There is no “Quick fix” to the problem. The scenario is too crowded. The atmosphere is too foggy and dark. It is difficult to know for sure who is who? To differentiate between friend and foe is too difficult because of low visibility
Afghanistan was put on fire; it is still in flames for the last four decades; giving warmth and comfort to some while Afghanistan is the hearth and Afghans are the fuel. It is a huge Pandora box with countless actors. Who is doing what; is just a guessing game? The interests of actors are diagonally opposite to each other but the end goal is the same of all (stakes). If the stake of a party is at threat, let the flames be higher. I think the stake is the biggest obstacle in restoring peace to this unfortunate land, where God comes to cry. I am a political worker and an Afghan nationalist, a victim, looking at the knotted problem from my own angle based on ground realities.
In my opinion, out of countless actors, four that matters most, are those, who started the bloody game; Pakistan, US, Tehran and Riyadh with different interests. US wanted to stab the belly of white bear USSR and lately had recognized the strategic importance of Afghanistan after the breakup of USSR to have access to Central Asian countries. Pakistan wanted strategic depth and resources to carry on the holy war to occupy Kashmir. Riyadh was after a Wahabi mole on the neck of Shia Iran. Iran was ready to counter Saudi and Pakistan designs.
The local poverty and illiteracy was a good media for the growth of the members of the board, who were to shoot out the Bloody Drama. On the other hand the Religion in combination of dollars and riyals was an irresistible temptation for proud but hungry and illiterate Afghan clergy and Pakistan. It was cheaper for the producer, the US. The other approach was the Jugular of white bear from West Germany risking US and UK military personnel’s. We all know that White House has tagged different blood on different price based on civility, color and creed.
The inclusion of India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Republic of Russia will diminish the “stake risk factor” to a great extent. The world knows about the trust deficit that exists between these countries. If these countries are not included; they will certainly sabotage the peace
The two directors of the drama, ISI and CIA, were expert in the game and worked in close collaboration. They were preparing ground on one hand and recruiting ground players locally on the other hand, guest actors were hired later from other countries. Let me put one thing in correct perspective that the general feeling created by Pakistani and Western press that the US, UK and Pakistan interest to get involved in Afghanistan was due to Russian invasion. This is absolutely obscured notion. It was the activity of ISI and CIA that prompted Russia. It is all a part of history now. It is no point to dissect the past but to think how to restore peace in Afghanistan and Pashtun belt in Pakistan. In one house we can’t have the luxury of summer and winter, as the Pashto proverb goes.
There is no “Quick fix” to the problem. The scenario is too crowded. The atmosphere is too foggy and dark. It is difficult to know for sure who is who? To differentiate between friend and foe is too difficult because of low visibility.
Any attempt to find solution to undo this knot is welcomed, even if it fails. Our only aim is to restore peace in our land and stop bloodshed, further radicalization and criminalization of the society which has engulfed the whole world. The restoration of peace and stopping radicalization is universal problem and should be universally tackled.
Afghanistan is a land lock country and the supply of heavy arms and providing support in cash or kind is only possible from Pakistan, Iran and Russia. Apart from local financiers; the Gulf States play a major role
I have my reservation about present quadrilateral approach, I honestly feel and wish that I am proved wrong in the larger interest of the peace. My feeling is; that if quadrilateral approach is converted in to a circle approaches, if it would not eliminate the “stake risk factor” but will definitely decrease the chance. I mean to say that the inclusion of India, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Republic of Russia will diminish the “stake risk factor” to a great extent. The world knows about the trust deficit that exists between these countries. If these countries are not included; they will certainly sabotage the peace.
The US, China, Russia must tell their allies; no more double game stop helping whether it is in cash or kind or be ready for sanctions and if necessary, any other consequences. The civilian rulers of Pakistan and Saudi are the allies of the radicals. Iran has her hands deep up to elbows in the northern front. It is no secret that the losses suffered by Pak Army and slow progress was due to the hesitance of the civilian rulers of Pakistan not to allow military to implement National Action Plan in Punjab to close the factories of suicidal bombers. The leniency they have shown to the invaders of Islamabad is the shining example and proves my point. The GHQs of these elements is lying in Punjab; where the planners and directors are residing. Another proof in this regard is, when the army took unilateral action in Punjab; the soldiers on the front made significant gains in Shawal area. Gen Raheel was blunt to the civil side, own it or disown according to close observers. They had three meetings in five days. They allies like Pakistan, Saudi, and Iran must be told by respective patrons, this is more serious game than stocking the nuclear weapons, say “Yes” or “No”?.
Afghanistan is a land lock country and the supply of heavy arms and providing support in cash or kind is only possible from Pakistan, Iran and Russia. Apart from local financiers; the Gulf States play a major role.
The recent reports in western press about arms and cash supply to a section of Taliban by Russia and India cannot be ruled out. Unless the supply lines are cut off from all sides, success is a remote dream.
On the basis of above facts I feel that a circular, multilateral approach will be more useful approach to this intricate problem. Dialogue and iron handed approach is the key to the problem and elimination of threat to the world and regional peace.
By Prof.(Dr) Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
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