Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, August 19th, 2018

Afghan Government Needs Defined Strategic Lines in Its Efforts to Bring Long-Lasting Peace

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Afghan Government Needs Defined Strategic Lines in  Its Efforts to Bring Long-Lasting Peace

Government and the people of Afghanistan need peace more than any other necessities in the country as war has taken huge toll on the very social fabrics, politics and economy of the country since last more than forty years. Three generations of Afghans have been fighting and are embroiled in this senseless war in the span of last forty years. Devastating effects of this war continue to take immense toll on families and young people in the country, and has resulted in higher rate of illiteracy, poverty and destitution, lack of economic opportunities for young generation,  lack of provision of quality education, good governance, empowerment of corrupt individuals and warlords and suppression of enlightened individuals; prevalence of endemic corruption, creation of ungoverned space within the geographic boundaries of Afghanistan for terrorists to plan, stage and operate terrorist groups and attacks across the world etc. Most important and devastating effects of ongoing war are losses of precious Afghan lives in frontlines and as victims of terrorist attacks in cities in the shape of suicide attacks, bombings and target killings. This trend continues as efforts to bring peace by Government of Afghanistan, friends of Afghanistan and international community. But these efforts seem spasmodic and lack effective strategic framework, which should encompass factors that contribute to the war, a deep retrospective study of the last forty years history of the war and a study of important regional and international players who are directly and / or indirectly involved in fueling this war. Most importantly, it is for Afghan Government to strengthen its war machinery and deny proxy fighters ground, resources and manpower inside the country to gain upper hand to reach peace.
A retrospective study of this war exhibits disruption of regional political and geographic order in the shape of partition of Indian subcontinent in August 1947 and complete dismantling of ‘British Raj’ in India. Creation of Pakistan under religious slogan and formation of Pakistan society out of sheer force – in the case of Baluchistan - and dissatisfaction of her citizens and members of Pakistanis society, and pursuit of hegemony and geographical expansion by Pakistani military and political leadership under the name of religion have founded the basis of distrust, wars and instability in the entire South-Asian sub-continent.
The ensuing three wars of 1948, 1965 and 1971, which Pakistan had started and waged against India and suffered humiliating defeats, have entrenched fear and fright in the minds and thoughts of Pakistani military and political Junta, which resulted in adoption of hostile strategies and foreign policies by Pakistani establishment against India and most of her immediate neighbors – especially the ones enjoying historic good relations with India – such as Afghanistan.
In the process afterward, government of Pakistan ventured attempts to form proxy forces inside Afghanistan during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s stint in the office during 1970s, and Government of Afghanistan under the Presidency of Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan had retaliated in the form of support to Baluchistan leaders, who had been against Pakistan right from her inception, and was annexed by force to Pakistan with the help of the Shah of Iran in 1948.
In the advent of ex-USSR invasion of Afghanistan and the prevailing world political order had provided golden opportunity for Pakistan to destabilize and weaken central Afghanistan Government by instigating so called Jehad and encouraging thousands of Afghans to fight against their government. United States and other European countries had already been at loggerhead with ex-USSR under their global political and economic rivalries - rallied behind Pakistan in pursuit of defeat ofex-USSR in Afghanistan hence stage was set to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of tones ammunitions to Pakistan, destined to destabilize Afghanistan. A kind of legitimacy was granted to this destructive campaign against Afghanistan.
This campaign lasted the entire decade of 1980s, and in the process, Afghan national institutions including military, police, air force and other civil government organizations were completely destroyed, central government was annihilated, national Afghan brand and pride was replaced by clandestine, religious agenda by forces at play in Afghan arena, which were trained, indoctrinated and sent into Afghanistan by Pakistan to be there as Pakistan’s permanent and institutionalized proxy forces to make sure Pakistan’s control over Afghanistan perpetuate and that Afghanistan would never stands up on her feet again. But to see things in black and white is the greatest blunder of all times, and Pakistan committed exactly the same blunder. To elaborate a bit more on this, it is not easy to control a nation in whose veins run blood of freedom and pride. Afghan scenario perplexed Pakistan, and in attempts to damage control, she continued to invest in proxy groups such as Taliban and recently, Daesh, under religious slogan and blatantly interfered in Afghanistan with the aim to destabilize central government and the country as a whole.
In light of the above facts and figures, it is not difficult to conclude where central command of Afghan insurgency is, and who is behind all these destruction, bloodshed and killings of Afghans. To continue to pursue peace is a noble task and should be in place and be part of any and all Afghan government agendas at present and in the future, but peace cannot be earned by begging. They say, ‘if you want lasting peace, always be ready for war’.
It is incumbent upon the sitting president of Afghanistan to clear the lands taken by insurgents – be them Taliban, Daesh or any other groups. These are proxy groups supported by aliens who are against Afghanistan’s national interests and stability. Therefore, without denying safe havens and geographical territory to insurgents and other terrorist groups, peace or any other deal cannot last longer. Instead, these groups and the territory controlled by them will definitely be used as leverage and tools to exert pressure on Afghanistan by outside parties to suit their interests.
A fitting microcosm of what will entail in the future if Afghan land is not cleared of insurgents and terrorist groups, was exhibited during the three days Eid truce between Afghan government and insurgents. Equal to no violence was reported during the three days truce (minus three incidents in Jalalabad and another province), and immediately after the truce was over, insurgents talked from the position of power on the negotiation table with government, and once government denied them their demands, fierce fighting evolved. Government ended the truce and announced military operations across the country.The result?  Back to square one! Afghans are being killed in frontlines in fierce fights day in and day out.  It is unfortunate reality, but there is no way out. Afghans and Government of Afghanistan should understand and take resolute pledge to win their country, their pride, their freedom and their future by getting ready and prepared for a noble war.
Afghanistan’s friends should support this noble and genuine cause. A viable, encompassing and all inclusive war and economic strategy should be developed and put at play, which should include eradication of corruption and corrupt officials at their entirety from the ranks of Government, attempts and provision of enough resources to develop economic opportunities and economic activities in the country, and to batter and strike hard enemy positions and territories consistently and enduringly, with plans to fill the liberated territories with government security forces and a commitment to move forward in the frontlines – NOT to evacuate forces after liberating areas held by insurgents and other terrorist groups. In order for this to happen, Government and friends of Afghanistan should put more resources into intelligence services organizations in the country. Information is power, and without having enough information at hand, no military or economic agendas, strategies and plans can succeed.
A Chinese general once said, ‘by so elusive that your enemy does not understands your next move, only then you can conquer’. At this point in time, it seems insurgents have high hands over Government forces in this area. Afghan government enjoys unparalleled international legitimacy, and receives aids in billions of dollars annually. President Ashraf  Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah should appreciate this opportunity and endeavor to take maximum benefits of it. They should assign / employ individuals with knowledge, loyalty and commitment at strategic government positions in order to assist in formulating and implementing these kinds of national agendas.
Nepotism, corruption and wastage of resources, time and prevailing opportunities can only result in continuation of present deadlock, destruction and continued debacle. They will be responsible if this happens.

The author is the emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammed.g.sahibbzada@gmail.com

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