President Karzaiís frustration
A failed leader, President Hamid Karzai is criticizing even his backers out of frustration, as according to the Afghan constitution he cannot run for the third term as president. He of course wants his nominee to get elected as the next Afghan President so that he continues to enjoy power. During a news conference in Kabul the other day he said that the United States was playing a double game in his country by fighting the war in Afghan villages rather than going after those in Pakistan who support insurgents.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta lashed back at President Karzai saying that the Afghan leader should have been grateful rather than being critical of the US. President Karzai has also often accused Pakistan of supporting and ensconcing Taliban leadership, and tried to instigate the US to take the war to Pakistanís FATA region. On 12th March 2011 also, during his visit to families of civilians killed in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar province, President Karzai had ďurged foreign troops to get out of Afghanistan and take their fight across the border in PakistanĒ.
One of the reasons for his frustration at that time was that the US and Britain had warned that they would stop aid to Afghanistan if corruption was not rooted out. He never felt qualms for using vitriolic against Pakistan - the country that gave sacrifices during Afghan jihad, and once again suffered in men and treasure when it joined the war on terror. His invective is an effort to deflect the monumental collapses, foibles and failures of the NATO and Afghan forces.
Religiously, he is given to the belief that for Afghanistan Pakistan must invariably be demonised and punished while others be rewarded. Disregarding Pakistanís security concerns, he signed strategic pact with India and also the US. For Pakistan, he says it has to fulfill certain preconditions to get such deal. The conditions are: terrorism is stopped, extremism is dismantled and anti-Afghan activities are stopped including infiltration of terrorists and suicide bombers into his country.
In fact he owes an explanation for ensconcing Pakistani fugitive militants like Fazlullah and Faqir Mohammad along with their hundreds of their brigands in the neigbouring Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Afghan government and the occupiers claim that they control major part of Afghanistan, then who in Afghanistan tasks these proxies to cross over into Pakistan and attack the border posts and villages.
It is common knowledge that Pakistan has suffered from the horrific gun culture, drugs, rabid religious extremism and no less than four million Afghan refugees during so-called Afghan jihad. Later, by joining the war on terror Pakistan has borne the brunt of militancy, terrorism and insurgency, much of it foreign-fuelled with its wellsprings lying right inside Afghanistan. Pakistanis have suffered enough and they are not bothered if Pakistan government and Afghanistan sign or do not sign strategic pact.
Instead, people of Pakistan want of President Karzai to stop diatribe against Pakistan, to ask India not use its consulates in Afghanistan to destabilize Balochistan, and take back nearly two millions of Afghan refugees still staying put in Pakistan. They have long overstayed and a burden have they become on this nationís economy, infrastructure and businesses.
The United Nations should arrange repatriation of these refugees before the NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Despite all these sacrifices, Afghan government and the occupiers consider Pakistan as a problem. In fact, not only President Karzai but America is also ungrateful in not acknowledging Pakistanís sacrifices.
In fact, the present mess has been the result of the wrong planning by the US experts right from the day one, as they had relied more on air power rather than putting enough boots on the ground.
Whatever American and allied force that had descended on Afghanistan stayed put in Kabul for years. It was only after the tide of insurgency began touching new heights that NATO-led forces were spread out to the south and the east. At the same time, international community had been found wanting in delivering on its promises to the post-Taliban Afghanistan.
The UN had failed to disarm militias and the country remained awash with illegal weapons. The scrappy police Germans had raised was ineffective, and the judiciary Italians cobbled up was notorious for corruption. And the British who had undertaken to rid the country of poppy and drugs had been a complete failure.
The UN drug watchdog has more than once said that country has broken its own record in opium production during the last couple of years. President Karzaiís American backers had started blaming him that he had been less assertive in dealing with the warlords having a finger in the drug pie.
Another blunder by the occupiers and of course President Karzai was that majority Pakhtoons were kept out of the administration. Pakhtoons in general had been expressing concern that they were not adequately represented even in the previous cabinet.
They had recruited Tajiks, Uzbeks and mostly other non-Pakhtoons in the police and Afghan force, because Northern Alliance had helped them in overthrowing the Taliban in 2001 following the September 11 attacks on the US. But Hamid Karzai an elected president and himself an ethnic Pakhtoons should have held serious talks to bring Pakhtoons - the majority of the population - on board.
The President was in a better position to negotiate with moderate Taliban for integrating them into the system but he could not convince the US and other allies that military option is not the viable option to achieve positive results.
Pakistan has always helped Afghanistan in the past, be it invasion by former Soviet invasion, matter of accommodating millions of refugees or taking the terrorists head on. Had Pakistan not arrested leaders of Al Qaeda and Taliban, American and NATO forces would have suffered unprecedented losses of their personnel.