US, us and Afghanistan

Published: October 16, 2012

The writer is a senior journalist and has held several editorial positions, including most recently at The Friday Times. He was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and is currently senior adviser, outreach, at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute

In an 1,856-word editorial in its October 13 issue, the New York Times has declared that Afghanistan is not a war of necessity and “it is time for United States forces to leave Afghanistan [because]… the United States will not achieve even President Obama’s narrowing goals, and prolonging the war will only do more harm.”

It is good to know that the mainstream media outlets in the US are coming around to appreciating the situation rather than continuing to situate the appreciation.

Back in December 2009, President Barack Obama had spoken at West Point, outlining his Afghanistan policy after a major review process. He talked about his “overarching” goal of making efforts “to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future”.

His policy: pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban’s momentum and increase Afghanistan’s capacity over the next 18 months — i.e., additional troops; work with partners, the United Nations and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security; act with the full recognition that US success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to its partnership with Pakistan. This relates to strategically partnering Pakistan, with emphasis both on the civilian and military side of it.

In sum, as President Obama put it, “These are the three core elements of our strategy: a military effort to create the conditions for a transition; a civilian surge that reinforces positive action; and an effective partnership with Pakistan”.

President Obama failed in achieving all these objectives. The military effort, despite operations in Helmand and Kandahar, as well as night raids, tactically effective, did not add any significant strategic value to the US policy because it could not, in and of itself, improve governance. Governance never improved for a host of reasons that range from institutional problems to corruption in Afghanistan and the UN system to structural and security problems to confusion over how to design such interventions, etc.

The foreign governments involved with and in the larger US project in Afghanistan failed to understand that the central government in Kabul always had a very tenuous relationship with the Afghan countryside inhabited by multiple solidarity groups. Kabul dealt with them through negotiations whose rules were honed over scores. Those rules constrained space for both sides, for the central government as well as the tribes. This is a system that can be changed only from within. The Soviets sent troops to help the communists reengineer Afghanistan. The project failed. The free world’s project had a better chance at success if the Americans did not spurn Taliban overtures in 2004 to negotiate a safe return but that is one of history’s if-onlys.

Most analysts believe a US withdrawal without stabilising Afghanistan will plunge the country into a civil war. There are three problems with this argument: one, the US presence itself is contributing to instability; two, the US is in no position to stabilise Afghanistan; three, whether the US leaves in a year, two years or five, Afghanistan will see another round of civil war. The longer the US stays the greater the intensity of the next round.

Interestingly, while the NYT supports full withdrawal, the Obama Administration wants to retain American troops — 15,000-20,000 — on five bases in Afghanistan. That hasn’t happened so far but highly-placed Afghan sources concede the pressure is immense and Kabul might have to give at least three bases, two to the US military and one, nominally, to Nato.

The Pashtuns in the Karzai government are not too enamoured of this but Kabul’s broader ruling clique has many elements that do not want the US to leave and a minority remains completely opposed to any dialogue with the Taliban. These elements want the US to retain military presence and they also want the monies to keep coming in. Afghanistan’s civil society and its women, mostly urban based, are also either opposed to, or greatly afraid of, a scenario in which the Taliban can make a full or partial return.

President Hamid Karzai realises that the Taliban cannot be defeated. He wants a quick reconciliation with them and wants Islamabad to facilitate the process. Islamabad wants to help Kabul but is also wary of President Karzai’s mood swings. The Afghan president continues to oscillate between the two extremes of calling Pakistan a special friend and declaring it an adversary, much to the chagrin even of those Afghan officials who are supposed to work with Pakistan at multiple levels and who, it must be said, have done much good work over the past year.

For Pakistan, the situation throws up many challenges. An unstable Afghanistan doesn’t help Pakistan fight its war in Fata, a war it has to fight and conclude by destroying the terrorist groups that are attacking Pakistan.

The US failure in Afghanistan means Pakistan has to deal with the Afghan Taliban and ensure, in collaboration with Kabul, to pull them into the political process and make them contest for the control of Afghanistan through constitutional-political means rather than through force of arms.

To this end, Pakistan will have to work closely with Afghanistan and fast-track negotiations with the Taliban. The two envoys in Kabul and Islamabad, Ambassadors Muhammad Sadiq of Pakistan and Mohammad Umer Daudzai of Afghanistan, are arguably best suited to help the two sides come together meaningfully. This assessment is not a hope but based on work done by them over the past year.

The situation has its own urgency for Pakistan quite apart from what the American endgame might be. We have our own war to fight and conclude in Fata and other parts of Pakistan. That fight is not just over territory but also opposing ideologies and value systems. Pakistan needs a stable Afghanistan in order to be able to fight its internal war.

Pakistan’s current policy of normalising relations with all the neighbours and beyond is not just good foreign policy but is also incredibly important for addressing its internal threat.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2012.

Reader Comments (59)

  • sabi
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:17PM

    What right Pakistan has to decide about the internal politicle structure of Afghanistan.Duplicity is that our pang reahes skies when community of nations ask us to end terrorism in our own country.This we see as interference in our internal affairs.Is afghanistan our province where we interfere as our birth right.Afghanistan is an indepandant country and Pakistan as a neighbour should respect the sovereignity of it’s neighbour.

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  • Joe
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:21PM

    Western countries feel that the costs of defending this remote, mountainous countries are far too great for the return, and are largely resigned to the idea that Afghans want to be ruled by the Taliban and there is little that can be done.

    They haven’t had any terrorist attacks in years, and feel their security procedures are as good as they can be.

    Not all countries have the luxury of being multiple oceans away from Afghanistan.

    It’s not well understood, because these countries do not have open poltiics, but China, Russia, and Iran are all EXTREMELY worried about the fallout of a Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

    Russia has suffered from multiple terrorist attacks in major cities, just in the last few years. They have an insurgency in the Caucus that started before the Afghan war and which loses nearly as many lives as the Afghan war does.

    China shares a border with Pakistan. It is a state where atheism is required to hold high office. Iran is Shia and has a border with both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Some Pakistanis have a delusion that these three countries will form an alliance with Pakistan, help usher in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and that Utopia will commence. That’s not happening.

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  • Zafar
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:46PM

    excellent piece Mr Ejaz Haider!

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  • Noor Nabi
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:47PM

    As soon as the US leaves Afghanistan, maybe even before then, Karzai will disappear from the scene. The Durand Line, already a joke, will become even more meaningless. The Pakistani military lacks the wherewithal to defend a border that poses countless physical challenges. The official number of Afghan refugees in Pakistan is close to 3 million; the unofficial figure is higher than this. Will these Afghans go back willingly? If not, will Pakistan be in a position to expel them forcibly? If the status quo is maintained then what implications does this have for Pakistan? With an insurgency in Baluchistan that has spun totally out of control, who is going to protect and preserve the western border of the country with Iran and Afghanistan? These are questions of substance that are not addressed in this article. Answers to these questions will help formulate a clearer picture of the form and shape Pakistan will take in the next one to three year period.

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  • Hammad
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:48PM

    The only foreseeable solution seems to be presence of drones on the Afghan soil that keep targeting AQ bases inside Afghanistan and Pakistan’s FATA. :Recommend

  • Muneeb
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:59PM

    A really good & sensible piece from Ejaz Haider… One thing is that he raised a number of points that converge & carry similarity with Imran Khan’s solution to deal with this WOT. Why is then Khan a recipient of Bashing then…

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  • Khan of Jandul
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:00PM

    Mr. Ijaz! Again shallow analysis. You are aware that the US is not leaving soon. It is true that the troops number will be reduced and they will not patrol the Afghan territory as they used to do in the past, but they will have enough lethal power at their disposal to discourage Taliban ‘s recapture of power and combat extremist threats emanating from the region. I think again on behalf of the deep state, you are attempting to sell something which is meant to mislead the people of Pakistan that the US is withdrawing and to launch operation against the blue-eyed strategic assets at this stage will be counter-productive as it will deprive the deep state of any role in the future of Afghanistan. More importantly and just to remind you that present day Afghanistan is not that of 1990s, when people were fed up with war and widespread anarchy. The country has made outstanding progress in many areas especially education and institution building- a fact often neglected by Pakistan media which only portrays negatives about Afghanistan. You need to understand the situation. Living in 1990s creates doubts about your intellectual credibility.

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  • Khan of Jandul
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:02PM

    for the attention of the editor ET. There is need for putting “the” before the US. Just writing US is not correct from the grammatical point of view. Thanks

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  • BlackJack
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:13PM

    This is apparently the month of ‘acknowleding the internal threat’; as always, these times too will pass. Three points:
    1. Pakistan needs a stable Afghanistan in order to be able to fight its internal war.
    I trust the irony of this line is not lost on readers. A stable Pakistan foisted a 30-year war on Afghanistan and now seeks to extract itself from this quagmire by restoring stability in Afghanistan. A crash course in the law of karma.
    2. President Hamid Karzai realises that the Taliban cannot be defeated. He wants a quick reconciliation with them and wants Islamabad to facilitate the process.
    If this is what he expects, I hope he has a plan C. Pakistan cannot even reconcile with its own version of the Taliban, how will they influence their Afghan brethren?
    3. The longer the US stays the greater the intensity of the next round.
    This can easily be disputed. The longer the ANA stays as a single force, the more difficult it is to break them up. The Taliban has no hope of winning a regular war against a well-knit, professionally trained unit. They can keep Afghanistan unstable but they cannot take over. Of course, Pakistan can support them to increase the intensity, but then Pt #1 (see above) is clearly mendacious.

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  • Falcon
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:38PM

    From Rashid Ahmed’s article published in New Yorker few days ago, there is an additional thread that is developing on the peripheries and might come to play a key role in the future; which is the increased role of Afghan Intelligence in seeking counter-strategic depth in Pakistan (supposedly to teach Pakistan establishment a lesson). However, what is clear from all this that Pakistan can not continue with the aggressive unilateral policy of 1990s and has to work closely with its Afghan counterparts taking into consideration the will of Afghan people. This means choosing for Afghanistan what it would like for itself, which is peace / stability / growth.

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  • adam
    Oct 17, 2012 - 12:13AM

    The suggestion that the Taliban will contest elections under secular law is laughable. They are not known to make compromises. What happened in Swat? Did negotiations help here? A civil war is going to happen in Afghanistan and sooner or later it will spill over in neighbouring areas. A stronger Taliban in Afghanistan means stronger Taliban influence in Pakistan. Does Pakistan want that, giving up more and more authority in it’s areas? I guess people don’t really remember what happened in Swat. The fact is that the Pakistani state (or deep state) has compromised it’s own law and order situation by arming non-state groups.
    The world is not just going to forget the Taliban because terrorism is an issue that will remain a threat for a long time.

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  • Ahsan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 12:44AM

    Ha, Ha, Ha. This article is valid if Afghan Taliban exist. Fortunately they do not . They are our baby. So key to trouble making is in our hands. And key to Afghan solution with the US. The US has already won the war. When will we Pakistanis open our eyes?Recommend

  • sabi
    Oct 17, 2012 - 1:14AM

    The reason given by our pseudo intelectuals to interfere in Aghanistan is Durand Line Syndrome That a pro- Pakistan government in Aafghanistan will not be a headache for Pakistan.This is a weak argument.The world community has not supported Pakistan stand on Kashmir based on UN resolution with that reality,it is highly unlikely that afghanistan get support from any quarter on Durand line.If Pakistan really want friendly relation with Afghanistan then it should support Afghan govt without any condition.Win Afghanistan with love not with policy of force,which has failed.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 17, 2012 - 1:32AM

    A balanced view point. I see only one solution – negotiations with the Taliban or USA would continue to bleed. Pakistan can surely play a role in this regard but for that USA must demonstrate her sincerity with Pakistan. Secondly, USA must understand that the former Northern Alliance leadership, on which it is banking for the last over 11 years, have remained the proxy of Russia-India Iran Nexus and with them in power, the USA would continue to bleed. India would like that the USA should not withdraw their forces from Afghanistan so that it can effectively make inroads into this country while the USA/NATO pay the price. They would never take over the responsibility from USA as was envisaged by her in the end-game.

    As for Pakistanis, they would continue to pay the price for use of religion as an instrument to achieve objectives, even creation of their beloved country.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 17, 2012 - 2:19AM

    Yawn — another article which implies that Pakistan somehow has leverage on the Afghan Taliban and can bring peace to the region — rubbish. It’s become obvious that the Taliban have little or no respect for Pakistan – when you blow through the smoke they control a significant portion of Pakistan and you don’t have the will nor the ability to do anything about it.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Oct 17, 2012 - 4:07AM

    US invaded Afghanistan and failed but achieved tremendous success in Pakistan without invading her. The reason is simple most fighters and leadership of Taliban and Al Qaeda is in Pakistan. So it is obvious that US will fail in Afghanistan as nothing is left there. Whereas, through drone, capturing and arresting or through navy seal operations it hauled most of the bad guys from Pakistan. Most of the cards from the famous deck were captured in Pakistan. Those who are not caught are still in Pakistan.

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  • Liberal
    Oct 17, 2012 - 4:19AM

    one thing is for sure … only articles for or against Imran khan get more comments and views .. its been 3 hours and only 2 comments ..

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  • F
    Oct 17, 2012 - 5:20AM

    No country has stopped terrorism when it is fully supported by a neighboring power. It is easy to shift the blame on to Afghanistan central government and USA for this and that. In addition, the uncomfortable truth is that Muslim societies are quick to invite help from the US to save themselves from other Muslims but very determined to frustrate the ‘Satan’. There is no point in wasting more treasure and life in lands with acute cultural pathologies. That is the view in between the lines by the mainstream media. It is just that we won’t state it that way. Now Pakistan, Afgahnistan and Iran can sort it out. Just don’t dial 1-800-UNCLE.

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Oct 17, 2012 - 5:22AM

    Overall it is a good article and to think about it for the long run but the following sentence baffles me.”An unstable Afghanistan doesn’t help Pakistan fight its war in Fata, a war it has to fight and conclude by destroying the terrorist groups that are attacking Pakistan”.Do you really insinuating that FATA is not part of Pakistan and it’s citizens are not Pakistanis.Perhaps alienating the Pukhtuns in FATA for decades has got to bring some fruits of negligence.

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  • Insaan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 5:26AM

    Author “The US failure in Afghanistan means Pakistan has to deal with the Afghan Taliban and ensure, in collaboration with Kabul, to pull them into the political process and make them contest for the control of Afghanistan through constitutional-political means rather than through force of arms.”

    Pakistan created taliban. Pakistan has been playing talibans in Afghanistan for over 20 years to gain strategic depth.

    Your suggestion is exactly creating the same situation

    Why you want to destroy terrorists in Pakistan, why not pull them into political process and make them contest for control of Pakistan through constitution-political means.

    Being pure Muslims, most Pakistanis want Shariah in Pakistan. Give talibans a chance to rule with Shariah.

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  • Nandkishore
    Oct 17, 2012 - 5:49AM

    One just can’t understand Pakistani brains. Look at the oxymorons: stable Afghan government (never a stable govt); Afghan Taliban (Taliban is a Pakistani product).
    The biggest joke: make them contest for the control of Afghanistan through constitutional-political means
    Just pray that America stays back. If America goes, both the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban will be free to train their guns towards Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
    Let me make a prediction: America will be back in two years; this time to Pakistan at the invitation of Rawalpindi.

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  • Arijit Sharma
    Oct 17, 2012 - 6:31AM

    @author: ” … The longer the US stays the greater the intensity of the next round. … “

    The trick will be to “tire out” Pakistan to such an extent that Pakistan loses its appetite for “strategic depth”.

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  • karma
    Oct 17, 2012 - 6:41AM

    US will be far more successful inachieving ita objectives, if it left this regionand imposed sanctions on Pakistan to force it to cleanse itself or breakup into manageable smaller countries.

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  • Thoughtful
    Oct 17, 2012 - 7:03AM

    For many gerations the Americans will remember Pakistans role in this situation.

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  • Raw is War
    Oct 17, 2012 - 7:46AM

    they got Bin Laden. No point of staying there.

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  • Feroz
    Oct 17, 2012 - 8:03AM

    Sir, you have drawn your own conclusions on who won and who lost in Afghanistan, Soviet Union lost, US lost, NATO lost etc. What did Pakistan win — 40,000 corpses in graves over a decade would be classified as a deadly victory ?
    Has there been a single attack on US soil since 9/11 ? Do you really believe the World is so dumb as not to know who is allied with the Taliban and why Afghanistan continues to be ravaged ? Once the US/NATO troops are withdrawn the real fun and games will start. If you think the playground will be limited to Afghanistan as there will be only one player rolling the dice, you could be in for a shock.
    Why the Think Tanks mistakenly believe that controlling Afghanistan through proxies called Taliban will help Pakistan I do not know. What I do know is that Pakistan has been unable to take a good foreign policy decision for 65 years and sadly has not got any wiser.
    Wake up fast brother because in the process of helping the Taliban come to Power in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be burnt to the ground. Such is the power of the Divine that what you wish for others will visit you.
    May wisdom prevail !

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  • observer
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:22AM

    A. Afghanistan’s civil society and its women, mostly urban based, are also either opposed to, or greatly afraid of, a scenario in which the Taliban can make a full or partial return.

    Afghan Women constitute about 50% of the population add to that the minorities i.e Shia Hazras and other ethnic minorities and then the Civil Society- In my opinion all this will add up to about 80% of the Afghan population.
    Looks like Pakistan is hellbent upon propping up a minority claiming major share in power in Afghanistan.

    B. We have our own war to fight and conclude in Fata and other parts of Pakistan. That fight is not just over territory but also opposing ideologies and value systems.

    It will be interesting to see Pakistan waging war on ‘ideologies and value systems’ in FATA while promoting the same ‘ideologies and value systems’ across the Durand Line in Afghanistan. But I guess being logically consistent has never been the strong suit for Pakistani establishment.

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  • Polpot
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:28AM

    Wow. Not even one mention of ‘Haqqanis’ must be taboo now
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • observer
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:36AM

    @Muneeb:

    A really good & sensible piece from Ejaz Haider… One thing is that he raised a number of points that converge & carry similarity with Imran Khan’s solution to deal with this WOT.

    Please read the article again. Mr Ejaz Haider is not preaching ‘negotiation’ with Pakistani Taliban. In fact he is talking of war in FATA.Just read the following lines.
    We have our own war to fight and conclude in Fata and other parts of Pakistan. That fight is not just over territory but also opposing ideologies and value systems.

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  • gp65
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:38AM

    @observer: I would like to amplify your point.
    55% people i Afghanistan are non-Pashtuns (Tajiks, Uzbeks etc.) and anyway have no desire to see Taliban. Of the remaining 45% Pastuns – 22.5% are women who don’t want Taliban bringing the total upto 77.5%. Finally there must be some Pashtun men who do ot want their wives and daughters and mothers to be treated the way Taliban treat women or who do not want to give up movies or be told how to dress. Karzai may not be popular but by o means is it a slam dunk for Afghan Taliban – not by a very long shot.

    To add to that the people that Pakistan thinks it will ally with to impose Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan (Russia, China, Iran) have all been troubled by terrorism emanating from Afpak region and would most definitely not want a repeat of the 1996-2001 period.

    Ejaz is dreaming.

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  • Fahd
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:38AM

    People who so enthusiastically talk about the next round of civil war in Afghanistan should look around them and realize that the stubborn desire of controlling Afghanistan has gradually sunken Pakistan too and learn something before the next round takes place in Pakistan instead of Afghanistan. The Pakistani establishment should know two things. 1: The Afghan people will never let any Afghan government to ignore the legitimate needs of Pakistan.2: The Pakistani establishment will never get to its ill designs and goals, even if Pakistan by some miracle installs its own proxy in Afghanistan and chooses every leader in Afghanistan. The same Taliban that the Pakistani establishment supports hate them because of what the establishment did to their ambassadors and leaders for $ and they will never take dictation from Pakistan once they are free.

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  • Afghanistan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Thank you very much Ejaz and I really apreciate your article. We both nations(pakistanis and Afghans) share same values and want peace and deserve to live in peace as other nations in the world live. I request all pakistanis to be realistic and analyse the situation in depth because this time the issue is so serious for both nations.

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  • Oct 17, 2012 - 11:20AM

    Afghanistan is a mess. Was a mess before NATO entered. Taliban rule brought peace, but the kind of peace associated with the grave, rather than the meditation hall.

    Afghanistan can never be won now. It was winnable, if not for the safe havens in Pakistan. Too many ifs and buts now.. The whole scene is so confusing!

    Pakistan supports the Taliban, but doesn’t want complete Taliban control because that would embolden the Taliban on their soil to wage jihad. They don’t want civil war either because that would allow TTP to take shelter in ungoverned parts of Afghanistan. Pakistan has no idea what it wants because either way you look at it, there’s trouble.

    Only if Pakistan had really come on board and not given shelter to people like Osama, or had attacked North Waziristan much much sooner and denied safe haven to the Taliban of all variety, this could have been averted.

    http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/afghanistan-possibilities-and-near-certainties/

    There are only two things to discuss Possibilities and Certainties. ^^^

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  • Muneeb
    Oct 17, 2012 - 2:21PM

    @ Observer :

    I said the piece carries convergence & similarities & I didn’t say that they are identical…There are indeed diverse views in it too…

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  • Oct 17, 2012 - 2:47PM

    @Sabi … What Pakistan has to do with an independent country? … This is really a good question BUT let me tell you that this is not the forum where you must ask this. Please read the Af-Pak Review document (i believe it is available on State Dept. website) and ask our American friends who put us in same bracket with Afghanistan combining two countries as one battlefield on military, political and diplomatic axis!

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  • Oct 17, 2012 - 2:56PM

    @Observer: Pakistan IS and WILL fight against the ruthless ideology of Takfir. And please care to provide a proof that Pakistan is preaching the same in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s association with American WoT is feeding to this ideology in FATA while Afghan Taliban are fighting their own war because they were the one ousted from government in Kabul. So, naturally, Pakistan will have to detach itself from American WoT and initiate its own against TTP so that excuse of these Khawarij can be eliminated that their war against Pakistan is justified as Pakistan’s Army is aiding infidel army of the US. Killing the excuse, rationale and ideological basis is of fundamental nature in fighting wars of ideas. Non-Kinetic strategy becomes more important!

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  • Oct 17, 2012 - 3:20PM

    Mr Noor Nabi, we as a nation are not confronted with doomsday scenario. The overall situation
    will significantly improve if our leadership demonstrates a strong political.

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  • Lala Gee
    Oct 17, 2012 - 4:43PM

    @sabi:

    “What right Pakistan has to decide about the internal politicle structure of Afghanistan.”

    What right over 3.5 million Afghans have to live in Pakistan for now almost 3 decades and enjoy the hospitality at the expense of the poor Pakistanis?

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  • Lala Gee
    Oct 17, 2012 - 5:23PM

    @All Indian Trolls:

    Your desperation is really enjoyable. Keep dreaming “only if Pakistan somehow could disintegrate!!!”. By infesting ET pages with your malevolence is not going to help. Better stop day-dreaming and throw away your malice towards all of your neighbors. Pakistan is much more stronger than you imagine.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Oct 17, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @Shahzad:
    Pakistan’s Army is aiding infidel army of the US
    Have you ever considered boycotting English language, Internet, cell phone, you tube, facebook, TV, plane, CD, DVD with religious content etc just because they were invented by infidel? Or concept of infidel comes to mind only when you talk about Americans?

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  • Oct 17, 2012 - 6:21PM

    @It Is (still) Economy Stupid: Well, I was presenting the excuse given by the TTP who attacked girls like Malala. Why are you asking me? Please read my reply again and don’t pick words and half sentences out of context!!Recommend

  • Rajeev Nidumolu
    Oct 17, 2012 - 6:40PM

    The scenario emerging after US/Nato abandons Afghanistan to its own fate is predictable
    1) Karzai government writ will be confined to Kabul
    2) Northern alliance will control Northwestern part of the country with its warlords
    3) Taliban will control portions of Paktun dominated country side both in Pak and Afghan territories
    4) There will be no central authority in Afghanistan. There will be state of cvil war between Northern alliance and Taliban which will simmer for longtime.
    5) There will be increased instability and terrorism in Pakistan by Taliban . Both Pak and Afghan Taliban are cut from the same cloth.
    6) Taliban which is based on extremist interpretation of religion, it does not respect national boundaries and believes in triumphalist vision of its ideology.It will not compromise with Pakistani state which it considers as illegitimate.
    In the end the loser after Nato withdrawal will be Pakistan with repercussions in Iran, Russia, China and Indian Kashmir who will need to pick up the ball NATO has dropped

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  • Manoj Joshi India
    Oct 17, 2012 - 8:01PM

    Islamabad and Kabul are to face a tough going with regard to militancy in their area. The United States of America has well understood that the Taliban are now a major liability that had earlier been an asset against a Communist Afghanistan hence prudence for the US now lies in vacating the war torn nation. Pakistan is and will in future continue to face a tough challenge from militants who are neither interested in the welfare of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The citizens of the two nations are suffering and they want peace. The security forces of Pakistan have a challenging task ahead of them and a task that is full of responsibility and a test of their ability. This is the problem that Pakistan has to ultimately face and tackle on their own single handed. India can and should help provided Pakistan accepts and appreciates Indian support and reciprocates on a similar positive note. Also a trust is needed to be developed between these two neighbours i.e. India and Pakistan that will help Pakistan in their war against terrorism.

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  • rk
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:41PM

    @Lala Gee:

    pak is stronger ..?? how..?? whos dreaming..?? who is getting hit by missiles evvery week for decades..who got their hero killed by just six giuys from US and humiliated ur army..?? who is always begging from the same guys that hit u with missiles..???..just harping about India is not going to take u any closer to india thats way beyond ur reach…

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  • rk
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:42PM

    US failure in afghan.?? really..?? another pakistani in denial….Recommend

  • Hassan Jan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:12PM

    @Noor Nabi:

    This insurgency in Baluchistan (funded and supported by the enemy neighbour) is largely dying down. It was much worse 3 decades ago. Out of several Baloch tribes only 2 or 3 are rebelling against the state. FC and local police have helped bring some normalcy but more has to be done. Baloch are proud Pakistanis

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  • Hassan Jan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:17PM

    @sabi:

    Your post sadly ignores (perhaps out of naiivety) ground realities. And on Kashmir we don’t need puppet UN recognition when Kashmiris themselves are with us Recommend

  • Hassan Jan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:21PM

    @Manoj Joshi India:

    1/4 of India is under Naxalite control; you have scores of ethnic separatist and other rebel groups bombing towns and killing security forces in India. And you want to talk about Indian help to Pakistan? Is this a joke? Secure your own country first – especially Manipur, jharkand, Assam, etc. Pakistab army can deal with the internal threat effectively which is what they are doing.

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  • Hassan Jan
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:31PM

    @Cautious:

    Naxals infest a huge chunk of your beloved India’s east. What will you do about that?

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  • observer
    Oct 17, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @Hassan Jan:

    Naxals infest a huge chunk of your beloved India’s east. What will you do about that?

    Be grateful for your concern. Thank you.

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  • sabi
    Oct 17, 2012 - 11:25PM

    @Lala Gee:
    What right over 3.5 million Afghans have to live in Pakistan for now almost 3 decades and enjoy the hospitality at the expense of the poor Pakistanis?
    Three decades!! still they have refugee status! where are the laws of naturalisation? don’t these law apply in Pakistan.

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  • Lala Gee
    Oct 18, 2012 - 12:15AM

    @rk:

    “@Lala Gee: pak is stronger ..?? how..?? whos dreaming..??”

    Remember 2002, when your million-men months long posturing turned into inglorious eunuch’s show.

    “who got their hero killed by just six giuys from US and humiliated ur army..??”

    I guess you didn’t do well in basic math, like simple counting, else there is some difference between 26 and 6, but that is not the real point. You talk as if India has already pioneered anti-stealth technology and is challenging USA eye-ball to eye-ball. Anyway, Indian’s sycophancy has not lower limits.

    “who is always begging from the same guys that hit u with missiles..???”

    What a powerful beggar, even controls US Senate.

    “just harping about India is not going to take u any closer to india thats way beyond ur reach…”

    Of course, way way behind India, who is the world champion in open-defecation (only 600 million people in India defecate in open places, which is more than 3 times the whole population of Pakistan),

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  • sabi
    Oct 18, 2012 - 5:31AM

    @Hassan Jan:
    “Your post sadly ignores (perhaps out of naiivety) ground realities. And on Kashmir we don’t need puppet UN recognition when Kashmiris themselves are with us”

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  • observer
    Oct 18, 2012 - 9:33AM

    @Shahzad:

    @Observer: Pakistan IS and WILL fight against the ruthless ideology of Takfir. And please care to provide a proof that Pakistan is preaching the same in Afghanistan.

    Find out where the Madrassas where the Afghan Taliban were/are trained are located- Hint- Madarassa Haqqania, Lal Masjid etc.

    Find out how have the Taliban dealt with the Shia Hazras and any one else that does not agree with them.
    And then find out the meaning of Takfir.

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  • Manoj Joshi, India
    Oct 18, 2012 - 10:23AM

    @Hassan Jan:
    Let us not make this a prestige point. Terrorism is the biggest threat to South Asia. Hence it will be better if tackled jointly through cooperation. This should not be read as interference. As I have said in my view Pakistan has to deal with the problem on their own. I have no intention of belittling Pakistan as a nation.

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  • Gratgy
    Oct 18, 2012 - 11:44AM

    @Lala Gee

    Of course, way way behind India, who is the world champion in open-defecation (only 600 million people in India defecate in open places, which is more than 3 times the whole population of Pakistan)

    While we are marching ahead, you are welcome to keep count of our defecations

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  • Manoj Joshi, India
    Oct 18, 2012 - 5:01PM

    @Hassan Jan:
    If you go through my comment shared you shall find that I have clearly stated that Pakistan and Pakistan alone have to deal with this problem. Indeed India as a neighbour should and will cooperate. This should certainly not be perceived as interference.

    As regards Kashmir the issue is different.

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  • Lala Gee
    Oct 19, 2012 - 10:03AM

    @Gratgy:

    “While we are marching ahead, you are welcome to keep count of our defecations”

    No thanks. You’re already doing a wonderful job.

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  • Gratgy
    Oct 19, 2012 - 10:18AM

    @Lala Gee
    You’re already doing a wonderful job.

    But you are the one keeping count. LMAO!

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