“Afghanistan” A Brief Thought by F. Sheikh

President Trump decided to Vietnamize Afghanistan with an open-ended commitment. Mr. Trump also praised India and at the same time scolded Pakistan for its reluctance to eradicate terrorism.

Pakistan’s Army considers Afghanistan vital for Pakistan’s security interests and will never accept at any cost India’s dominance in Afghanistan. Nawaz Sharif’s demise is a clear indication of such a policy. Cyril Almeida, in Dawn today, advises Nawaz Sharif to say openly”

I, your rightful prime minister, believe that the military has colluded with the judiciary to remove me because I want friendship with India and peace in Afghanistan.

This isn’t corruption, this is about power and control and conflict over what kind of country Pakistan should be.”

Pakistan’s army will try to keep its influence in Afghanistan and proxy war with India no matter what the cost and no amount of pressure will change it. Pakistan’s Army considers such a policy vital to Pakistan’s security interests. India, especially its current government’ and USA’s recent tilt towards India has reinforced these concerns.

According to recent reports Russia and Iran are now supplying weapons to Taliban. Saudi Arabia, despite all the denials, is still fueling militancy in Afghanistan and Pakistan for its own interests. By increasing the commitment to Afghanistan, USA is being drawn into a bigger trap that will bleed it like Vietnam with no good outcome. Russia is already drooling to return the favor to USA of its earlier defeat in Afghanistan war.

If the goal is that no more militant attacks originate from that region, then make a deal with Pakistan by accepting and addressing its security concerns in Afghanistan and in return Pakistan guaranteeing and being held accountable for any militant attacks originating from that region. USA should also abandon the policy of not interfering in Kashmir dispute and pressure both sides to resolve the issue.    

F. Sheikh 


4 thoughts on ““Afghanistan” A Brief Thought by F. Sheikh

  1. Another dimension of the complex geopolitics is the role of China and its plans to revive the old Silk Road.

  2. Pakistan’s flawed and naive foreign policy towards Afghanistan and Iran has also created problem. The military and intelligence agencies of Pakistan are short sighted and try to go for quick kill instead of well thought, well planned and long-term national interests. For example, probably even the generally educated and politically active population of Afghanistan does not have a favourable opinion of Pakistan. Pakistan has considered Afghan people as uneducated and backward society and themselves as British educated elites. Pakistan tried to dominate with Pakistani madersa trained Talibans.
    Iran was once Pakistan best friend but after the Revolution following Western displeasure with Iran , Pakistani behavior is not suitable. Pakistan refused business with Iran, creating trouble on the Iran border and killing Pakistani Shia has antagonised Iran.
    Both Afghanistan and Iran are brotherly Muslim countries. We have centuries of historic, cultural and linguistic ties and shared history with them. How a foreign power has become more friendly and more trustworthy is the time for us to think.

  3. Because of geopolitics Pakistan has been able to play some outsized roles. As an US ally it was part of CENTO and SEATO to counter Soviet and Indian designs. Then came the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Taliban in which Pakistan played a pivotal role. After a lapse it became US darling with the Bush invasion. Trump now wants to knock Pakistan down a few pegs with India upping its game. Pakistan is now pivoted to china. In this geopolitical backyard with big boys Pakistan has maintained its game but it is now being called to account with reality. It really does not have any strategic sponsors. China is brutally focused on its own grand visions. Paki business people are finding out how hard nosed the Chinese business people can be.
    The new realities pose sharp challenges for the Pak military which runs the strategic and foreign policy of the country. It is a parasitic organism that sucks up too many resources and runs its own economic empire limited to itself. It has lost three conventional wars with India but has managed to edit the history. The nuclear umbrella gives it room but also limits its options. Pak army cannot sustain conventional warfare against an enemy ten times its size and any resort to tactical nuclear weapons will result in ultimate destruction.
    The new realities require new thinking. It makes sense to develop coherent policy of detente with the neighbors but such a pivot requires leadership that is sorely lacking in all the countries involved.

  4. فرنگیوں کو بھی کابل سے بھاگتے دیکھا
    سویٹ روس یہاں مٹ کے دوڑتے دیکھا
    امریکیوں نے تُو خود کو دے کے شکست
    جھکائے سر درِ کابل پہ پیٹتے دیکھا
    اور اب کے بھارت باسی کو جوش آیا ہے
    وہ جس نے غزنوئی کو ہند روند تے دیکھا


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