‘Afghan Papers’ explores effect of war on Pakistan, Afghanistan

Author Agha Masood Hussain explores US role in the conflict

Ishrat Ansari February 05, 2018
The book examines the United States' role in the conflict in Afghanistan and its effects on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: The United States has very slim chances of winning the war in Afghanistan and now the only solution lies in negotiations.

These views were expressed by Agha Masood Hussain, whose book ‘Afghan Papers’ was launched at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on Saturday.

The author and seasoned columnist said that American forces would not leave Afghanistan until a coalition government is formed in the war-torn country. He added that Afghans are facing extreme poverty and deprivation as the US invasion did not have a positive impact on their lives. All governments in Afghanistan, from Karazi to Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah’s, are corrupt, he claimed, adding that the US funds that are provided to the country to spend on health, education and infrastructure actually go into the pockets of political leaders and warlords, who have gained a lot financially from this war.

Hussain said that Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan because the war is directly affecting the people of Pakistan. He added that permanent peace in Afghanistan will be restored if regional countries such as China and Iran take an interest and negotiate.

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"The book is not against the US or India, but it is a fact that the US is involved in the war so that it can keep selling its lethal weapons to earn money," he clarified. The US has around 80 military bases in different parts of the world, he pointed out.

The US's spending of billions of dollars has been enjoyed by a few political leaders of Afghanistan, but financial benefits have not been given to the war-torn people of the Afghanistan. "About two million Afghans have lost their lives in the war so far."

Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, who also wrote the forward of the book, speaking on the occasion, said that Pakistan is taking care of three million Afghans, both registered and unregistered, for the last many years. "The book is not about Afghanistan. It is basically about the stability and prosperity of Pakistan."

Khan said that Pakistan is a country that suffered a huge loss due to the American war in Afghanistan, yet the country is maligned in the international media and is not given any credit for its efforts. "The situation in Afghanistan can only be changed through negotiations, not power. The parties will have to work through give and take otherwise the war will continue.”

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Former Jang editor Mehmood Sham said this book can be very helpful for students of international relations and political science. "Hussain's book encourages people to think about how Afghanistan will come out of the US war."

Later, PIIA Chairperson Dr Masooma Hassan said that the book contains historic photographs. "The articles that were translated do not have references. The author should include references to the articles in its second edition," she advised.

Former Sindh governor Kamaluddin Asfar was the chief guest on the occasion.

Hussain has been publishing a trade magazine called ‘Export Trends’ for the last 33 years. The aim of the magazine is to disseminate information about the export potential of Pakistan in the rest of the world. He was recently awarded a gold medal by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry for his services in the field.


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