Pakistan is working with Afghanistan for Talib prisoner release. The ANA (Afghan National Army) is in massive disarray. The ANA has been infiltrated. Another incident has been reported where an ANA soldier fired upon his superiors. It is a revolving door with Talibs working as ANS soldier during the day and Talibs at night.
The last time around, Islamabad took Washington at its word. During the 80s, the Pakistanis and 52 other countries fought the Soviets. However right after the Soviet withdrawal, during the victory celebrations, President Bush imposed dilapidating sanctions on Pakistan which froze the delivery for the already paid for F-16s. To make matters worse, General Dynamics would send a monthly bill to Islamabad for storage charges. Pakistan never got the planes nor the $450 million it had paid for them.
“disengagement from Pakistan and Afghanistan after the Soviet retreat in 1989 ultimately gave al-Qaeda the space to plan the 9/11 attacks.” Ryan Crocker–former ambassador to Pakistan
In 1992, anti-Soviet mujahedin fighters – some of whom now are members of the Taliban – toppled the puppet Communist government of President Najibullah and took Kabul.
This time around when Washington loses interest in Afghanistan, the Pakistanis are ready for the consequences. The last time around, Bharat (aka India) was able to forge an alliance with Iran and Russia and attempted to thwart the liberation of Afghanistan. This time around, Pakistan has already taken the Iranians in confidence and have a tactic understanding with Russia. This time around, the Chinese have a huge stake in a stable Afghanistan. Pakistan has been working with China on the future shape of Central Asia and peace in Pakistan.
The current Afghan conflict will not be a repeat of history. There will be some kind of power sharing with at least some segments of the anti-occupation insurgents. That process has already begun with the Karzai government pursuing reconciliation with some Afghan Taliban elements.
But the Taliban has already been setting up local administration in areas where the central government has no power and where there is no significant challenge from international forces.
Larry Goodson says today’s Taliban has a more long-term outlook than the first-generation Taliban that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
“Think back to the early Taliban,” he said. “They were the worst governors in the world. They couldn’t do anything. They didn’t want to do anything. They didn’t care. Now all of a sudden you’ve got guys out there trying to actually fill a gap that has been there because of the bad performance of the Karzai government.”VOA
Mr. Kaplan in a recent article published in Foreign Policy magazine says “To the extent that one area was the ganglion of this Muslim civilization, it was today’s Pakistan. Fertile Punjab, which straddles the Pakistan-India frontier, “linked the Mughal empire, through commercial, cultural and ethnic intercourse, with Persia and Central Asia,” writes University of Chicago historian Muzaffar Alam.”
The self-hating Pakistani and vitriolic Islamabadphobe who has sold his soul for a penny, Ahmed Rashid says the following. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s misguided handling of Pakistan over the past year has only convinced Pakistani hardliners that they were right. In their eyes, Washington’s provocative cozying up to New Delhi, the peace talks it started with the Taliban without including Pakistan, and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan it planned without adequate consultations with Islamabad have all served notice that America’s hostility toward Pakistan is unrelenting. They believe it’s the Americans who have got it all wrong and now face a military debacle in Afghanistan. The irony is that Pakistan has always wanted a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and a U.S.-Taliban dialogue it could dominate.”
Mr Kaplan puts brings out historical facts to define the reality of Pakistan. “What we know as modern-day Pakistan is far from an artificial entity; it is just the latest of the many spatial arrangements for states on the subcontinent. The map of the Harappan civilization, a complex network of centrally controlled chieftaincies in the late fourth to mid-second millennium B.C., was one of its earliest predecessors. The Harappan world stretched from Baluchistan northeast up to Kashmir and southeast down almost to both Delhi and Mumbai, nearly touching present-day Iran and Afghanistan and extending into both northwestern and western India. It was a complex geography of settlement that adhered to landscapes capable of supporting irrigation, and whose heartland was today’s Pakistan.”
In a telling story in the Times of India, a former US Ambassador is reciting the stories he was told by his masters in Delhi.
- The current counter-insurgency is not working, he says, because the Taliban don’t see why they should negotiate peace when they haven’t been defeated on the ground. The US, he suggests, will have to reconcile to the fact that the Taliban will control southern Afghanistan. They should be allowed to do so.
- “After years of faulty US policy toward Afghanistan, there are no quick, easy and cost-free ways to escape the current deadly quagmire. But, with all its problems, de facto partition offers the best available US alternative to strategic defeat,” Blackwill argues in an article in `Politico’.
- Having let the Taliban control southern Afghanistan, the US, he says, should “then focus on defending the north and west regions — roughly 60% of the population. These areas, including Kabul, are not Pashtun-dominated and locals are largely sympathetic to US efforts”.
Islamabad is carefully watching what is happening in Kabul. Pakistanis are also joining the ANA for training, arms and access to technology and information! There is no way to screen them out.
Mr. Kaplan further describes Pakistan’s role in history “Later on, throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern era, Muslim invaders from the west grafted India to the greater Middle East, with the Indus River valley functioning as the core of all these interactions, as close to the Middle East and Central Asia as it is to the Ganges River valley. Under the Delhi-based Mughal dynasty, which ruled from the early 1500s to 1720, central Afghanistan to northern India was all part of one polity, with Pakistan occupying the territorial heartland.
That old reality is also a narration of the current state of affairs. Kaplan says “Rather than a fake modern creation, Pakistan is the very geographical and national embodiment of all the Muslim invasions that have swept down into India throughout its history, even as Pakistan’s southwest is the subcontinental region first occupied by Muslim Arabs invading from the Middle East. The Indus, much more than the Ganges, has always had an organic relationship with the Arab, Persian, and Turkic worlds. It is historically and geographically appropriate that the Indus Valley civilization, long ago a satrapy of Achaemenid Persia and the forward bastion of Alexander the Great’s Near Eastern empire, today is deeply enmeshed with political currents swirling through the Middle East, of which Islamic extremism forms a major element. This is not determinism but merely the recognition of an obvious pattern.”
But it would not mean that the US would completely exit. Instead, “we would then make it clear that we would rely heavily on US air power and special forces to target any al-Qaida base in Afghanistan, as well as Afghan Taliban leaders who aided them. We would also target Afghan Taliban encroachments across the de facto partition lines and terrorist sanctuaries along the Pakistan border.”
- The US would work to secure the north and west and Kabul, which has considerably less Taliban presence or influence. “This might mean a long-time residual US military force in Afghanistan of about 40,000 to 50,000 troops. We would enlist Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and supportive Pashtuns in this endeavour, as well as our NATO allies, Russia, India, Iran, perhaps China, Central Asian nations and, hopefully, the UN Security Council.”
- The US, he says, would retain the freedom to strike at even civilian Taliban leaders in southern Afghanistan.
- The arrangement, he says, would make Pakistan unhappy, but a “Pakistan would likely oppose de facto partition. Managing Islamabad’s reaction would be no easy task — not least because the Pakistan military expects a strategic gain once the US military withdraws from Afghanistan.“
The oldest state in South Asia is not South Asia is Pakistan, called differently under different names. See what Kaplan says.”The more one reads this history, the more it becomes apparent that the Indian subcontinent has two principal geographical regions: the Indus Valley with its tributaries, and the Ganges Valley with its tributaries. Pakistani scholar Aitzaz Ahsan identifies the actual geographical fissure within the subcontinent as the “Gurdaspur-Kathiawar salient,” a line running from eastern Punjab southwest to the Arabian Sea in Gujarat. This is the watershed, and it matches up almost perfectly with the Pakistan-India border. Nearly all the Indus tributaries fall to the west of this line, and all the Ganges tributaries fall to the east.”
The Bharati plan is to start the ethnic civil war in Afghanistan and prevent peace. Delhi wants a “de facto” partition of Afghanistan along ethnic lines. In Bharat’s calculations, the Tajiks and the Uzbeks along with the Hazaras owe their fielty to the Northern Alliance and Delhi is forging ahead with plans to drive a wedge between the Afghans. This time around, the Pakistanis have reached deep into the Amu Darya area and all Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras will not support the Northern Alliance.