PDA

View Full Version : "What Ails Afghanistan?"



Hari_Om
19 May 06,, 16:22
Lord Patten’s answer, Pakistan :


"What Ails Afghanistan?" (http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4102)
Chris Patten in The Wall Street Journal
10 May 2006
The Wall Street Journal

Four and a half years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is still highly unstable. And it seems to be getting worse rather than better. Every few days now, the resurgent Taliban carry out another deadly attack on school children, aid workers, or local or international security forces. It is a grim return on the outside world's huge investment in Afghanistan. Yet while the international community has done an enormous amount to help the country recover from its failed-state condition, it has resisted tackling the problem at its very root -- Islamabad. Truth is, Afghanistan will never be stable unless Pakistan's military government is replaced with a democracy.

Pakistan's primary export to Afghanistan today is instability. On the most basic level, attacks in Afghanistan, including suicide bombings, are often planned and prepared at Taliban training camps across the border. Islamabad claims to be doing all it can to stop this infiltration. But President Pervez Musharraf's protests ring hollow when he has done so little to address the concerns raised by his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, that Taliban leaders are operating out of sanctuaries in Pakistan.

One needs only to look at the military's close relations with religious radicals to understand how unreliable a partner it is in stabilizing Afghanistan. Militant Islamist groups that Mr. Musharraf banned under the international spotlight following 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings still operate freely. Jihadi organizations have been allowed to dominate relief efforts in the aftermath of the October 2005 earthquake. The military has repeatedly rigged elections, including the 2002 polls, to benefit the religious parties over their moderate, democratic alternatives.

In short, Pakistan is ruled by a military dictatorship in cahoots with violent Islamist extremists. The military has no interest in democracy at home, so why does the outside world expect it to help build democracy next door?
If we are really going to get to the core of Afghanistan's instability, therefore, we must tackle Pakistan. Above all, this means returning the country to democratic rule. After seven years under the military, this is not an easy task, but some institutions are still surviving -- just. The judiciary, for example, has been badly degraded under Mr. Musharraf and his army colleagues; but there is enough left to give hope for some kind of gradual resuscitation.

Moderate political parties are also struggling to hang on; down but not yet out, they could recover relatively quickly if given a democratic chance. Pro-dictatorship voices regularly argue that those parties were highly corrupt and that it was their corruption that justified the 1999 coup that brought Gen. Musharraf to power. But they refuse to condemn or even acknowledge the military's large-scale, institutionalized corruption.

So much has been grabbed by the military that it will take years just to catalog it. The military has acquired vast tracts of state-owned land at nominal rates; its leaders dominate businesses and industries, ranging from banking to cereal factories. Their control of the economy has grown so great it will present an enormous challenge to any future democratically elected government.
That civilian government, when it comes, will also be moderate in character and far more inclined to tackle, in earnest, the scourge of Islamic radicalism. Even in the rigged 2002 election, the religious parties polled only 11% of the vote. A fully free and fair race will squeeze out radical forces that have thrived under military rule and which play havoc with Pakistan's weak neighbor to the northwest. In addition, unlike the military, which always thrives in a hostile environment, a civilian government will have a stronger interest in peace with India. And who wouldn't sleep safer knowing that Pakistan's nuclear bomb was in democratic hands?

Democratic governance would also bring a much-needed opportunity to overhaul the country's education system. As the state system has consistently failed young people for decades, madrassas have taken up the slack, with the most extreme religious schools helping to radicalize tens of thousands of Pakistanis -- and Afghans -- filling heads with intolerant visions of Islam, far from the mainstream of South Asian Muslim society. The country needs a properly funded, state-run, secular education system.

Bringing all this about is an enormous task, but demilitarizing and deradicalizing Pakistan is truly the key to bringing about stability in Afghanistan and the wider region. Governments now working so hard to support Afghanistan will only be spinning their wheels until they make Pakistan a top priority and apply maximum pressure on Islamabad to ensure the 2007 elections are actually free and fair, by applying clearly defined benchmarks and insisting on competent international observers. As long as the military and the madrassas rule just across the border, Afghanistan will never find peace.

Lord Patten, former EU commissioner for external relations, is Co-Chair of the International Crisis Group.

Karthik
19 May 06,, 17:46
This is not a new discovery.

The Americans have realised this and have been pressing Pakistan for quite a while now. Bush apparently minced no words in telling Musharraf what to do.

That Pakistan and the Taliban are hand in glove is well known.

platinum786
19 May 06,, 17:52
Not going to happen, the current governemnt is no ally of ours, persoanlly i;d like to see thier downfall.

Karthik
19 May 06,, 18:28
So whom do you want in power then?

platinum786
19 May 06,, 18:32
I'd like to see a democratic government in Afghanistan which is more representative of the population and it's ehtnic breakdown. I'd also like a de-centralization of power so that local government is more empowered and more capable of handling the issues.

However this cannot be done whilst the taliban roam around waving thier guns killing people and on the other hand war lords like Dostum, Abdullah x2, Imsael Khan all run major cities as thier private empires...leaving morons like Karzai in power as the Mayor of Kabul with the soul aim to exploit the mayhem so that his grip on power can be increased by blaming others for everyhting that is wrong, it's like arab states and blaming everyhting on jews.

Karthik
19 May 06,, 18:46
Dude, you are right.

It cannot be done while the Taliban roam around. Should'nt they be wiped off the NWFP then?

Garuda
19 May 06,, 18:57
This is not a new discovery.

The Americans have realised this and have been pressing Pakistan for quite a while now. Bush apparently minced no words in telling Musharraf what to do.

That Pakistan and the Taliban are hand in glove is well known.
Do you beleive that Pakistan and Taliban are distinct entities?

We should remember the Northern Alliance offensive at Kunduz in Nov. 2001, wherein Pakistan had to intervene to facilitate a breakout for Taliban operatives. Why was that necessary?

Other examples are Pakistan operations in Kashmir in 1948 and in Kargil sector in 1999. In both the instances, the Pakistani establishment claimed that intruders were either tribals from NWFP or Mujahideens.

In indian scenario the truth was out and Pakistani Army was caught. It is an official fact that at Kunduz, Taliban had 'advisors' from the Pakistani Army.

It is high time we realize that Talibans are just Pakistani irregulars commanded by officers from the Pakistani Army in mufti.

platinum786
19 May 06,, 19:03
the only problem with that last bit is that the taliban comprise of afghans, otherwise it'd be a great peice for you...

Garuda
19 May 06,, 19:38
the only problem with that last bit is that the taliban comprise of afghans, otherwise it'd be a great peice for you...
Plat,
There is no problem in the last sentence. Let me explain.

Who comprises the rank and file of the Taliban? Uzbeks? Tajiks? Hazaras?

Just Pashtuns. And they are spread across both the sides of the Durand line, the border incidently not obeyed by the Pashtuns.

The idea that Taliban are Afghan is primarily based on their Pashtun composition, while people forget the fact that Pastuns also reside on the Pakistani side. Also important is the fact that their hideouts, training camps, staging areas are all in the Pakistan side of Durand line.

There are certainly Pashtuns signing up from the Afghan side, but lets not lose the sight of the big picture.

All in all the Taliban movement should go down as the most meticulously planned covert operation in sub-continents military history. Credit goes to ISI.

But the Pakistani Army might be playing with fire. The very Pashtun dominated Taliban will one day try to assert Pashtun nationalism with disastrous consequences for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Hari_Om
19 May 06,, 19:52
the only problem with that last bit is that the taliban comprise of afghans, otherwise it'd be a great peice for you...

I am in agreement with you. ;)

The Durand Line treaty is a load of BS peddled by Pakistan .

NWFP and FATA is Afghan territory. Anyone who lives there is naturally Afghan ;) .

platinum786
20 May 06,, 00:19
Ahh, but that arguement is like saying that ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks are not nessacerily real afghans they are really Taji's and Uzbeks...where you live defines what you are, pushton people are found as far and wide as Kashmir and Karachi, doesn't make them Afghan...

Karthik
20 May 06,, 05:33
Do you beleive that Pakistan and Taliban are distinct entities?

Well according to our esteemed Pakistani members here, Pakistan niether habours nor supports the Taliban in any way imaginable. ;)

Ray
22 May 06,, 21:35
Monday, May 22, 2006 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version

EDITORIAL: Fresh Afghanistan violence

Once again Afghanistan is witnessing heightened Taliban violence. Scores have died and, if the past record is anything to go by, we should be prepared for more allegations from Kabul. However, the situation may be more complex than it seems. The Taliban offensive comes in the south, their traditional stronghold. It also comes ahead of the induction on ground of NATO troops that will replace the United States troops in the area. General Karl Eikenberry, however, says that the greatest problem is not the strength of the Taliban but “the very weak institutions of the [Afghan] state”. This is an interesting statement in so far as it implies that Kabul has not been able to extend its control to many areas of Afghanistan. Also intriguing is the fact that some of this violence is taking place in areas famous for poppy cultivation and opium trade. As NATO’s General James Jones said, Afghanistan is becoming a narco-state and the drug cartels pose a bigger security threat than the Taliban. There is every possibility, as observers have pointed out, that the drug cartels may be paying factions to keep the pot boiling because instability plays to their advantage.

Another report by a US think tank, quoting US sources, says that some elements within Pakistan may still be interested in the Taliban option — implying that they might be helping the militia. “Afghanistan will have to respect legitimate Pakistani concerns about the border [Durand Line] and an Indian presence... Afghanistan also should refrain from relations with Pashtun leaders in Pakistan that give the impression that the government represents Pashtun.” The author of the report, Barnett Rubin, an old Afghanistan hand, also says that the US should help Afghans realise that Islamabad will not respect a border that Kabul does not recognise.

For its part Pakistan has proposed the fencing and mining of the Durand Line. But while Kabul continues to blame Pakistan for the Taliban violence, President Hamid Karzai and his officials are on record as having said that fencing would merely separate the Pashtun tribes that sit astride the Line. This reasoning hides the fact that Kabul has never really accepted the Durand Line and still doesn’t want to. Many areas along the Line remain disputed and Pakistani and Afghan troops have exchanged fire there in the past. Mr Rubin proposes a cooperative security arrangement. But that is not possible under the circumstances. We have suggested earlier that Pakistan should go ahead with fencing even if the proposal is not acceptable to Afghanistan because fencing is the only way to curb illegal border crossings. There is no doubt that the Taliban cross over into Afghanistan. This is because the terrain on both sides is inhospitable and despite the presence of large numbers of Pakistani troops it is very difficult to monitor the entire length of the Line. Fencing would make it much easier.

The current situation in Afghanistan, however, needs to be seen in light of Kabul’s inability to either control the militias or the drug lords. The two seem to be working in tandem. The Taliban also seem to have launched the current campaign, as General Jones has pointed out, to test the NATO-ISAF troops that will be taking over from the US troops. General Eikenberry also thinks that the offensive will ultimately peter out. Be that as it may, Afghanistan needs to do some hard work and thinking on its side to see how it can control the situation. *



http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2006\05\22\story_22-5-2006_pg3_1

That is the crux of the matter.

It will be in the interest of Pakistan to ensure that Afghanistan does not ever develop the power to revive the old Pashtun claim of having an all Pashtun country comprising of the Pakistani and Afghan Pashtuns. Thus, the Durand Line recognition becomes very important.

China does not recognise the Durand Line in respect to the Indo Tibetan border claiming that it is an "unequal" treaty. Likewise, if the Afghans too stake such a claim, Pakistan would be in serious problem, more so since China is an old friend and thus Pakistan cannot refute that the Durand Line is not an unequal treaty imposed on the Afghans too! :eek:

Archer
23 May 06,, 13:03
Well according to our esteemed Pakistani members here, Pakistan niether habours nor supports the Taliban in any way imaginable. ;)


Pakistan has nothing to do with Taliban. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.
Read my lips. Al Qaida had nothing to do with 9-11 either. It was a Bush- Rovian conspiracy, aided and abetted by the Mossad which evacuated jews from the WTC.

Seriously.

BTW, Pakistan has nothing to do with the Taliban.

Just use Google. :cool:

Lahori paa jee
23 May 06,, 14:40
After what Pakistans position has been after 9/11, it would be pretty stupid to say we and taliban/Al-Qaeda are still working for each other.


Read my lips. Al Qaida had nothing to do with 9-11 either. It was a Bush- Rovian conspiracy, aided and abetted by the Mossad which evacuated jews from the WTC.

It does sometimes seems impossible for people like Taliban/Al-Qaeda to carry out such an activity.

bull
23 May 06,, 14:43
I'd like to see a democratic government in Afghanistan which is more representative of the population and it's ehtnic breakdown. I'd also like a de-centralization of power so that local government is more empowered and more capable of handling the issues.

Right words !!!

But the argument that pakistanis put forward for not going the democratic way,doesnt that apply to Afghanistan also.



However this cannot be done whilst the taliban roam around waving thier guns killing people and on the other hand war lords like Dostum, Abdullah x2, Imsael Khan all run major cities as thier private empires...leaving morons like Karzai in power as the Mayor of Kabul with the soul aim to exploit the mayhem so that his grip on power can be increased by blaming others for everyhting that is wrong,

Its this same karzai who ur ally US supports and have installed and have been protecting.

Archer
24 May 06,, 08:31
After what Pakistans position has been after 9/11, it would be pretty stupid to say we and taliban/Al-Qaeda are still working for each other.
It does sometimes seems impossible for people like Taliban/Al-Qaeda to carry out such an activity.

Yes, totally agree all those American troops, British troops in Afghanistan, Karzai etc are pretty stupid. Since they keep saying that Pakistan is supporting Al Qaeda and ISI is involved.

No way can they be correct. Perish the thought.

Seriously! :)

indianguy4u
24 May 06,, 09:04
"What Ails Afghanistan?" POPPY cultivation & its addiction ;)

Ray
24 May 06,, 09:04
If the Durand Line is an unequal treaty forced on the Chinese, then shouldn't Afghans also be extended the same 'concession' on the Durand Line?

After all, if Pakistan can cede the Shaksgam Valley to the Chinese, whats a few acres for these "wild", "troublesome" Pathans in FATA and NWFP?

Let Afghanistan have the headache!

gilgamesh
24 May 06,, 09:13
If the Durand Line is an unequal treaty forced on the Chinese, then shouldn't Afghans also be extended the same 'concession' on the Durand Line?

After all, if Pakistan can cede the Shaksgam Valley to the Chinese, whats a few acres for these "wild", "troublesome" Pathans in FATA and NWFP?

Let Afghanistan have the headache!

Sir, did you mean Durand line vis-a-vis McMahon Line?

Tronic
24 May 06,, 13:31
After what Pakistans position has been after 9/11, it would be pretty stupid to say we and taliban/Al-Qaeda are still working for each other.



It does sometimes seems impossible for people like Taliban/Al-Qaeda to carry out such an activity.
you make me laugh... Pakistan NEEDS the Taliban/AQ terrorists to wage war against Kashmir... thats why the training camps in Pakistan are still free of admission...

gilgamesh
24 May 06,, 13:59
Lord Patten’s answer, Pakistan :


Their culture of violence and theivery. Sorry for being politically incorrect!
Incidentally, their golden age was under infidel Indo-Greeks.