Comments on: On Afghanistan: a quick round-up of views from around the world http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/ Perspectives on Pakistan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 19:31:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27584 Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:05:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27584 Here is B Raman giving a kind of “state of Pakistan” address.

http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx  ?264218

I cannot disagree with much except I disagree with Raman’s statement “They [Pakistan] have always believed that one Muslim is equal to two Hindus”.

In fact they believe that one Muslim is equal to ten Hindus.

For the sake of objectivity, here is another article on on 1965 war, written by Ahmad Faruqui, Pakistani author.

http://pakistanlink.org/Opinion/2009/Sep 09/04/03.HTM

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27581 Tue, 09 Feb 2010 16:55:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27581 “It is within us” By Kamran Shafi

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/colu mnists/13+kamran-shafi-it-is-within-us-9 20-za-01

“How can Afghanistan become friendly towards Pakistan when there is continuing ambivalence in wholeheartedly targeting the Taliban leadership, both Afghan and Pakistani, which as we well know are closely allied? How possibly can Afghanistan call Pakistan a friend when senior Pakistani army officers refer to these people, its enemies, as ‘assets’?

“On another tack, how can the ultimate leaders of groups that also attack innocent Pakistanis in Peshawar and Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi be the strategic assets of our brass hats?

“How can Afghanistan consider Pakistan a friend when the Quetta shura of the Afghan Taliban which has now been outed by no less a personage than the minister of defence, is not even touched let alone degraded to an extent that it will cease being a threat to Afghanistan? When its leaders openly defy government authority and do as they will in Balochistan, extending their murderous tentacles into Iran too?

“Unless, of course, it is still the case that our great strategists feel that the Taliban, both the Pakistan and Afghan variety, are the only ones who can ensure a peaceful, stable and friendly Afghanistan. If so, they have very bad memories, for they do not have to look very far back into Afghanistan’s sorry history to see how badly this, for want of a better word, scheme, failed so very miserably the last time around, with the Afghan people facing untold tribulations at the hands of a backward and medieval regime.

“How possibly can the Afghans see Pakistan as a friend when they see that their tormentors and the Pakistani security establishment are still friends? No sirs, no, Afghanistan will never consider Pakistan a friend unless those who have made mindless statements about the Taliban being assets retract those statements in totality and without reservation. And far more than that take stringent action against all of the terrorists without exception.”

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27555 Sat, 06 Feb 2010 23:13:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27555 @India is not smart and has relied on reactive rather than proactive response. It must see what is coming and start propping up Northern Alliance and others. It has gained foot hold inside Afghanistan and it should use that to cause pain and agony to Taliban using their own medicine. Allowing them to walk over everything will not be productive.”
Posted by KPSingh01

–If Taliban goes to pre-9/11 days, India will also do that (NA like you said and I am sure RAw is not sitting still). Iran, Russia and India none wants Taliban running business that affects either of these countries. India’s concern is terrorists training of anti-India terrorists in Afghanistan. Let us see if that happens. If it does then Taliban is an issue. Other than Pushtoon raiders (from pakistani territory) entering Kashmir in 1947/48 or (unconfirmed), recent reports that some arrested TTP guys were forced by Pakistan into Kashmir and once in a while Mullah Oamar’s anti-India statements, Pushtoons from Afghanistan do not have any motivation to participate in Kashmir. About Pakistan, there are enough choices for them alteady. Getting taliban involved in Kashmir also means a risk to pakistan–I am sure by now even PA knows that. There is not much difference between TTP and Af-tal other than which side of Durand line they operate but similarities include establishing an Islamic state of their choice in Afghn and Pakistan. That’s the Taliban’s goal.

I agree with Pakistan’s current Kashmiri support in the conference (Kashmir solidarity day is being celebrated). All participants like LeT, JuD are expected–all Punjab based terrorists.

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By: Umairpk http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27554 Sat, 06 Feb 2010 22:25:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27554 Rajeev/KPSingh
I have a few thoughts,
you asked a couple of questions, I will try to answer them based on my understanding, geography plays little role even if you are aware of the ground reality you can make your own assessment:
“1. Do you know what the Afghan Pushtoons feel about Taliban coming to power. Last time Taliban was thrown out of power, Kabul was quite a happy and noisy place with loud music, men shaving beards, women on the street….
2. What do Pushtoons in Afghanistan feel about Pakistan involvement with Taliban?”

-1. When I was in Peshawar just last Monday, I saw the difference between Peshawar and Islamabad or Lahore. The Pushtun area (Peshawar/Kabul) are a deeply conservative society. In Peshawar CBD the mosque was full during daytime prayer, people had to lay down prayer mats on the road across the passing by traffic and prayed. I could see school girls/womenfolk passing by and most of them were covered (not all wearing burqa, but they use shawl/sheet to stay covered). In the bank I saw during lunch time all employees had laid down a prayer on the floor and were praying. The news you saw in 2001 when US invaded and a few people surely did shave off beards and turned on their radio sets. But that is not reality, Afghan has always been a conservative, religious and tribal society. Just FYI I am no Taliban admirer, am educated and live in modern city, have access to media etc. And most of Pakistanis are like me, no one supports backwardness, illetracy etc. So to correct your perception. Secondly, though the people of Afghanistan generally do not want to return to authoritarian strict rule, they also hate the inefficient and corrupt puppet Karzai government in Kabul. People of Afghanistan are just normal humans, they want to follow their beliefs and live according to Islam, want security, good healthcare, jobs and secure future. In fist place,back in 90s Taliban rule was welcomed by Afghans at it had brought some stability to the civil-war torn country where Taliban confronted the warlords who had held the public hostage. This time, corrupt Karzai government and inefficient Afghan security forces have failed to win public support.
2-What Pushtuns in Afghanistan think about Pakistan’s involvement with Taliban? well , in my opinion Pushtuns across both sides of Pak-Afghan border have strong connections. They see each others as cousins/brothers and many have relatives across the border. Islam is the bond between them, as far as Taliban connection is concerned. Most view foreign troops as occupiers and want them out. Before you question that you have to clearly define who a ‘Taliban’is? today even common criminals are doing drugs under the disguise as Taliban. It has just become a buzzword.

And KPSingh, by reading your comments it seems you are a self proclaimed fortuneteller. First let me tell you, Pakistan is very skeptical of the outcome of Afghan war. Pakistan is very cautious at the moment, and has offered to mediate between Taliban and other parties on terms. However, the Taliban on their part have always been independent and Pakistan has limited influence on them. But this time it is expected Taliban will listen to the advise. You suggest India should start supporting elements of Northern alliance. US and allied forces (Pakistan is also part of them giving them logistics transit of 70% of supplies)are never going to allow another civil war. Last thing Afghanistan needs after so many years and so many casualties is a pull back of US/NATO and ensuing civil war between rival factions backed by regional states India-Pakistan-Iran-Russia etc and another power game.
You say Taliban will take over Afghanistan and destroy everything, wrong. Taliban last time in power were isolated and had little dplomatic presence overseas. This time they will make the most of (if any) international recognition they get and will go with diplomacy.
You further say Pakistan wants Afghanistan to keep burning and that Pakistan will be licking their lips at what is coming. WRONG again, no other country has suffered more than Pakistan. 3 million refugees, a war spilling over to its tribal areas and what is coming is another potential civil war and further instability for Pakistan. Last thing Pakistan needs, it will be in the interest of everyone if Afghanistan gets stable. So correct your perception.

Rajeev, lastly you stated that Taliban will come into power and threaten Pakistan. That they will take over FATA/NWFP. Let me point out to the fact that Pakistan Army secured Swat and routed millitants out of South Waziristan last year with successful military campaigns. Things are under control in North Waziristan and also that most Pakistanis are moderate and do not support Taliban. It is just a myth, Taliban cannot threaten Pakistani state, most people reject that. My only point we need to reintegrate the Taliban, debiref their leaders. Give them role in Afghan governance, call a ‘Loya-Jirga’ gathering of tribal elders and end the conflict.

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By: G-W http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27552 Sat, 06 Feb 2010 16:26:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27552 @Verbose guy, it seems when Pakistani that once citizens leave the insane asylum of Pakistan, being so immmersed in the propaganda and politics there, people seem take a 180 degree view of their country. Most do not want to go back and most, even Pakistani collegues of mine blame the militancy and backwardness of Pakistan on the self-serving Punjabi Mafia junta that controls the civilian government and pushes the judiciary around.

As long as Pakistani Army keeps grip on power in Pakistan, there will always be terrorism on India, the world and the citizens will suffer from a fractional existence.

Pak Army politically speaking wants to maintain enemies to maintain their so-called protection of the country, when in fact they make fools of their own people.

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By: verboseguy http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27551 Sat, 06 Feb 2010 08:07:19 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27551 I am a Pakistani though an expatriate.Gen Kayani’s talk of strategic depth and of Pakistan having a say in Afghanistan is worst piece of crap I have come across. Although when it comes to Pakistani Military ( I must add Punjabi Military) cannot think beyond India.Period
When will they realise that Pakistan has around 180 Million people who want to have a better future and we bloody care if we have a say in Afghanistan we want better services,security, electricity etc.
Improve the economy, minimize the power of the army, send the Afghans back( there country has better security now!!) and things will fall in place. Besides have zero tolerance on militancy, be it India centric or wherever. They must be ruthlessly killed. Does the Pak Army have the balls to do that.Your guess is as good as mine!!

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By: KPSingh01 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27550 Sat, 06 Feb 2010 02:32:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27550 RajeevK: “If I were a Pakistani, I will be worried about Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan since Taliban class of fundamentalists has its agenda to run their Islamic rule in Pushtoon areas at minimum and they dislike Pakistan’s democracy–howsoever weak.”

Afghan Taliban has relied on Pak military for its survival. When it took over Afghanistan in the 1990s, it was trained by Pak military and intelligence. Pak army regulars participated in the invasion in disguise. Many had to be air lifted as a part of the Musharraf-Bush agreement. Pakistan has sheltered them in Quetta all these years and has not allowed the Americans to venture there. Al Qaeda too does not want to go against the Pak military. One Ilyas Kashmiri was supposed to have planned for the assassination of Kayani and was advised by Al Qaeda not to pursue that goal because Pak military was not to be touched. The only elements fighting Pak military are the TTP. All other groups, LeT, JuD, Afghan Taliban etc have stayed away from taking on Pak military. They are all, in a way, proxy divisions of Pak military and depend on it for their sustenance and survival. That is why Pak military is only acting against the Mehsud clan and is refusing to move an inch beyond that. The US wants the Haqqani clan taken on by Pakistan and it has been refused. So Pakistan has managed to keep all these “strategic elements” alive by toughing it out. They are the weapons Pakistan will use to achieve its regional goals that include Kashmir. What they aim for would be to drive Al Qaeda out of the region. That will satisfy American interests and they will not bother with the rest after that. They have come to that. So Pakistan will throw that bone for the Americans to chew. The Taliban will listen to Pak military because they lost Afghanistan due to Al Qaeda. Pakistan will act rapidly now to get Taliban accepted as a part of the solution. Mullah Omar will be advised to play along to get the Americans out of the region. Once they are gone, there will be plenty of time to regroup and take over Afghanistan. Pakistan will launch its first offensive into Kashmir which will help deflect the Pashtun and TTP groups towards India. Taliban does not care about the elected government in Pakistan. They know who is in charge. Once Kayani retires, Ashmed Shuja Pasha will take over and he is now in charge of the ISI. So connect the dots.

As soon as Taliban takes over Afghanistan, they will destroy everything India has built there – roads, schools, hospitals etc.

India is not smart and has relied on reactive rather than proactive response. It must see what is coming and start propping up Northern Alliance and others. It has gained foot hold inside Afghanistan and it should use that to cause pain and agony to Taliban using their own medicine. Allowing them to walk over everything will not be productive.

Pakistan wants no solution. They only wants problems so that they can play the middleman role and derive benefits out of it. They must be licking their lips at what is coming. This is all assuming Americans leave by 2011. If the Americans knock out Haqqani and decide to stay longer, things may become chaotic enough and Pakistan’s gamble can backfire. That is why they will make one desperate push in Kashmir very soon.

Every time India opens diplomatic talks with Pakistan, we see a strike from Pakistan. India has started the dialogue process again and the Jihadis have had a huge meeting in Azad Kashmir to liberate Kashmir from India. So put things together. Another major offensive is in the offing while the namesake diplomacy drama goes on.

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27549 Fri, 05 Feb 2010 22:56:23 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27549 @ So long as Pakistan can deflect all the forces away from them and turn them outward, they will survive. They did that with the US by deflecting it into emptiness.”
@Now that the US is fatigued and has made its intentions to exit clear, Pakistan will deflect everything towards India and live happily.”
Posted by KPSingh01

–India faces terrorism from Pakistani Punjabi terrorists–Let/JeM types and Pakistan’s worries should be religious fundamentalism which has roots in Taliban types. If I were a Pakistani, I will be worried about Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan since Taliban class of fundamentalists has its agenda to run their Islamic rule in Pushtoon areas at minimum and they dislike Pakistan’s democracy–howsoever weak.

In the past Pakistan has successfully connected Taliban/Afghanistan with India/Kashmir by running anti-India terrorist training camps in East Afghanistan. Dynamics have changed a lot compared to pre-9/11 days. Even if US/NATO/India exit from Afghanistan, it is going to be harder this time for Pakistan to run terrorist camps in Afghanistan using Taliban/Afghanistan. Taliban likes to test the limits but knows what they are. Not that you mention, but I do not see Taliban can be distracted to fight against India especially when they have no geographical contact and no compelling reason. They will prefer low hanging fruits i.e., controlling the Western side of Pakistan.

So you may be right that Pakistan will export terrorism to India but that will not be Taliban. With no US/NATO troops in Afghanistan, Taliban’s job is much easier now.
It could be more complicated if Pakistan rekindles terrorism in India and India retaliates heavily against them (in India) allowing Pakistan to start propaganda of anti-India Jihad in the name of kashmir freedom. Still I do not see Pushtoons being so motivated by all this. We are not even discussing Indian options in Pakistan like Baluchistan…..

There is something about the momentum of instability that it is hard to be controlled and easy to maintain by opportunists. Pakistan has quite a bit right now and the only way forward is positive step otherwise they will really go back in time to see Muhammad bin Qasim, so-called “the first Pakistani” (BS). Pakistan exists because of India and Pakistan should be wise to know the meaning of that.

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By: KPSingh01 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27548 Fri, 05 Feb 2010 19:44:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27548 RajeevK: “they did not give a damn to US and they know Pakistan inside out. With admirers in Pakistan and more Pushtoons in Pakistan than Afghanistan, the job will become much easier. My guess is Taliban’s first agenda will be to control all the Pushtoon area of Pakistan. ”

Pakistan has a plan for that. People underestimate the cleverness of Pakistanis.

Already there is a “conference” going on in Azad kashmir for the next set of objectives, now that things are “improving.” Pakistan is about to launch a major offensive in Kashmir, which will align all elements behind them. India is sure to retaliate and Pakistan has been dreaming of that moment for almost ten years. So long as Pakistan can deflect all the forces away from them and turn them outward, they will survive. They did that with the US by deflecting it into emptiness. Now that the US is fatigued and has made its intentions to exit clear, Pakistan will deflect everything towards India and live happily.

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By: RajeevK http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/2010/02/02/on-afghanistan-a-quick-round-up-of-views-from-around-the-world/comment-page-1/#comment-27546 Fri, 05 Feb 2010 18:06:15 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/?p=4648#comment-27546 Umair:

@Taliban prefer gorilla warfare over conventional warfare. And what should have been done decades earlier you are now coming to terms with it.”
–Umairpk

–Duh! “Decades earlier”, meaning anti-Soviet mission was accomplished by active unambiguous participation of Pakistan with US money and Israel also a facilitator in that operation. Who was a duplicious character at that time? None. Jihadis plus Pakistan alone were useless against Soviet might. US gave Pakistan/Jihadis whatever they needed—Stinger missiles–to shoot down helicopters and throw out Soviets.

Now, the situation is different. We got Pakistan taking money from US but practicing duplicity and allowing Afghn-Taliban to survive (but killing Pakistan Taliban). What a bunch of thankless cowards that now US needed help and Pakistan did not give.

Did you notice that in your hatred against US, you are becoming quite an admirer of Taliban? You must be shortsighted not to foresee that NWFP/FATA will be the target of resurgent Taliban. They did not give a damn to US and they know Pakistan inside out. With admirers in Pakistan and more Pushtoons in Pakistan than Afghanistan, the job will become much easier. My guess is Taliban’s first agenda will be to control all the Pushtoon area of Pakistan.

@Cracks are appearing in NATO alliance and everyone is war weary.”
–US/NATO can make an exit and their countries are not vulnerable to Taliban. The most vulnerable is Pakistan.

Two serious questions since you are closer to the area:
1. Do you know what the Afghan Pushtoons feel about Taliban coming to power. Last time Taliban was thrown out of power, Kabul was quite a happy and noisy place with loud music, men shaving beards, women on the street….
2. What do Pushtoons in Afghanistan feel about Pakistan involvement with Taliban?

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