What next after Wikileaks?

Published: July 28, 2010

The Wikileaks drama has brought forth the predictable wave of comment from around the world. Much of it is directed against the ISI and its manipulations but the story of Pakistan’s alleged involvement in Afghanistan should also be making Washington think about several things. The first is why the war has continued for so long in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region in the first place and whether enough is being done to bring it to an end. The longer this conflict continues the more the complications will arise from it. Of course, we cannot deny the complicity of our own establishment and its intelligence agencies in this but we also need to look at the larger picture — and that is of the war in Afghanistan and how it needs to be fought and how the extremists can be beaten.

As we said in this space a day earlier, one immediate consequence of the leaks should be that the Pakistan government and the military realise that while our interests in a stable Afghanistan are legitimate and means to realise that should be explored, that should not mean that we continue supporting and aiding the Taliban and their allies. However, by the same token, as many of the classified documents released by Wikileaks show, the war in Afghanistan is extracting a heavy price from ordinary Afghans. Many times civilian deaths are passed on as insurgents killed in successful military action. As expected this is doing just the opposite to winning the hearts and minds of Afghans by reinforcing their perceptions that the foreign forces are nothing more than invaders interested solely in killing. Our point is that while armed action against militants may have some role to play it should not be the only line of action. The root causes behind the rise of militancy need to be addressed and the presence of foreign troops has only exacerbated that. Of course,  the militants and their handlers next door are also to blame but one should not lose sight of the larger picture — and that is that war is the antithesis of peace and that it has no winners. America needs to face up to this fact if it genuinely wishes to see peace in the region.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Jul 28, 2010 - 12:32AM

    This is the first step in the right direction.
    As prophecised the last act in this saga will be reseved for and by the Americans.
    Barak Obama the world awaits your next move.
    Regards and god bless
    Viren naikRecommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 28, 2010 - 12:36AM

    Going into a war is an easy matter rather than pulling out from the war.

    The precedent of US-Vietnam war is enough to understand US perception. Any war in the history of US politics was not over in days but that went up to the extent that made US to think to pull out of war.

    I have seen General Hameed Gul always speaking against US and in one of his interview’s on a private TV channel he accused US administration due to which he cannot become Chief of the Army.

    The leader of the Afghan war in Pakistan was Late General Zia-ul-Haq who died in the plane crash long time back. Had he been alive today, he would have thrown more light in the wake of Wikileaks.

    I do not understand one thing. Went US cannot conquer any country then why US go into a war.

    Afghan war despite all the help from Pakistan was a lost war for US. During the war US had full control through Pakistan and this is one of the reasons that former Soviet Union pulled back its army from Afghanistan.

    Previously US was fighting war in favour of Afghanistan but this time US is fighting a war to save Afghanistan from Osama Bin Ladin and his accomplices. The role of US and NATO forces is more destructive in Afghanistan rather constructive.

    Wikileaks cannot be classified as declassified of documents which US generally make after a specific period, but Wikileaks seems to be brain child of some external forces who want to blame the working of Pakistan’s administration during Afghan war.

    Though I have not gone through very precisely each and every word of the Wikileaks but I can make out from the headlines of the news that Wikileaks are trying to establish the fact that Pakistan’s administration played a role of double agent during Afghanistan war against the Soviets, therefore the present Pakistan’s administration is also playing the role of a double agent during the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

    It is pertinent to note that despite doing more than enough in supporting US cause in Afghanistan, US is not satisfied with the working of Government of Pakistan.

    Pakistan has become a sandwich between the international forces and with every passing day pressure on Pakistan is increasing day by day but this would not yield the desire results to root out terrorism until and unless US should start believing that Pakistan is a sincere friend of US.

    The mistrust between US and Pakistan is growing which will be fatal for both the countries. Pakistan is trying its best to secure its borders as well as borders of US but to believe what Pakistan is up to, US should think twice before concluding its opinion about Pakistan’s administration.Recommend

  • S. Ali Raza
    Jul 28, 2010 - 2:41AM

    There is a lot more coming behind it. Just today Col. Imam re-appeared, only to create more doubts about the sources, intentions and timings of Wikileaks.

    The fact is, if the US leaves now, what’s going to happen to Pakistan.

    I feel (may wish) the US will be able to gain public support and additional funding after the leaks for the final surge in Afghanistan, and come in with full might, while keeping Iran, Pakistan and India in the picture at all times.

    Wikileaks is not going to bring any quick peace in this region. Recommend

  • Shakir788us
    Jul 29, 2010 - 5:33AM

    Terrorists who killed innocent people in 9/11 WTC attack and in several suicide bombings in Pakistan must be brought to justice and should be given strict punishment. The longer the war goes more innocent people will die.Recommend

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