Courtesy Dunya Blog, August 16, 2012: http://blogs.dunyanews.tv/?p=5198
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan on December 27, 1979 hype was created around the word as if Soviet Union is going to conquer the world specifically Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran & the oil rich gulf. In response, the USA not only condemned this act of USSR but also made drastic changes to its foreign policy which included reduction in trade in grain & technology with Soviet Union, postponement of SALT-II arms control agreement, enlarging strategic forces, beefing up NATO forces, establishing a Caribbean Joint Task Force Headquarters, unleashing the CIA, installing a program of draft registration, & providing more military assistance to Pakistan, South Korea, and Thailand, & for all these preparedness US alleged Soviet aggression on Afghanistan to expend its regime throughout Asia.
Ultimately the Soviets wanted to invade Iran, secure Persian Gulf Oil, secure Warm Water Ports and expend their Asian Empire. The US, they said, had to respond to this expansion of this cold war. Jimmy Carter, the then US President established a 100,000 persons rapid deployment force for the protection of Persian gulf declaring it vital for US security interests, this is known as the Carter’s doctrine. All these changes & preparedness were in response to the Soviet aggression on Afghanistan as stated by the US, but a careful analysis of the pre December 27, 1979 events reveals some other picture. This all was planned by the U.S. long before the Soviet intervention and was part of a great game. Unfortunately, Soviet Union, fearing collapse of the allied Govt. in Kabul and being encircled by China in the east beefed up NATO forces in the west, intervened Afghanistan and trapped by the Carter Administration.
Pakistan, on the other hand, was not only helping the rebels but also mediated between rebels USA. American CIA was providing assistance to anti-Soviet forces through the Pakistani Intelligence Services in a program called “Operation Cyclone”. The enthusiastic Muslims in Arab World, like Osama Bin Laden, find there way to wage Jihad (Holy War) against atheist communists, who eventually evolved into Al-Qaida. In the absence of any Central Command the fight continued in a complete chaos & most of the fighters (Mujahidin) turned into War Lords.
Numerous training centers had been established in Pakistan. Different groups in collaboration with Pakistani Agencies started recruiting locals to fight with Muhajidin against the aggressors & their supporters in Afghanistan. Pakistan received loads of weapons & huge funds from Islamic as well as western countries to facilitate Afghan fighters. But the groups who received the said funds embezzled it & the weaponry used for political, ethnic & sectarian purpose in Pakistan, especially in the port city of Karachi. Jamat-e-Islami was among one of those groups.
The nine years of war turned a developed Afghanistan into a destroyed country. Millions were killed, hundreds of thousands were injured & partially disabled, Millions flee to neighboring countries. Pakistan alone received more then 3 million of refugees. Not only refugees but a culture of Heroin & Kalashnikov was also entered Pakistan with these refugees. Indeed Pakistan too had to pay as much as Afghanistan was paying the price.
Just after the Soviet-Afghan war ended, Pakistan started to realize its blunders made during the war. The nine years of engagement of the Mujahideen into Afghanistan was enough to give them clue of their future. Indian held Kashmir was their next destination. The insurgency in Kashmir was not indigenous, Pakistan based militant groups are responsible for that, India claims. Specifically, they held Lashkar-e-Taiba & Jamat-ud-Dawa responsible for that. Not only this, Afghanistan also couldn’t remain peaceful as after the Soviet’s departure the Ex-Muhajideen turned to be the War Lords & waged Jihad against each other for greater influence in the Govt. & for extended territorial controls.
Pakistan, on the other hand had suffered sectarian violence with the arrival of these Mujahideen from Afghanistan as most of the groups belongs to Sunni Deobandi or Salafi school of thought. A sharp raise in killings of Shiite Muslims had been observed during 1990s & continue till date. The incident of 09/11 made the situation even more worst when, Taliban, a group of Afghan Madarasah Students who had started resistance against the Ex-Mujahideen (turned to be the war lords) & had made an interim Govt. in Kabul, retaliated against Pakistan after the later has announced its support to the U.S. Govt. in their war against terrorism.
The support to the US in its war against terrorism made Pakistan the prime target of the Taliban. A series of suicide bomb attacks have taken the lives of almost 40,000 innocent citizens. Moreover, the extremist/militant groups from the same Ex-Mujahideen of Pakistan joined Taliban in large numbers. This time not only the US interests in Pakistan, Foreign Delegates or Innocent Pakistani Civilians but Armed Forces also became their target. Attack on Pakistan Army’s GHQ, attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team, attacks on Pak Army’s check posts & convoys in Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa and FATA & attack on PAF base in Karachi are some of the examples.
While writing these lines, have received news & footages about terrorist’s attack on PAF base Kamra (Attock) just 70 km away from capital Islamabad. Whatever people say, this all is the after effects of the wrong foreign policies of the past Governments & military establishment & wrong decision of arming the incapable & sectarian-based militants that they have not only targeting the opposite sects but also have turned against our own military, defence installations & national security.
(to be continued…)