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Ray
23 Aug 05,, 17:02
Karzai’s delusion

Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s defence of his agreement for strategic partnership with America and his appreciation of the foreign assistance in his country’s progress point to a delusion which he would do well to cast off sooner than later for his people’s greater good. Foreign assistance and strategic partnership he seems to assume are one and the same thing, which they are not. They are basically two different things. Foreign assistance is more often than not economic; and even though not always entirely altruistic, it has a great measure of it. Even when military, this assistance does help the recipient to some extent in meeting its own security concerns, although it is driven primarily by the donor’s own strategic and geopolitical objectives.
But a strategic partnership between two diametrically unequal powers, like the ones in this case, always serves the interests of the stronger party, often to the detriment of the weaker side. If nothing else, the Afghans experiences of the American military assistance in the recent past should have put him wise to this inexorable reality. When the Soviets marched into Afghanistan, America rushed in with arms and money for the Afghan resistance as much to avenge its own humiliation in Vietnam as to prevent their advance to the warm waters. But once the Red Army withdrew from Afghanistan with a bloodied nose, America too abandoned the Afghans and forgot all about them. Had it stayed back, the war-torn country might not have slipped into the bloodier civil strife. But it didn’t care.

Had indeed there been no 9/11 episode, Afghanistan would have been still a forgotten land for America. But is its present engagement in Afghanistan any different from the previous one? Palpably, it is not. Had it not been so, it would have plunged in with all its military and economic muscle after the Taliban’s ouster to secure and rebuild the ravaged country. It did not. Instead, it left Afghanistan high and dry and moved on to invade Iraq. An adventure that it undertook, as incontrovertible evidence has now conclusively established, for no compelling reason other than the plot its power-wielding neo-conservatives had hatched up well before the 9/11 saga to topple Saddam as part of their grand Middle East project. Over this senseless American shift, President Karzai himself had publicly given vent to his sense of discomfiture many a time.

Whatever construct he may put on the prevalent conditions in Afghanistan, he cannot paper over the objective reality that his country is still far from being secure, stable and calm. And given the Great Game that has begun between America and Russia and China in Central Asia, his strategic partnership with Washington is sure to land his country in greater difficulties. Afghanistan will perforce get sucked into that game because of this partnership. And this wouldn’t be good for the country, already in turmoil of sorts. Even now he can ward this off. Foreign economic aid, he must warmly embrace. International security assistance too, he must welcome. But he should eschew any strategic partnership. To bring calm and stability to Afghanistan, he must rely on his own capabilities and indigenous resources. Being himself a Pashtun, he is best placed to bring aboard the restive Pashtuns. He must show the initiative he has not shown so far.

http://frontierpost.com.pk/

There are issues that are valid from eh Oriental viewpoint.

However, who cares about the Oriental viewpoint. The contemporary scenario has quite the local plane and has gone global. To be inward looking is being ostrich like.

Karzai has been bold and has kept his nation's interest in view. He has chosen a correct ally to bring his nation into the global mainstream from a decadent and obscurantic past.

If Karzai is guilty of selling his country to the US as this editorial seems to suggest, the Hard Talk programme of BBC interviewing the Pakistani foreign minister also indicated the same for Pakistan.

Hence, for a newspaper from Lahore, it looks rather oxymoronic.

In subcontinent has to be forward looking. Globalisation is the credo. Fortunately, India has joined the same and shed her socialistic past to a great extent. Burma is wilting. Sri Lanka is on the march. Bangaldesh is slowly waking up to reality after the serial bombing by Islamofascists.

There is no time to sit back and talk of the glorious past and instead look forward to a greater glorious future.

US is the lodestone for the march.

Join hand and walk shoulder to shoulder if not follow.