CIA in Afghanistan raises jitters in Pakistan

January 5, 2010

droneLast week’s suicide bomb attack on a base in Afghanistan which killed seven CIA officers and a Jordanian spy is raising fears in Pakistan that it could encourage an intensified drone bombing campaign to target those who planned the assault.

Although it is too early to say for certain who ordered the attack, possibilities include the Pakistani Taliban who claimed responsibility; the Afghan Taliban who had earlier said the bomber was an Afghan army officer; the Haqqani network; al Qaeda; or a combination of different groups working together. 

U.S. media reports, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, have described the bomber as a double agent who was allowed onto the base after he promised to provide information about al Qaeda’s top leadership. The Washington Post named him as Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian who had been recruited by Jordanian intelligence, and whose intended role may have been to help hunt down al Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman al Zawahri.

Instead after what must have been a long campaign of deception to win the trust of the CIA, he blew himself up at the base in Khost province near the Pakistan border.

According to Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai, the attack was believed to be carried out by the Haqqani network, founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani and now run by his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, and based in North Waziristan.  Writing in The News, he forecast intensified drone bombings in North Waziristan,  potentially destabilising Pakistan, which has already launched an offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan.

“The US army, or the CIA to be specific, and the Haqqanis were already involved in a deadly war of revenge against each other and their blood feud has now become deadlier and personal.  In the 80s, the elder Haqqani and CIA cooperated with each other fighting the Soviet occupying forces in Afghanistan. Today, they are rivals,” he said.

“The US Special Forces and CIA have killed scores of Haqqani’s men, women and children in secret operations and drone strikes in Afghanistan and in North Waziristan, where the family migrated from Khost after the Soviet invasion in December 1979. The CIA will now try harder to eliminate the Haqqanis, who control one of the most powerful Taliban groups in Afghanistan. To succeed, the CIA will make more frequent use of drones in North Waziristan and other Pakistani tribal areas, and hire a larger number of informants, (better screened to prevent incidents like the recent suicide bombing at Khost).”

Drone attacks are unpopular in Pakistan because they cause civilian deaths and are seen as a violation of  Pakistani sovereignty.

Pakistan has so far resisted U.S. pressure to go after the Haqqani network, insisting it must first deal with militants behind a series of gun and bomb attacks inside the country, and fearing a further escalation in violence were it to try to tackle too many different groups at once. Like the Afghan Taliban in the Quetta shura led by Mullah Omar, the Haqqani network has focused on fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, rather than targetting Pakistan. U.S. media reports in the past have quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying Pakistan’s security services maintained close links with both the Haqqani network and the Quetta shura.

Following the attack on the CIA officers, the Financial Times said, ”Pakistan’s security officials have moved to distance the country from any links to the Haqqani network but have also warned against an escalation in attacks by pilot-less US drones on the country’s territory. “If the Americans step up the attacks at what they suspect are locations of Haqqani’s men inside Pakistan, that would be a risky step,” it quoted a security official in Peshawar  as saying. ”The Americans cannot simply go by assumptions. First, all the facts must be ascertained.”

Haqqani senior was once the darling of the Americans when U.S. and Saudi-funded mujahideen fought the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Now his network has become one of the United States’ most dangerous enemies and source of serious tension with Pakistan.

                                                                                 ————————————————————-

As a post-script, do read two items on the Jihadica website which cast some light on the Haqqanis. One is about an interview with Jalaluddin Haqqani in which he described the United States as a nation which has imposed its “arrogance and terrorism” on the whole world, and especially Afghanistan.

The second is about the bomber who attacked the base in Khost and his identity as a “jihadi blogger”. Intriguingly, it notes that the bomber, assuming his identity is confirmed, had previously described himself as ”outraged by the violent repression of Muslims in Palestine, Iraq and Pakistan” - issues which tend to be more associated with al Qaeda than with the Haqqani network.  It also says that he specifically cited the summer 2007 military assault on gunmen holed up in the Red Mosque in Islamabad – widely seen as the trigger for the revolt by the Pakistani Taliban. So if the Khost attack was indeed ordered by the Haqqani network, why was it carried out by a man whose sympathies lay more with al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban? Evidence of the different groups working more closely together? Or just of one man moving between different groups?

(File photo of Predator drone)

Comments

Unfortunately the war in Pakistan is turning between local and immigrant (mohajirs) – mainly who migrated from India. People sitting in Islamabad and GHQ issuing orders are mostly those who are alien to the land. The examples are Liaqat Ali Khan, Zia ul haq (AKA Cia -ul-Haq), Mushraff, Nawaz Shrief, Aslam Beg, Gilani, Altaf Hussain. The real fear is it will spread wider and deeper. The US needs to stop these drone attacks.

Posted by NangaPir | Report as abusive
 

When the Soviets fought the Mujahideen, stinger missiles became the deciding factor in that war.

When the Americans are fighting the same radicals, the drones will become the deciding factor.

As soon as Spring season starts, things will only intensify. There will be more attacks inside Pakistani territory which will push the radical elements to seek shelter inside the hinterlands of Pakistan. Any American efforts to force the Pakistani military to prevent these elements from hiding will lead to an escalation of violence that this region has not seen before. The aim of the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements will be to take control of Pakistan by creating chaos in the country. They will try to use their supporters in the ISI and the military to stage coups and assassinations to weaken the hold of the sensible elements. This may lead to their army breaking up and Pakistan becoming Afghanistan. 2010 and beyond appear more violent for the region. If things begin to get out of control, the US might first go after the nukes and make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands. And many countries including Russia might be interested in taking the nukes out of reach of the militants. No matter how much one says they are safe, as time progresses, their safety will become questionable.

The best way for Pakistan to survive would be to switch sides wholeheartedly towards the NATO allies now and just finish off the Haqqanis and the Afghan Taliban altogether. Providing them support and safe havens will only make the US go even harder towards them. Sometimes big sacrifices have to be made in order to survive. Musharraf did that when he decided to switch sides and fight on the side of the US after 9/11. At that time there was some understanding from the US and it allowed Musharraf to gain some room to accommodate all elements. Now that previlege is gone. An impatient US will begin to demand more and more and it might be direct. Hope Pakistani leaders make the wise choice considering their county’s long term future.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

This is just the beginning of the Obama new strategy and the forthcoming surge. If this is true that the CIA has now been penetrated then rats are likely to leave the sinking ship. Sooner or later the names of people in the sub-continent on CIA payroll will be published. Who is going to voluntier? The secretary of defence or the CIA chief or both? The Pashtoons are the deciding factor, not the stingers. Sooner or later they would get hold of a drone and then start copying it. I would not trust the Pashtoons, their loyalty to their clan is absolute. Starting from Karzai, there are many Pashtoons afghans, who were the best friends of George W,and Dick C, and are sooner or later going to break awy from the US and Nato operations. The Pashtoons do not ask anyone for safe havens, they live on both sides of the so called border between the two countries. The former military ruler of Pakistan now lives in the UK along with many of his former Generals, several others are likely to meet the same fate.

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

It would be expected that the Indian commentator above would suggest that pak army should attack haqqani network and create more backlash and bloodshed in Pakistan. But what is the real game behind US invasion of Afghanistan?

This whole so-called “war on terrorism” has been engineered by CIA to lay down a US pipeline from persian gulf to the oil treasures in central asia. When Taliban refused to allow Unocal to lay a pipeline through afghanistan, CIA planned that the only way to lay this pipeline is by destabilizing pakistan and getting control of NWFP and baluchistan provinces in pakistan. US forces attacked afghanistan under the guise of targeting al qaeda when, not a single afghan was involved in the 9/11 attack. How ironic!

Now US is paying the price for invading afghanistan where US soldiers and CIA agents are being killed every day. However, USA will not be able to pull its forces out of afghanistan without the help of pakistan. Instead of sending another 35,000 troops to afghanistan, USA should be withdrawing 35,000 troops from afghanistan. Otherwise, afghanistan will become another Vietnam for USA. CIA has been providing arms and funds to Taliban to carry out terrorist attacks in pakistan and then pushing pak army to first go after them in swat and then south waziristan. Foreign agencies including CIA and RAW want to trigger a civil war in pakistan by first making the army kill its own people and then having the people react by targeting the security forces. Hence, when US pushed pak army to attack the haqqani network also, pak army understood the real game and refused. Pak army should not attack haqqani network because it would create more backlash and attacks in pakistan. Pakistan should not be fighting someone else’s war.

US cannot escalate drone attacks just like that. 90% of pakistanis are against USA because of CIA’s sinister activities in pakistan. There were more than 100 attacks in pakistan in 2009 alone in which more than 1000 innocent pakistanis lost their lives. US should not test the patience of pakistani public and its army before it backfires so bad that pak airforce starts shooting down drones and we have another iranian revolution in pakistan and US forces get trapped in Afghanistan for a decade or so with more body bags than Vietnam!

Posted by therealgame | Report as abusive
 

therealgame:

@US should not test the patience of pakistani public and its army before it backfires so bad that pak airforce starts shooting down drones and we have another iranian revolution in pakistan and US forces get trapped in Afghanistan for a decade or so with more body bags than Vietnam!”
Posted by therealgame

–This made me laugh—shooting down drones by Pak! Who will shoot—Irrespective of PA’s wishes, PA is with US in firing the drones.

Musharraf could not say NO to Bush’s threat and Kayani could not say NO to USAid with KL bill restrictions. With this background, what you said means nothing.

Now talking about public, perhaps it is already happening via insurgency/terrorism. The target is more of PA than US.

@When Taliban refused to allow Unocal to lay a pipeline through afghanistan, CIA planned that the only way to lay this pipeline is by destabilizing pakistan and getting control of NWFP and baluchistan provinces in pakistan.”

–Unocal were paying to Taliban for that.
________________________________________ _______

Rexminor:
@Starting from Karzai, there are many Pashtoons afghans, who were the best friends of George W,and Dick C, and are sooner or later going to break awy from the US and Nato operations.”
–I will like to make a specific comment on Karzai without any Pashtoon generalization. You should check again that Karzai was nobody and was definitely not a friend of Bush Inc. or Bill Clinton even. He was moving between Af-Pak and living mainly in Pak and had anti-Taliban ideology but lacked money and support to do anything effective against Taliban, despite his requests to US.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

If the Pak people would rise up their selves and help the Armies to get rid of Tailban and all others that would want to control them and their homes and children then this War could end and Pak could be a peaceful country and grow their Cities and prosper and be independent and not need and depend on other Countries to give them Money just to Survive…
When the people know that the Taliban are in their Citite they should run them out and turn them in or kill them …they should stay away from them and they wont be hurt or killed….
This War has to stop and the only way for it to stop is for the people in Pak to help themsleves…

Posted by janeycat | Report as abusive
 

Like I had said before, understand THE REAL GAME!

The war against terrorism may really be a battle over oil

by Craig Rosebraugh

As the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose due to US-led bombing, evidence emerged that the alleged war on terrorism may be yet another war for oil and political power in the Middle East and Central Asia. It wouldn’t be the first time that the US went to war for oil, as George Bush the senior proved in Iraq.

In 1995, the US-based Unocal oil company signed a tentative agreement with the Turkmenistan government to research the possibilities of constructing an oil pipeline to Pakistan by way of Afghanistan. As the project developed, Unocal began to seek the agreement of the Taliban, who had recently risen to power. On two separate occasions, in February and December 1997, Taliban officials were flown to the US to meet with, and be wined and dined by, Unocal executives.
The Taliban was simultaneously pressured by Argentinean oil company Birdas for control of the proposed pipeline.
Taliban officials issued two demands to both companies before any agreement could be reached.

They wanted Unocal and Birdas to construct an open pipeline, one that could be tapped into from Afghanistan for local consumption.
Second, they wanted the companies to get involved in building roads, water supplies, telephone lines, and electrical power lines.
While Birdas agreed to meet the demands and build an open pipeline, Unocal refused, preferring a closed pipeline for export only. Birdas and the Taliban initially reached an agreement, but the deal later fell through due to lack of financing.

………………………….

To the US government, the financial interests and political power to be gained within the Middle East and Central Asia regions are extremely important. By ousting the Taliban, which put up so much resistance to US economic interests, it may succeed in installing a puppet regime in Afghanistan, thereby gaining control of oil resources sure to produce billions in revenues.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Centra l_Asia_watch/Don't%20Mess_Unocal.html

Posted by therealgame | Report as abusive
 

No one must doubt the capability of Pakistan Air Force to shoot down US drones, besides the newly inducted squadron of F-16s in 2009 Pakistan has acquired AEW&C from Sweden along with Mid-air refueling tankers from Ukraine. This is in addition to the JF-17 jets of Chinese origin.
So their are limitations at both sides, while Pakistani armed forces have the capability to confront the US drones, a confrontation is best avoided. On the other while US has so far got away with all these drone strikes, still Pakistan’s patience and cooperation is not unlimited. US is still very dependent on ISI for human intel, but what I am most interested is that what will happen if the ISI, Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force along with Pakistani public stand at one side and mighty USA on the other side. I am pretty sure a united Pakistan can confront every challenge. Unity is what we need and we will crush any agressor, our desire for peace should not be taken as a sign of weakness. If American politicians are so sensitive about American public opinion, then also no national government in Pakistan can ignore the sentiment of Pakistani public as well.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive
 

KPSingh:

@The best way for Pakistan to survive would be to switch sides wholeheartedly towards the NATO allies now and just finish off the Haqqanis and the Afghan Taliban altogether.”

–Historically, when was the last time anywhere in the world (Terrorism in Punjab India is one such example that comes to my mind when terrorism/insurgency was eliminated or even effectively controlled). If that is not possible, what is Pakistan’s motivation to do what you said.

We got to face it that US has not helped its case by making strategic blunders (even post 9/11) that other in the region (especially Pakistan) still do not trust them. Republican record for handling the war on terror post-9/11 is simply terrible. Strategy is not the issue but insincerity is and Iraq proves US’s insincerity if it is about OIL and stupidity if that was really for WMDs and neither case helps them. Post-Bush, Obama’s is just about one year old admn. but nothing much has come out except killing some people US has not heard before (Mehsud). To top it his 18months time for withdrawal (even some troops) is ridiculous if he wants to achieve the stated objectives.

India should also be concerned because apart from lip service nothing has been done against anti-India/pro-Pak terrorists. Latter are going to be tomorrow’s anti-West terrorists. West is already learning but they are slow. Destability in Af-Pak is also not good for India.

There is some truth in the idea that US is not entirely here for eliminating terrorism.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

People are writing that the CIA has cut inroads into this region for oil. I guess the Soviet Union derailed that plan and a war had to be staged to thwart that. After that, the US simply abandoned the region. I have seen Pakistanis complain about being left to fend for themselves. Now if the US was really interested in oil pipelines as claimed, why would they abandon it after the Soviets were defeated? Wouldn’t they have consolidated their hold? All Mujahideen fighters at that time were the puppets of the CIA. Between 1989 and 2005 there was a huge gap which allowed the Taliban to be created, trained and installed in Afghanistan. Was there a plan to cause irrepairable damage in Afghanistan after the Soviet defeat so that Americans could walk in and start laying out their pipe lines? I don’t think so.

I am sure prospects for oil pipelines have been explored by American and Brazilian companies (Ahmed Rashid: Taliban). Companies run explorations and surveys to look for feasibility to set up business all across the globe. They also look at political stability in a region, the culture, and recent history to make a decision. I can bet that these private companies gave up their pursuit after seeing the civil war and aftermath in Afghanistan.

My conclusion is that oil is not the factor now. It might have been in the 1970s and early 1980s. If American companies set up oil pipelines, they will have to spend an enormous amount on keeping them secure. They can be held to ransom by the different tribes along the way. From a business stand point it makes no sense.

American presence in Afghanistan today is purely to fight the Islamic terrorism that has come to haunt its people. With record budget deficit and debt, there seems to be a realization in the US think tanks that America cannot run over others the way it did in the past. Iraq was probably the last such move. We will not be seeing unnecessary engagements by the US across the world as much. So they will be more specific in accomplishing their goals in Af-Pak and go home for good this time. The only problem is they do not know when they can set a time of completion of that task. A lot depends on Pakistan’s support in the American efforts. The two countries once had convergent goals along with other non-overlapping objectives for the region. But now goals have become divergent with everything overlapping. As a result, Pakistan is at the cross roads of critical decision making. What it chooses to do will decide the fate of everything in the region. The problem is who gets to run Pakistan now and make that decision. The crown is being grabbed by many hands and it sits on different heads and gets tossed around. Having been used to relying on violent means to find solutions, I do not expect Pakistani leaders to make any decisions that would rely on peace initiatives and diplomacy. They have no idea which way to go. Until now they had managed to get away by blaming India or pointing at Kashmir or the Snowman. Now they are facing the task of decision making. And they do not have much time. In a couple of months, the air will begin to warm up and it will wake up all the elements that were in hibernation. Pakistan has very little time to make a wholehearted decision. The only thing that will work for their survival and stability is to give up the old ways, and cleanse themselves of all links to Jihad, Madrasas, training camps, militancy and work with the Americans. If there is any hesitation or fear or wrong decisions involved, chaos will set in. Everything relies on what Pakistan is going to do now.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

A line in my post was truncated.
I meant to say:

Historically, when was the last time anywhere in the world terrorism was ever eliminated ? Terrorism in Punjab India is one such example that comes to my mind when terrorism/insurgency was eliminated or even effectively controlled).

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

KP Singh:

Why was Iraq attacked? I have no idea but a novice knows that Bush lied to the world about WMD with Saddam and Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. But that’s the lie told by Bush to American people.

Before US asks someone about terrorism it has to show that it is sincere. That’s alright still because Bush was the mean man and Obama is a good guy. But Obama is just 1 yr old into govt and it takes time to build confidence. Longer he stays faster he will lose support if there is any left. Even theoretically if he means to clean the region, is it even possible and why someone like Pakistan stir more problems. This is not to say that Pakistan are better off without targeting. They are cooked either way. Too bad.

All the talk of India in Afghanistan to fix anything there will be a blunder. We got LeTs and their sisterly org to take care.
Blood is an expensive business we cannot afford it.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@RajeevK
I thought Mr Karzai was ;
. A minister in King Zahir Shah’s Govt.

. He later went to the US and worked in the oil comcern, directly under Dick Cheney, prior to George W becoming the President of the US.

I would suggest that we take note of Therealgame comments about the American plans for laying the oil pipeline through Afghanistan to Baluchistan.
We are so much influenced by the propaganda of the west that we almost forgot about this aspect of the US objective. Have a nice day.

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

@KP Singh
PA is running around like headless chickens, in the service of the US. Both India and Pakistan do not have national armies. Right now they are involved in war crimes, the Indian Army against the Kshmiris and the Pakistan Army against the Pashtoons. In other words they arec shooting in their own feet. The Pashtoons are more resourceful that the Americans, the Nato and Pakistan combine. From Aghanistan to Iran and right across the central Asian countries through to the middle est and Turkey sooner than later the muslim armies on slaught is likely to begin and the world will see once again more destruction than that experienced during the world war 2. Both Pakistan and Indian armies would have the choice to join or stay behind lined up on each other’S borders playing the hide and seek game as present. The Chiefs of the respective armies have already started threatning each other with nuclear arsenal, remindind us that the barking dogs seldom bite. Sorry but this not the topic we were discussing here. Have a nice day and a very prosperous new year.

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

Rexminor:

In my knowledge, Hamid Karzai was 16yr old in 1973 until when Zahir Shah was in power. When Zahir Shah was away to Europe (1973), Muhammad Daoud staged a coup and Afghanistan became a republic under Daoud’s presidency. Zahir Shah remained outside Afghanistan and only after Taliban was ousted and US started WOT did he come for a visit during Karzai govt ceremony in 2002. Yes, Karzai’s dad was in politics in 60s and was killed by Taliban.

@ He later went to the US and worked in the oil comcern, directly under Dick Cheney, prior to George W becoming the President of the US.”
–It will be hard to find anything credible that says he really went to US and really worked under Cheney. At max are the highly controversial reports that he and US Amabassador to Afghanistan (Zalmay Khalilzad) were consultants for Unocal. I am not sure why that would be a problem if at all that was true—does that make him a bad guy. That way Karzai even supported Taliban in the beginning since they brought bloodshed under control but he turned anti-Taliban after Taliban’s the oppressive regime showed its true colors.

My image of Hamid Karzai him is different—no idea what he is up to now. I know that pre-9/11, he had the balls to face Taliban on his own by living in Afghanistan-Pakistan. His brothers went to US but not him. He was NOT helped by the USA or other Westerners when he was asking for support to target Taliban. Not many in Bush admn trusted Karzai and American stooges do not borrow money and he did. All these events do not support that there were any long term plans for Karzai to be the President of Afghanistan.

@ I would suggest that we take note of Therealgame comments about the American plans for laying the oil pipeline through Afghanistan to Baluchistan.
We are so much influenced by the propaganda of the west that we almost forgot about this aspect of the US objective.”
—It will be naïve not to buy this argument. However, linking Karzai-Unocal-WOT is bit of a stretch. In any case, it seems more of a Republican plan than American plan since America had enough reason to get into Afghanistan after USS Cole (A-Q attack that killed 17 sailors killed and many more injured); OBL was in Afghanistan at that time. Also Taliban blew up Buddha statues—the UN cultural heritage around that time. Do not forget Clinton coming to India for 5days around 2000 after Indian plane got hijacked to Kandahar—ISI hand. Taliban was asked to handover OBL and others to US. Either all these instances were not good enough for America getting into Afghanistan or may be democrats did not want war. But even in the short time Bush was in power before 9/11, he was doing nothing that suggested he had plans to target Taliban/A-Q (and Afghanistan). But Iraq war does go in favor of OIL war.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@Rajeevk
I am sorry if I got all mixed up. Many thanks for the detailed background of Mr Karzai. I thought some one with the name karzai did work as a consultant for the oil coy in the US where Dick Cheney was a deputy chairman. But this is of no importance, he is from the Pashtoon family, close to the former rulers,was accepted by the northern Alliance and the US outfit of George W and Khalizad etc. But my prognosis still stands, the Pashtoon loyalty to their tribes is absolute and I can very well understand his disappointment with the new US administration. He is definitely going to make a break with the Americans and the Nato military. No one in his position can agree to the killings of Pashtoons on both sides of the border. Apart from taking cash( it is not considered a weakness but strength) if he shows any weakness against the military of US and Nato, he is likely to loose his supporters in Afghanistan. We shall know in coming months!! Again many thanks for correcting me. The comments of the Realgame are also valid and this would be a real source of income for the country to improve Afghan’s living standard. It breaks my heart when I see young Afghans stranded on the shores of the English channel hoping to get into the UK for work, since the British propaganda tells them in Kabul that the British Govt. loves them and want to improve their livelihood.

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

@No one must doubt the capability of Pakistan Air Force to shoot down US drones, besides the newly inducted squadron of F-16s in 2009 Pakistan has acquired AEW&C from Sweden along with Mid-air refueling tankers from Ukraine. This is in addition to the JF-17 jets of Chinese origin.”
–Umairpk

Umair: what are your thoughts on Farhat Taj’s article that drones are useful for killing militants and do not cause collateral damage and do not kill civilians.

http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/0 1/09/pakistan-in-defence-of-drones/

so what you and most on “this side of Indus River” say is a myth. Your suggestion above is counterproductive for pakistan and favors militants.

Thanks for the info about Pak jets and other stuff but Pak jets is waht gives the civilians in FATA the nightmares since they kill the civilians more that drones do acc to Farhat Taj.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

Rexminor:

@ He is definitely going to make a break with the Americans and the Nato military.”
–Karzai has no other way than supporting the West to stay in Afghanistan at least until ANA can take tackle the Taliban radicals who will be itching to control Kabul after the West makes an exit. Right now is a bad time for them to withdraw. West is more careful about civilian casualties–Afghanistan in particular. They are going to stay here for a long time.

@But my prognosis still stands, the Pashtoon loyalty to their tribes is absolute and I can very well understand his disappointment with the new US administration. He is definitely going to make a break with the Americans and the Nato military. No one in his position can agree to the killings of Pashtoons on both sides of the border. Apart from taking cash( it is not considered a weakness but strength) if he shows any weakness against the military of US and Nato, he is likely to loose his supporters in Afghanistan. We shall know in coming months!!”
— Loyalty and revenge are well known traits of Pushtoon tribes. But the anti-West insurgency should not be attributed to the whole Pushtoon community. The reason being the Pushtoon insurgency is run by radical category of Pushtoons, such as Mullah Omar’s Taliban. Some Pushtoons in Taliban are helpless, who are forcibly recruited—not so much for hatred against the West. Afghanistan has already seen the Mullah Omar Pushtoon rule during Taliban regime, a time when Loya Zirga had no value since elders, whose word is final in Pushtoon tribes, had no say and those who tried were killed in hundreds. In Pushtoon tradition, the word of elders carries more weight than that of a Mullah, but Taliban reversed that hierarchy, placing perverted Mullah ideology on the top—-killing Pushtoon culture.

Also, Pushtoon warlords have been fighting since USSR times and before US entry after 9/11; so this thing has been going on there even before West arrived. Now all this Pushtoon insurgency is not originating from the Pushtoon tradition; it is terrorism catalyzed by foreign terrorists using Pushtoon suicide bombers. So the radical Pushtoon groups do not represent Pushtoon tradition. Afghans are more receptive to the West than Pakistanis. Oil or no oil war, the bad guys do exist and are a problem but force alone is not going to work here. West is more careful about civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@RajeevK
I am sorry, the afghans do not have a national army. The Pashtoons are exempted from the conscription, the army you see has non-Pashtoonn conscripts and Pashtoons who volunteered to make some bucks. The Pashtoons are not loyal to anyone except their own tribal elders, the foreigners call them war lords.
The Pashtoons have nothing to do with the world problems. Mark my words, the americans and other foreign forces would be chased out of the country like rats and would receive at least the same treatment which the Russions and others before them received. For the Pashtoons any one not speaking their dialect is a foreigner. They have no-go areas like a curfew in a country. It is not possible for a popalzai(Karzai tribe) to walk into the ghilzai or barrackzai territory without permission from the tribal chiefs. Even the West realized this feature of the Afghan life and started calling Mr Karzai as the mayor of Kabul. I am sorry that you have a complete mis-conception of these people and their culture. It is not your fault, you are probably educated in the anglo saxon system. The Pashtoon culture has not changed in centuries, and it is not going to change, unless ofcourse one day they are going to break loose and spread across their borders, together with the turkish, middle eastern and central asian armies. In my opinion it is a bit early. This development is very likely in the middle of the century.
Those who not understand other’s culture usually termed them perverted. The anglo saxons have throughout in their history have regarded all other cultures of the world being perverted including that of the Indians, the Africans, the Australian aboriginies,the American indians and not to forget the cultures of the Europeans. They have left marks every where and are not ashamed to revisit some for the second time. Perhaps if you have the time to read Arthur Swinson’s book on North West Frontier 1839-1947. Gen. Maccrystal is probably reading that book too and following the strategy which his forefathers tried before.
In a pashtoon family, the brothers argue among themselves and even fight with each other, they argue with cousins and even kill each other, but against a foreigner sooner or later they are one and will confront them as a tribe, no longer as a family. People can label them as they like, good talabans and bad talabans, radicals, insurgents, you name it. This is nothing but a simple nonsense and a diversion. Why do’nt you visit the Pashtoons and speak with them in their language, they are a unique original specimen of the human specie, not corrupted in history. One does not have to like them nor accept their way of life. Have a nice day and take care.

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

Rexminor:

@I am sorry that you have a complete mis-conception of these people and their culture. It is not your fault, you are probably educated in the anglo saxon system. Those who not understand other’s culture usually termed them perverted.”

–Let us quit labeling each other as part of the argument. You write something and I respond and vice-versa. Do not judge people here. I might as well be a Pushtoon. You have no way of knowing that. Regarding education, I am product of St. Boris. Have not heard, or have you? It is a parallel system of which St.Xavier’s and St. Stephens are part of. Now ask me what is Boris. Boris is derived from Hindi/Punjabi word Bori–the sack which kids in villages take from their homes with their school bags and works as double—a seat for the whole day on the floor of the school in the village that has no funds to buy benches and as rain coat in monsoon. I think you will have a bit of idea how far off your assumptions are.

The traits of Pushtoons are quite known even to stereotypically ignorant Americans by now. But you picked up bad examples of Pushtoons to defend.

Go back to my previous post. Karzai is not a bad guy but he is not a good example for you to pick for an anti-West Pushtoon leader. Had he been, he would not be cheering for extra troops. Who knows future?

Also could you tell me why Taliban should not be called perverted, a word you got so hyper over. Perhaps you think they also represent Pushtoon culture. No they do not. These guys in collaboration with foreign fighters killed Pushtoon culture.
As Pushtoon tradition, Mullah Omar welcomed a wrong guest–OBL and his fighters and many other–all foreign to the region and least respect for the culture. This melting pot of Taliban et al killed tribal elders because Taliban was spreading its influence all over Afghanistan. To cut it short, there are unwritten rules obeyed by pushtoons and Taliban did not obey them. Perhaps you can tell me how a loya zirga can be held under Taliban rule.

I can read books for the generic stuff about Pushtoons tribes and culture. Here we are talking specifics.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@RajeeK
Now please do’nt be jumpy! I was neither trying to intrude nor making any assumptions. I have given you my reasons for being allergic to labelling. Most not all people, educated within the anglo saxon system, consider other cultures perverted. You refer to specifics. I have no idea who the talabans were yesterday and whom do they represent today.All I know is that many like me in the world do not know who they are? All they know that they are bad, very bad. Hillary Clinton was the first american to say that there are good talabans and there are bad talabans. Mr Karzai started usung this language long before others did, since the reconciliation is the only way for peace for Afghanistan and the rest of the world.Like Mullah Omar, many other world leaders including the Americans and the Pakistanis supported this wrong guest and were directly involved in suppling the military equipment to force the Russians withdrawl from Afghanista. The UK also allowed many wrong guests in the country giving them asylums against the advice of their native Govts. and had difficulties with them.
I cannot share your views of separating talabans from Pashtoons, or vice a versa. It is not uncommon in any people to find good or bad among them. But why make afuss about the Pashtoons. What business is this of foreigners to tell any other people how they have to perform. The loya jirga or any other system of Govt. will have to be decided by the Afghan communities and not by foreign Govts. As an observer of History, I cannot believe that a Pashtoon would remain unconcerned when other Pashtoons are being killed on both sides of the border regardless of internal feudes among the various tribes. Regards,

Posted by rexminor | Report as abusive
 

Rexminor:

I was telling you politely rather than saying that do not worry about my education system since “I am not going to date your sister”. You have heard that before from someone; so nothing “jumpy” here just responded. If you cannot handle, do not throw around unnecessary stuff.

Back to topic:
@Like Mullah Omar, many other world leaders including the Americans and the Pakistanis supported this wrong guest and were directly involved in suppling the military equipment to force the Russians withdrawl from Afghanista. The UK also allowed many wrong guests in the country giving them asylums against the advice of their native Govts. and had difficulties with them.”
–Yes Mullah Omar’s one eye was lost in Russian mission. But are you expecting me to defend US or Brits for their support to Mujahideen or for that matter what matter others? No. However this does not make Talibans, represented by Mullah Omar and foreign terrorists any angels (even before 9/11). You will confuse yourself if you just see Taliban in context of anti-West insurgency. You can go back and have a look at the profile of Taliban govt and their contribution to Afghans and Afghanistan. It sounds easy to say that let them do what they want since it is their country. But one can say this only when one does not know what hell was let loose under Taliban regime.

At the beginning, Taliban mission was supported by even people like Karzai because that brought under control the blood bath after Russian withdrawal/American lack of further support. But one does not have to be a history Ph.D to know that subsequently Taliban mingled with foreign fighters and agents (ISI/PA) and got off the track who used Taliban for their global agendas and Taliban gained nothing in this game.

@I cannot share your views of separating talabans from Pashtoons, or vice a versa. It is not uncommon in any people to find good or bad among them. But why make a fuss about the Pashtoons. What business is this of foreigners to tell any other people how they have to perform.”
–I wonder why you do not share. I recommend you read Taliban and Descent into Chaos by Ahmed Rashid, journalist from Pakistan who knows the region well. Going by him, Taliban (and other fighters) should have been taken care of much before 9/11 happened. Afghanistan was a land of oppressed people with training camp of terrorists against the West and India. It was terroristan. Talibans did not have global plans but they have stupidly supported terrorists who are anti-West and supported PA/ISI against India.

Point is most of the countries/communities have extremists and terrorists. Mullah Omar’s Talibans have done enough to deserve this recognition that they are the extremists in Pushtoon. And extremists anywhere do not represent the true culture. Perhaps you do not know that when Taliban were thrown out of power after 9/11, common Afghan masses celebrated by men shaving off their beards, women coming out of the house and music loud. May be all this is insignificant to you and to you only the person with a gun is a Pushtoon.

@Hillary Clinton was the first american to say that there are good talabans and there are bad talabans. Mr Karzai started usung this language long before others did, since the reconciliation is the only way for peace for Afghanistan and the rest of the world.”
–Agreed, reconcilitation is the way. But what to do with those who do not agree with this reconciliation idea? May be Western forces should listen to these gentle souls and make an exit this Monday. You can draw a picture how Afghanistan will look after that. Taliban running a shadow govt will come out and start reflatenning the country, whatever is left.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

@RajeevK
Sorry, i was out of town, therefore could not read your rude comments and reply. You are certainly not a Pashtoon, otherwise you would not bring sisters in the act, just shows how much respect you have for women in your culture or are you from the race who use to burn the wife along with the husband when he died. You have a twisted mind, a very limited education and on top of that you are neither familiar with the culture and traditions of Pashtoons. I do not read perverted and ill informed views of Journalists. You have seen very little of Pashtoons or talabans as you prefer to call them, until now they have just been warming up, sooner or later the onslaught of Pashtoons is going to begin, from Swat to Waziristan and beyond, in the beginning they give the impression that they are very few, isolated insurgents and then they start the offensive. That has been their history and this is what they are going to do and then God help those who stand in their way, the foreigners, the Pakistanis, the northern alliance Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazara ethnic groups in Afghanistan. They normally do not show mercy for the loosers. Why do’nt you read Arthur Swinson book on North-West Frontier 1839-1947, if you have the time?
PS Pashtoons do not negotiate or recocile their differences. They accept force and no people of the world in history have ever been able to demonstrate their superiority over them. In the last century the kashmiris had a small taste but in the 21st century they are to break loose of their selfimposed bunkers and I should be very eager to learn about the powerful force which is going to stop them!!! Enjoy the good dayHave a nice day.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive
 

US Feds are morons – Bush41 boxed Saddam, Iran is nuclear, Iraq a wreck.

ME needs strongmen to keep control – not ignorant Feds, military stupidity

US Feds created 9/11 + Boston + TBTF et al + owe Americans $18Trillion

We are not capable of protecting ourselves, act like drunken sailors offshore

We now have the prince of darkness who is hellbent on wrecking America

All 535 + ICIC + Fed Bank + Wall St should be in jail, right next to Bernie

Jean-Pierre – keep that guillotine blade keen – we have much work to do

Posted by jackdanielsesq | Report as abusive
 

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