General Mirza Aslam Beg (Former COAS, Pakistan)
The geo-historical compulsions of the region suggest that national security interests of Pakistan and Afghanistan are interlinked. Pakistan itself is the cradle of Indus civilization, shares common borders with four great civilizations of the world, namely: Central Asian, Persian, Indian and the Chinese. A unique privilege for Pakistan indeed. With Afghanistan in the North as the ‘Asian Pivot’ of geo-strategic changes in the region, demands a clear understanding of this phenomenon, while analyzing the consequences of 35 years of wars in Afghanistan. We therefore must know the TRUTH about the national ethos of the Afghans, the catalyst for the emerging changes in the region.
Allama Iqbal, the poet of the East, suggested to the enemies of Afghanistan, through the Satanic wiliness, that, to defeat the Afghans, the enemy must know that:
وہ فاقھ کش کھ موت سے ڈرتا نھیں ذرا روح محمد اس کے بدن سے نکال دو
افغانیون کی غیرت دیں کا ھےیھ علاج ملا کو اس کے کوہ و دمن سے نکال دو
“You cannot defeat the Afghans by starving them to death, unless you take-out the love of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) from their hearts. You cannot defeat them either, unless you take out from their hearts, their abiding faith in Deen-e-Islam and remove their Sages from their abodes in the mountains.”
The world is a witness to the 35 years of wars of the two super powers, who tried their best to break the will of the Afghans, but failed. The Soviets retreated, accepting defeat. The Americans and the allies now stand defeated, but lack the moral courage to accept defeat and are engaged in conspiracies, to cover the shame of defeat, while Mullah Omar has declared: “You stand defeated. Exit now, so that in a free environment, we take charge to form a broad-based government acceptable to all the Afghans.” Afghanistan will soon be free, because, Taliban have gained control over 90% of Afghan territory where Islamic law already prevails.
There are forty two recorded invasions into the sub-continent from the north, which determine “the movement of history,” in our region. In most cases Afghans provided the space for marshalling the invading armies. The Afghan and the central Asian youth, particularly the Taliban from Madrassas either fought against them or joined them, to move south and establish their reign, over the Indian territories. For example our forefathers from Ferghana Valley, Uzbekistan, joined Emperor Zaheer uddin Babar, who established his rule over Afghanistan first and then moved down south into the sub-continent, to establish the Moghal empire in India, which lasted for over two and a half centuries. One of our elders, Mirza Muslim Beg holding ‘yek-hazari’ rank was assigned security duties, close to Azamgarh city of UP, India. Our relations are still residing in that enclave.
Thus Taliban are the catalysts, determining the ‘movement of history.’ In recent times, in a short period of three decades, they have humbled two super powers and the European Union, a regional power. The Soviets accepted their defeat and exited, but the Americans lack the grace to acknowledge defeat and are unwilling to grant victory to the winners – the Taliban, the right to establish the peace paradigm. Thus the “law of the nature” has been violated, creating a complex situation, similar to the one created in Iraq. It needs to be corrected, on priority.
The bitter struggle for freedom, which Afghans have waged for over three decades, has turned into a Resistance Movement of the Muslims, with its epi-centre, along the Durand Line, inhabited by the Pakhtuns, with 60% of them residing in Pakistan. The Pakhtuns, thus extend from Karachi to the Hindukush into Afghanistan, establishing “the tyranny of the majority,” causing such dread to the occupation forces. Quaid-e-Azam acknowledged this reality and assigned the responsibility to the tribals to defend the frontiers. It is the Pakhtun majority of Pakistan, whose support has been vital and mandatory for the rulers at Kabul. As of now, the imposed rulers at Kabul since the 1970s, have been the cause of such bitter fighting by the Pakhtuns. President Ashraf Ghani, has no such mandate.
The Taliban have gained control over 90% of Afghan territory and their law prevails. By the end of this year, as the Americans leave, retaining presence at some air bases and the Afghan army of over 300,000, raised and trained by them, does not have the courage to stand-up to Taliban assaults. “In fact, like the Iraqi National Army, the ANA would fall like the autumn leafs” – American Green Beret, General Robert Seals. The shame of defeat has forced the Americans to prop-up the new government under President Ashraf Ghani, who visited Pakistan recently and General Raheel Shareef now is in Washington, to explore the possibilities of peace in Afghanistan, which is possible, if the peace-seekers approach the problem with an open mind, respecting the “law of the nature”, i.e., “to grant the right to the winners, to determine the peace parameters.” This rule was violated in Afghanistan in 1990 and in Iraq in 2012, which has resulted into the rise of the ISIS (Dāesh) in Iraq and the world appears helpless in dealing with them.
Peace in Afghanistan is vital for Pakistan, as its armed forces are deployed against the Taliban and along the borders and that much less we have for our defenses on the Eastern front. This is a weakness, India may exploit. Therefore, the earlier Pakistan reverts to Quid-e-Azam’s logic and pull-out troops to regain balance in the South, the better it would be. In search of peace in Afghanistan there is no room for complacency, as it would be fatal not to follow “the law of the nature”, which may result into a chaotic situation, as in Iraq, with forces like Dāesh getting unleashed in Afghanistan also, to carry the ‘historic movement’ to the South. Historically, such movements, once having crossed river Indus, could stop only at ‘Pani-Pat’, to fight the decisive battle. In the retrospective, the national security interests of Afghanistan-Pakistan and India get merged into one single thought, that is, a peaceful Afghanistan, the guarantee for peace in the entire region.
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