The holy month of Ramadan was given a warm welcome by terrorists in Eastern Afghanistan, Khost. Fifty-eight fasting Muslims were blown into shreds and scores injured on the first day of Ramadan. Today’ on the 5th Ramadan Kabul was given yet another blood bath using a car bomb in the busy and sensitive area of the city, killing hundred and injuring hundreds. The road to Ramadan is covered with human blood by the barbaric mental makeup of Islamist irking Muslims and non-Muslim alike from Islam. Whatever is the narrative behind it, it is beastly, spiteful and inhuman. It is a state of mental aberration. One must commend the resilience of the Afghans to stand this barbarism for 15 years. It is almost more than four decades that different types of wars have been imposed on Afghans for no wrong on their part. The barbarism of the outsiders on someone else’s pitch to achieve their own ends is understandable but axing one’s own feet is beyond comprehension. No to Kabul and yes to Rawalpindi is a strange logic.
I don’t see any let up rather it is widening in space and increasing in ferocity. It is a stalemate grossly lopsided in favor of terrorists who are comparatively well equipped and well trained than Afghan national army. The former has a narrative which provides them with a command structure, though a strange psyche to make suicidal bombing easier than punishment by their own seniors. To the contrary Afghan national army has a weak command structure, poorly equipped, no air cover and without a counter-narrative embedded like a faith. Neither Taliban can win nor can be defeated. Afghan national army, at the same time, has to deal with HQN, IS, Khurasani and a bunch of Al-Qaeda. HQN is the deadliest and has strong unwavering support of the Pakistani establishment. The US is having the double standard in the thick of war.
No attempts other than war have been made but all aborted because of ill-intentions. Geneva Accord was the only exception which was sabotaged by Pakistan’s establishment resulting in Ojhri camp, dismissal of the premier and civil war in Afghanistan. That was the only chance of peaceful outcome. Quadrilateral, Trilateral and bilateral endeavors all are bound to fail because of “stakes” and peculiar “agendas”. If the US would haven’t walked out without implementing Geneva Accord it was impossible for a client state like Pakistan to carry it to this stage. Moscow trilateral looks to me a sinister plan behind the smoke screen of terrorists and is shrouded by clouds of doubts. It is another ploy to fight their war on our soil and the same applies to the other two junior partners (Pakistan & Iran).
Unlike war, peace cannot be imported or exported unless we equate peace with a deadly silence, pregnant with fear. It has to grow where eruption has occurred and nurtured tenderly. Peace is a state of mind in harmony with the surrounding. We should not expect the support of international community to start the peace process for us which we have to do ourselves in spite of all odds. All we can request the international community to build our capacity and capability to face the challenges faced by us, keeping in view the demands of geographical conditions. Afghanistan is a country half of it is mountainous area and the rest is a desert. It needs a robust competent well-trained army with a highly skilled Air Force. Any army without an Air Force with Air born infantry will be hapless.
The other factor is Pakistan who is looking at Afghanistan through India’s prism. As the threat perception grows on Eastern front the reserved force of terrorists is activated to hit hard in Afghanistan and Kashmir. Reserved terrorism is the need of the hour for Pakistan and it can’t be disbanded just like that. It needs grilling to force the terrorists sponsoring states which include Riyadh and Tehran along Pakistan. In addition to capacity and capability building the black holes in the international community must be shut to bring stability to the region and the world at large. If foreign interference is checked it might give time to Afghans for internal reconciliation. Afghans must start building the bridges to restore confidence and must try through religious scholars to draw a wedge between Afghans and Taliban. As far as this resemblance exists it will be difficult to differentiate between friends and foes. It is not the question of individuals but of Afghan homeland is at stake. In this mayhem, it looks difficult. Everyone has fought its war on Afghan homeland except Afghans. National awareness and pinpointing the enemy is the essence.
According to the US General Stewart Pakistan too wants to see Afghanistan stable, prosperous, but a stooge and to that none of the Afghans would agree.
Writer: Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
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