The Pak-Afghan Romance – Part 1

Originally published in DunyaNews Blog on 03/08/2012 –

It wasn’t long ago when Pakistan had suddenly fallen into romance with neighboring Afghanistan. The confrontation & opposition of the other side of the border had been vanished suddenly just because they had needed us badly. Pakistan raised helping hands towards Afghanistan ignoring all their opposition for its membership in the UN & their friendly relations with India. The reason of this romance was nothing but the Soviet aggression & intervention in Afghanistan in search of the passage to hot waters of Pakistan & the subsequent miseries of the Afghan civilians. Pakistan opened its doors to at least 3 millions of refugees.

This we are been taught since childhood. But, reality, contrary to what we learn in the history books is extremely different then these stories.

Land reforms of 1978 introduced by the then Afghan President Nur Muhammad Taraki instigated Afghan Civil War, which lead United Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) intervene in Afghanistan on December 19, 1979 on the invitation of the then Govt. Though USSR had a certain level of influence over Afghanistan from the beginning of 19th century for its economic, social & military add but after India’s nuclear test “The Smiling Buddha” in 1974 & Pakistan’s subsequent adoption of the nuclear technology convinced Afghanistan’s pro-soviet Govt. to seek its assistance for their military up gradation.

The communist reforms being adopted by the Pro-Soviet Govt. & the subsequent retaliation from Pro-Islamic Groups like Jamiat-e-Islami of Afghanistan has already created a Chaos in the country. There was armed rebellion from the Islamic groups backed & supported by nearly half of the Armed Security Forces. In 1974 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in a covert operation with the help of General Naseerullah Babar of M.I., had already extradited Burhanuddin Rabbani & Gulbadin Hikmatyar to Pakistan, fearing their murder by President Daud, an advocate of the Greater Pashtunistan. He didn’t like Pakistan’s intervention in the Afghan issues, but to lessen the already hard economic conditions & greater dependency on USSR he wanted Durand line between Afghanistan & Pakistan opened for Trade & Transit Program.

Pakistan, at the moment had close relations with USA. Fearing strong relations of Afghanistan with USA through Pakistan, Soviet Union didn’t like President Daud’s move of being closed with Pakistan & keeping distance with communists in his Govt. Daud assassinated by Communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in a coup on 28 April 1978. His successor Nur Muhammad Taraki took over the control. Taraki later killed by Hafizullah Amin, his right hand.

In December 1978, Afghan Govt. & the USSR had signed a treaty by which Afghanistan could call Soviet forces to assist it in case of any insurgency. During 1978-1979 they sent repeated requests for the deployment of Soviet forces in Afghanistan with Helicopters, Tanks & their crew but the Soviet Politicians were reluctant to do so. Perhaps they had estimated the world’s reaction if a PDPA lead Soviet Military Operation is started in Afghanistan against the rebels. On June 16, 1979 the Soviet Govt. deployed its forces to guard Afghan Govt. & Infrastructure on the specific request of the Afghan Govt. Several Soviet Politicians were against these deployments, but Afghan Govt. sent repeated requests for the deployment of large regiments, tanks, aircrafts & helicopters.

On December 27, 1979, Soviet forces in Afghan uniforms occupied all important buildings in Kabul, killed the President Hafizullah Amin and handed over the political matter to Afghan Revolutionary Central Committee, which in turn announced Babrak Karmal as the head of the Govt. Although the Soviets were invited by the Afghan Administration their selves, but like the rebels, Afghan Govt. couldn’t digest their presence in the country. At one occasion the new President charged Soviet forces of increasing unrest in the country. Subsequently the reserved Soviet forces had been called to crush the rebellions in a short span of time. At this moment the Soviets had realized they had been dragged & trapped in a land of no return.

(to be continued…)


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