The same people lived together peacefully for centuries in the pre-partition Indian subcontinent; however, the post-partition relations of the two countries have never been good neighbourly or even just neighbourly. Presently, these relations are at their lowest ebb, since BJP took over the reigns of India and Pakistan went under Martial law rule with the blessing of elected Parliament. In the later, there was no way out ,but the limits were not pinpointed. Pakistan relation with Afghanistan were never good and India enjoyed good relation with Afghanistan. Since the recent political changes in India And Afghanistan the relation between the two had gone frosty and rocky and for the first Pakistan and Afghanistan came closer but the deep mistrust still exist. But it will be unwise to abandon one friend for another, Afghan wisdom must come into action.
One of these reasons that RAW didn’t play its cards wisely in Afghan elections according to an Indian journalist which resulted in denting the Indo-Afghan relations very badly, was an unpleasant surprise for the Americans too. The logic of border skirmishes is also lying with India according to the same analyst and aiming to divert Pakistan attention from offensive against Taliban. It is also claimed that India has come closer to taliban and now Russia is building its bridges with Taliban.
It looks that the aim of India was to shoot two birds with one bullet; to sabotage war on terror and to gain time to reclaim the lost ground in Afghanistan or find another alternative. In my opinion, the present Indian government is very self-centered in this regard and supporting those elements in Taliban who are not in favour of a negotiated settlement. In other words, they are trying to rectify one mistake by committing another bigger mistake.
The elimination of the terrorism is in the best interest of Afghans, Pakistan, India, regional and world at large. India and Pakistan are getting the occasional fall out of this bloody drama so least bothered; but for us on both sides of the Durand line, it is the question of life and death. We are daily given blood bath. We Pashtuns, have our survival at stake and the stakeholders are focussing on their shares and stakes.
We are of the firm belief that no third party can help us in bringing the two warring parties to the table except Afghans, as it is an intra- Afghan problem, But strategically looking at it Pakistan is in better position and sharing 1400 kilometer border with Afghanistan to deal with the terrorists. Secondly Pakistan has sown this poisonous mushroom and protect their head offices in Pakistani territory both FATA and Urban areas.
Now, the real stakeholders, the army has realised the consequences, in particular if it spreads further it can damage Pakistan equally or more because of the nurseries are here. This is the reality on ground. The realisation of this, on both sides of the Durand line has brought the two sides closer to each other. And this is the ground reality if India can understand it. Distracting Pakistan army is equal to promoting and supporting further spreading of this vicious mushroom.
The cleansing up of these urban nurseries are more in the interest of India, who are producing “HATE LITERATURE”. Hate can assume any form,from religious hatred to street crimes and is a source of feeding the underground criminal world. The action against some religious seminaries or rabbinical colleges will eradicate the “ FITNA” of radicalism and hatred.
India should not put the issue of Kashmir and Fitna in one basket. Kashmir is an issue of self-determination of a nation. As a nationalist I feel that Kashmir belong to Kashmiris and fully support the views of Dr. Javed Iqbal, expressed in an interview. I do not support the views of both sides, India and Pakistan. To me both are occupiers or thinking of occupation of Kashmir.
If both countries agree to discuss that matter the modus operandi can be be sorted out. We Pashtuns should not be made scapegoat for the second time, as it happened to us in 1947. Afghanistan is being hit across width and breadth by waves of bomb attacks and there are signs that the element of terror is reorganising itself in KPK as well.
Logically the responsibility lies with those who are stalling or opposing the national action Plan against terror. To support militarisation of the civil rule by us was the sheer absence of any alternative. The civil government looked least interested and some religious parties and those to the right of the centre political parties, were working in close collaboration with this nasty mushroom. To us they are traders of death and politicking on dead bodies.
As India refused to support smaller subjugated nations in Pakistan in mid seventies, arguing that it was not in their national interest so we are entitled for the same.
Modi speech in Dacca was highly provocative. It was least expected from the P.M. of a mature democracy. If it was by the Pakistani P.M. it would have not perturbed us so much as did Modi’s speech. In pakistan, we have a rudimentary civil government, to have a democracy is a dream to come true. We are in no misconception.
Poking on the eastern borders and to have such an inflammatory language is deplorable particularly in the case of India. It is tantamount to allow our slaughtering go on unabated till it ends in our national extinction, isn’t criminal?
Unfortunately both neighbouring countries are under the rule of rightist parties and we are being crushed like frogs in the battle of elephants.
Afghanistan and Pakistan must not lose the vision to eliminate the terror jointly. It is not possible for one. India should extend her co-operation rather helping insurrection of another terror group. India being a big country has bigger responsibilities.
I am not oblivious to the hatred materials in our schools syllabi and poisoning the innocent minds but time will come that Pakistan will realise its folly. Saner elements are organising themselves but at present their voice is too weak and meek. Time is needed to gain strength and work as a pressure group.
No doubt we have our reservations about the speed of the military action but believe there is literally no input from intelligence agencies. We also are of the opinion that ISI and others should come under one command to avoid antagonism and promote synergism. They should compliment each other otherwise it is impossible to fight shadows what to say of their elimination. This dichotomy must be brought to an end in the establishment to make it a more effective institution. Their free hand is creating a lot of political and geopolitical problems for peace in the region.
We as a political force have given a lot of sacrifices and the process has not come to an end but demanding more from us is equivalent, asking for a national suicide. Pakistan must do more and the establishment has the capability to do. To expect from Afghanistan establishment there is nothing left, except national will.
Both sides, Afghanistan and Pakistan need intelligence co-operation to nab these rabid animals, realising that combing of a society is much more difficult than to comb bushes. It is a long drawn war but we are already late to start it, have no time to loose more time and here comes “to do more”. Military should stick to its commitment and forget to get involved in others. The difference between URGENCY and Emergency must be realised. This is a mission to stabilise the country and make it viable. There cannot be another priority. Though Afghanistan has few alternatives but should be careful not to put all eggs in one basket.
Writer: Dr. Khurshid Alam
The writer is a columnist with THE PASHTUN TIMES. He can be reached at
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