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Archive for September, 2021

NAWAZ SHARIF TREACHERY: Exclusive interview with Noor Dahari on Israel Pakistan ties….a tale of revelations by Sumaira Khan

 

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Moral decay and Pakistani politics by Tahir Kamran

Moral decay and Pakistani politics

Tahir Kamran

March 7, 2021

ARCHIVE ARTICLE

Personal interest is symptomatic of the moral depravity that plagues Pakistan with no remedy in sight

 

 

 

 

 

A Thoughtful Look back to the Rules of Two Pathalogical Crooks Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“How oft, in nations gone corrupt, And by their own devices brought down to servitude, That man chooses bondage before liberty. Bondage with ease before strenuous liberty.”

John Milton

In the words of Judge Devlin (1905–1992), a British lawyer and jurist, “an established morality is as necessary as good government to the welfare of society. Societies disintegrate from within more frequently than they are broken up by external pressures.” Gen Douglas MacArthur once stated almost the same idea in different words, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.”

These statements have a great deal for us Pakistanis to learn from and introspect. But the bigger challenge confronting us is our thick-skinned political leaders and the people in various national institutions. How can political leaders like Zardari and the Sharifs and people like the current chief election commissioner be sensitised to the regressing moral values, evident to all sincere minds?

 

Sadly, corruption is being celebrated today as if it is a virtue. Several years ago, I had read somewhere that “So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” But to have such noble feelings one must first have a conscience. Conscience is the moral compass cultivated among citizens and their leaders ought to lead by example. In our polity, the leaders need some strenuous instruction to develop a conscience that feels good when they do good and vice versa.

The other day, Qazi Faez Isa, a judge of the Supreme Court, likened Pakistan to a gutter. After reading about his pleading in the apex court, I was quite petrified. I was reminded of a famous reference by the historian Tacitus to the spirit of his own times: “to corrupt and to be corrupted”.

How apt is this description when we see bags full of money changing hands in the run up to the Senate elections. The way the Yousaf Raza Gillani-Hafeez Shaikh contest was orchestrated is a frightful example of corrupt practices in our politics. Mr Gillani has previously been accused notoriously of stealing a necklace donated by Turkish leader Tayyab Erdogan’s wife for the flood affected. His sons have been accused of openly offering mediation to officers aspiring for lucrative positions in the government. They apparently had no qualms about taking their cut in several business deals.

And all that is just the tip of the iceberg. Despite all that Gillani and his family were accused of, Aitezaz Ahsan was all praise for the former prime minister. If it requires a special talent to detect positives in characters like Gillani’s, Mr Ahsan, undoubtedly, has it. No questions have yet been asked of the newly notified Senator-elect and former prime minister about the video showing his son with some legislators, instructing them in how to ensure that their ballots do not count.

The Election Commission is impudently reticent about it.

Mr Raja’s disregard for fairness and impartiality has become evident following his ruling on the Daska by-election. The hasty pronouncement has exposed his partisanship in favour of the opposition candidate who had lost the election. The pronouncement also reflects his sheer incompetence as head of such an important institution. The stark defiance by the Election Commission of Pakistan to the Supreme Court’s nudge on the conduct of Senate elections has shown the character the chief election commissioner and his colleagues. When such individuals acquire prominence in any polity, something is amiss. This calls for a corrective action. The rot has reached the very core and morality has been reduced to a clichéd expression with no practical manifestation in the socio-political sphere.

Moral decline begins when transcendent moral values that have proven beneficial over time are discarded in favour of other ideas that men find more conducive to achieving their desires. According to Gibbon, the root cause of Roman societal collapse was their loss of civic virtue and individual morality.

Gibbon believed that the laws of morality were as unchanging as the laws of mathematics and physics. English statesman, Edmund Burke, a colleague of Gibbon’s, is often called the father of modern conservatism. He summarised his beliefs about morality in a letter to the sheriffs of Bristol in 1777, “All who have ever written on government are unanimous that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”

Famous historian, Arnold Toynbee, has a perceptive quote from the concluding volume of his magnum opus, The Study of History, “Civilisations die from suicide, not by murder.” Nations too die from suicide and not by murder. When there is no capacity among the political leaders to distinguish between the ‘personal’ and the ‘national’, it is a clear indication that the nation is on a course that leads to suicide. Similarly, when ‘personal’ is prioritised over ‘national,’ the suicide becomes an unavoidable destiny.

What if this nation needs a sacrifice from Mr Zardari or Mr Sharif? They would, of course, offer some sacrificial lambs to save their own skin. This prioritisation of personal interest is symptomatic of the moral depravity that plagues Pakistan with no remedy in sight. That is unfortunate.

 

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Afghanistan: How America and NATO betrayed humanity by Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja

Afghanistan: How America and NATO betrayed humanity

Thomas Paine (Common Sense, 1776), one of the leading ideological architects of American Freedom noted: “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a country without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

America and NATO Lacked Sense of Rational Thinking, Practices and They Lied

For twenty long years, American led NATO occupied Afghanistan under the guise of peace, nation-building, democracy and strategic harmony.  Lacking wisdom and forbearance, America and NATO became swollen with pride and prejudice in their military power and fell into crass materialism, violence and planned destruction of Afghanistan and its political destiny. On August 16, President Biden in his speech clarified that it was not the aim of  “nation-building” or “democracy” to keep our forces in Afghanistan. He acknowledged that Afghan political leaders were responsible for the turmoil and continuing societal conflicts with massive corruption and illegitimacy of the political rule as they fled the country. American leadership and allied NATO countries blame the Taliban* for the prevalent chaos and insecurity across Afghanistan. The Western news media appears biased and unprepared to recognize the new Taliban* administration as a legitimate transformational entity for peace and stability in the region. The myth of Taliban* being an extreme “Islamist”, “militant” and sometimes a “terrorist” group is kept functional in all of the recent reporting. Do the Western news media ever describe the Bush’s invasion as “Christian Crusade” or “terrorist” occupation of Afghanistan? To revisit the formative history, the Western leaders deny any reference to the pathological lies and political deception engineered by George W. Bush when he invaded Afghanistan as part of the prolonged scheme of “war on terrorism.”  

Michel Meacher, former British Environment Minister under PM Blair (This War on Terrorism is Bogus) – provides reliable insight into the real reasons for the ‘War on Terrorism’. He claims that the “war on terror” is flatly superficial:

“The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination … the so-called ‘war on terrorism’ is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives … in fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before 9/11.” 

According to David Corn (Is the President a Pathological Liar?  12/2003; and the Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception, 2003), Bush lied and misled the American masses about the real reasoning for the invasion of Afghanistan. Recall that it was Al-Qaeda* (the US sponsored and trained group) blamed by Bush for the 9/11 attack, not Taliban*. Afghanistan under Taliban government in 2003 had no military-political capacity to threaten America or its security in any rational context. When nations and leaders live in darkness – away from truth, they seem to lose any rational sense of direction and imagination. This happened to America and NATO under its control. No wonder, why America and NATO are fearful of the futuristic unthinkable consequences if truth is revealed to the global mankind.  They invaded Afghanistan without any justification, dismantled its culture and values and tortured innocent civilians and political enemies – the Bagram Airbase tells that all. 

The Talibs are the people of Afghanistan and are a political organization within the geo-political culture of Afghanistan. The Taliban* takeover of Afghanistan was politically motivated after some twenty years of struggle for power. If Talibs are dressed in their own national costumes, speak their own language and adhere to Islamic thoughts and values, it does not make them terrorist or Islamists. In all perceptive eyes and rational analysis, Taliban* is a political party, not a “terrorist” entity or an extremist “Islamists” as some Western media suggest to its public viewers.  If they were terrorist or extremists, why would America and NATO and others in international community engage them in peacemaking conferences and forging relationships over the decades?  In its pursuit of unbridled ambitions and global hegemonic power, America and its allies enjoin wrong thinking, wrong aims and do the wrong things as it happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere. 

Glenn Greenwald, a prominent American journalist and lawyer (The US Government Lied for Two Decades about Afghanistan, Information Clearing House: 8/16/2021) makes the startling remarks:

The pattern of lying was virtually identical throughout several administrations when it came to Afghanistan. In 2019, The Washington Post — obviously with a nod to the Pentagon Papers — published a report about secret documents it dubbed The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war. Under the headline AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH, The Post summarized its findings:……Year after year, U.S. generals have said in public they are making steady progress on the central plank of their strategy: to train a robust Afghan army and national police force that can defend the country without foreign help.

In the Lessons Learned interviews, however, U.S. military trainers described the Afghan security forces as incompetent, unmotivated and rife with deserters. They also accused Afghan commanders of pocketing salaries — paid by U.S. taxpayers — for tens of thousands of “ghost soldiers.” None expressed confidence that the Afghan army and police could ever fend off, much less defeat, the Taliban* on their own.

Towards Making Peaceful Future of Afghanistan under Taliban*

Taliban* has just been in Kabul for two days, and one should not expect miracles out of a systematically and politically destroyed country under NATO and American occupation for 20 years. Surely, Taliban* governance would urgently need rethinking and planning for socio-economic and political change and stability across Afghanistan. They were alleged to have mistreated women, children and other minorities in the past. Taliban* would need people of new ideas, proactive vision and planned change to avert the dark imagery of the past. Under President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, country was entrenched in mismanagement and corruption and democracy was just a ghost of the unknown. The chaos at Kabul airport is a glimpse what went wrong under the foreign occupation and exploitation. Taliban* appear to be in control of the whole of Afghanistan and will need planned efforts and a wide range of reconciliation efforts to settle-in for viable political governance. One cannot imagine law and order to come out of nowhere in a highly chaotic situation ordained by America and NATO’s absurdity and contradictions for a long time. 

Caitline Johnstone (Stop Believing that US Military Invasions had Noble Intentions, Information Clearing House: 8/16/2021) makes us believe that:  

If the US had a free press and was anything like a democracy, the government wouldn’t be getting away with squandering thousands of lives and trillions of dollars on a twenty-year war which accomplished literally nothing besides making assholes obscenely wealthy.

Thousands of human lives. Trillions of dollars. If western mass media were anything remotely resembling what they purport to be, they would be making sure the public understands how badly their government just f****d them. Instead it’s just “Oh no, those poor Afghan women.”… I am once again asking you to stop believing US military invasions have noble intentions.

War apologists talk about “doing nothing” like that’s somehow worse than creating mountains of human corpses for They had twenty years to build a stable nation in Afghanistan. Twenty years. If you believe that’s what they were really trying to do there, or that results would be any different if you gave them twenty more, you’re a fucking moron. 

America and its belligerent allies have caused havoc humanitarian, social, economic and political conditions in Afghanistan. The war and its consequences will not end with the US sudden withdrawal but will leave imprints for generations to come – the innocent men, women and children massacred and human habitats destroyed. Should America and its allies not be held accountable by the Afghan people for all the war damages?  Please see: America led-NATO forces in Afghanistan: Crimes against humanity call for accountability. Also see by Mahboob A. Khawaja – How the United States and Britain Lost the Bogus Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Would the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague initiate actions to hold the US-British and others NATO members responsible for the war damages and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq?
  • Who would patch the wounds of torture and cold blood murdered committed at Bagram prison and Guantanamo Bay?  
  • Americans strategic psyche is desperate to be seen as a winner, not loser in Afghanistan. Would Taliban* allow the American–NATO military plans to disrupt the future of nation-rebuilding and political stability?
  • If America’s egoism turns into cancer to consume both gimmicks, where would the wounds and warriors be buried with honor – would it be the bombed graveyards of Afghanistan or the new secret sites in America?  
  • More often wars have ended on their own after exhaustion and unworthy cause with or without political dialogues to make the roadmaps for the future. Would peace and reconciliation with Taliban usher a new era for a different kind of future and co-existence to all concerned?

If mankind was looking towards ethical principles and some rational consideration to be in peace and harmony after the dreadful warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan and drone killings in Pakistan, it is utterly dismayed with the US politicians and policy makers. Time and again, they appear to be devoid of reason and any sense of humanity and accountability for their belligerent acts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Global politics is not a system of moral principles or intellectual and political values but often an absurd game – a cruel drama – a puppet show staged to appease the few bloody Draculas – a psychopath puzzle of few insane people who had nothing useful to contribute to the mankind except drudgery, deceit, lies and inborn deceptions – the net outcome of this Thinking was the bogus War on Terrorism.   It is unclear what is in-waiting for the US and NATO after shamefully leaving Afghanistan without any formal agreement or surrender to the new political realties in Kabul.

History is a weapon and tyranny is tyranny, noted late historian Howard Zinn. American intransigence in Afghanistan will not be a new exciting story in history books.


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The USA’s iniquities & failures

The USA’s iniquities & failures

Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan’s history of the US sanctions

Pakistan was touted as the most allied ally of the US but practically it was not since it was the most sanctioned country. The US unjustly imposed sanctions on Pakistan during the 1965 war with India and the 1971 crisis in East Pakistan. In early 1979, the US President Jimmy Carter imposed sanctions on Pakistan suspecting that it was secretly developing a nuclear weapon. Sanctions were removed by Ronald Reagan in June 1981 after he decided to support the holy war against the Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan. He doled out a hefty package of $ 3.5 billion to the military regime of Gen Ziaul Haq and also ignored Pakistan’s manufacture of the bomb in the basement. From 1990 till Sept 2001 Pakistan was once again sanctioned by the US on the plea that it was building an Islamic bomb. Another set of sanctions were levied in May 1998 after Pakistan’s tit-for-tat response to India’s nuclear tests.  

Marriage of convenience

After 9/11, the US befriended Pakistan, lifted the sanctions and promised military and economic assistance in order to achieve its short term objective of occupying Afghanistan. In actuality, it was a marriage of convenience since Pakistan was marked as a target by a host of countries – USA, Israel, India, NATO, and the puppet regime in Kabul. Their six intelligence agencies – CIA, Mossad, RAW, MI-6, BND and NDS sat under one roof in Kabul and hatched conspiracies to make Pakistan a compliant state. RAW assisted by the NDS pioneered the proxy war to destabilize Pakistan. A large number of proxies from within Pakistan were cultivated, moles planted, a large number of NGOs and think tanks deployed and Pakistani media purchased to wage a hybrid war.

Appeasement

The predators succeeded in bleeding Pakistan due to defensive policy and apologetic stance of our leaders. They had to extend a hand of friendship to India and the two US installed regimes in Kabul, highly antipathetic to Pakistan, and involved in biggest covert war ever launched against any country.

Pakistan made no change in its external policy even after the evil designs of the enemies disguised as friends were exposed. Our leaders kept doing more till as late as mid-2017.

Pakistan Army & ISI’s accomplishments

Irrespective of the moral failings of our political leaders, the Pak Army and the ISI safeguarded the integrity and sovereignty of the country superbly. Not only were the conspiracies of six hostile agencies blunted effectively by the ISI, tens of hundreds of attacks were thwarted before they could be executed. All the foreign paid proxies were flushed out of former FATA in 2015. Cleansing of their sleeping cells, handlers and facilitators is going on through Raddul Fasad. There was a time when 3 to 6 terror attacks took place in one day, but now the scale has been reduced substantially.

Another feat which Pakistan has achieved is the erection of double-layer fence along the 2611 km western border to checkmate illegal infiltration. The fence has been beefed up with tower watches, fortified posts at regular intervals, patrolling and effective border management. Its usefulness was seen in the current testing times when the possibility of another influx of Afghan refugees had become a probability.   

The USA’s iniquities

After 9/11, the US listed the freedom movements by the Muslims, and the so-called radical groups in the Muslim countries in the loop of new laws on terrorism and abetment to terrorism but excluded non-Muslims without giving any logical reason. In fact the word terrorism coined by the US was never defined, but any country/group/individual not falling in line was blacklisted.

After forcing Pakistan to cut off relations with Mullah Omar led Taliban regime in Sept 2001, and to provide military bases for invading and occupying Afghanistan, Pakistan was deceitfully made a coalition partner of the US-NATO to fight the Global War on Terror as a frontline State. The real motive was to weaken Pakistan so that its nuclear teeth could be extracted.

India didn’t join the club of 48 countries to curb terrorism in Afghanistan, and yet the US chose to make it the central actor in Afghanistan with which it didn’t share boundary, culture or religion. It was given importance since it was willing to undermine Pakistan through terrorism from the Afghan soil.

Pakistan was wrongfully accused, affronted and punished for its uncommitted crimes, but India against whom Pakistan provided tons of concrete evidence of cross border terrorism was never advised or admonished to refrain from immoral practices. Instead, it was richly rewarded for its committed crimes.

Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani (AG) regimes in Kabul, and the NDS were partners in crimes and were also heaped with endowments.

Throughout the 20-year war, the US hypocritically pretended to be a friend, but distrusted Pakistan and branded it as a double-dealer, not realizing that the US couldn’t have waged the longest war without the two NATO supply routes from Torkham and Chaman.   

Washington kept up the pressure on Islamabad by making it ‘Do More’ and never got satisfied, and felt no remorse in levelling unsubstantiated allegations of Pakistan’s complicity with the anti-US terrorist groups.

Pakistan was the only country which defeated terrorism on its soil but suffered the most at the hands of proxies funded, trained and equipped by RAW-NDS and mothered by CIA.

In 2017, when Pakistan said it will not do any more and it was time for others to do more, the swords of the IMF and the FATF were hung over its head and it was once again forced to do more.

India has been violating the FATF rules regarding money laundering, financial terrorism, state terrorism against own minorities as well as against Pakistan at a huge scale. It should have been blacklisted, but it remains white while Pakistan remains in the grey list since 2018 despite meeting 26 of its 27 demands.

India’s defence minister Jaishankar unashamedly disclosed that India was instrumental in keeping Pakistan in the grey list of the FATF. His disclosure proved that the FATF is a politically motivated compromised outfit misused by India and the US.   

India is among the top three countries including the US and Brazil with heaviest Corona infected and death cases while Pakistan’s efforts in keeping the 1st and 2nd waves of Covid-19 in check was praised by the world bodies. Yet the UK put Pakistan in the ‘Red’ list and India was excluded.

The US dismal failures

It was owing to the wicked designs and duplicitous standards of morality practiced by the USA that it lost respect, prestige and honor and suffered a financial loss of $ 2.3 trillion dollars without achieving any of its objectives in Afghanistan. $85 billion worth sophisticated weapons & defence equipment was left behind for use by the Taliban, while five top US defence contractors made huge profits and are the winners.

Except for cosmetic improvements, Afghanistan today is worse than what it was in 2001. Had there been an improvement, the Taliban couldn’t have made a comeback.   

The US couldn’t stop the Afghan Taliban from entering Kabul on August 15, 2021 and its forces had to exit in haste by Aug 31 since the Taliban had the support of the people.

Al-Qaeda was one entity in 2001, and now it has six factions and has a global agenda of change.

The US couldn’t contain the phenomenal economic growth of China, now well-poised to fill the power vacuum in Afghanistan.  

The US failed to checkmate the resurgence of Russia, or to tame Iran.

In concert with India, the US intended to denuclearize and balkanize Pakistan into four parts, but couldn’t and today Pakistan is militarily much stronger and vibrant.

In violation of the Doha agreement, the US air force provided air support to the beleaguered ANA after the deadline of May 1. When nothing could be achieved, the US tried to stir chaos at the Kabul airport which remained under its control till Aug 31. 

The Taliban on the other hand abided by the Doha agreement, and didn’t strike any target of the foreign troops. Even then, the US slyly held them responsible for the violence and the western media demonized them by circulating fake stories.

Instead of pulling the ears of string-puppet AG to resign and pave the way for an interim setup, the US pressured Pakistan to force the victorious Taliban to accept the unpopular AG as the president and share power.

Rather than being thankful to the Taliban for letting the bulk of the troops exit safely, the US tried to deny the fruits of victory to them.

Liabilities

India proved to be a liability for the USA since it could neither contain China’s growth as an economic power, nor it could face its military power in the clash in the Himalayas, or could suppress freedom movement in J&K.

Likewise, it couldn’t destabilize Pakistan, or help the US and the ANA in combating the surging Taliban. It hastily dismantled its terror infrastructure and consulates in Afghanistan where it has now become an outcast and it’s over $20 billion projects are in jeopardy.

The 300,000 strong well-trained, well-equipped, well-paid and well-fed ANDSF on whom the US had spent $ 1.3 trillion proved to be a big liability for the US. The huge force opposing rag-tag 70,000 foot soldiers collapsed like a house of cards in the face of the lightning offensive of the Taliban.

After Kabul was surrounded by the Taliban fighters on Aug 14, AG fled to UAE on the afternoon of Aug 15 and the ANA bolted. The Taliban fighters had to step in peacefully to fill up the administrative and security vacuums.

Amrullah Saleh and Ahmed Zia Massoud based in the tiny enclave of Panjsher claiming to lead the resistance movement, are possibly backed by external powers. The so-called movement would soon fizzle out due to unfavorable circumstances.    

Inconsistent stances

The whole world including Pakistan had stood behind the US in Oct 2001 to decimate Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. No stone was left unturned to implement the military strategy based on brute force. No eyebrow was raised over the massive use of tomahawk cruise missiles, B-52 stealth bombers, daisy cutters killing mostly the civilians.

No objections were made on granting immunity to the invaders and opening of torture dens including ghastly Guantanamo Bay or the savagery of Northern Alliance warlords inflicted upon the captives.

The world and the UN vehemently opposed the Iraqi adventure in March 2003, but the US paid no heed and destroyed Iraq and that too on fake charges. No complaints were made over the instigation of sectarian war in Iraq and later stretching the war to Libya, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan. None has been made accountable for destroying eight Muslim countries and killing 11 million Muslims and displacing millions.      

Once the Taliban encircled Kabul on Aug 14 after capturing all the provincial capitals, the victorious Taliban paid heed to the counsels and neither captured Kabul forcibly, nor they showed inclinations to form an exclusive regime in disregard of the sentiments of the international community and multiple Afghan ethnic minorities. They pardoned all and sundry and there is no talk of trial and punishment.

Despite their changed outlook and humane demeanor, they were repeatedly counselled to refrain from violence, opt for peaceful transfer of power, and not to violate human and women rights. Urban Afghans who had served the occupiers loyally were invited to reach Kabul airport for their safe passage to the USA. Cloak of a saint was worn by the Satan to minimize the negative impact of disgrace it suffered, but this drama also boomeranged on account of a suicide attack by Daesh-K on Aug 25 causing deaths to 175 Afghans and 13 US  Marines.  

Tongue-in-cheek

Finding that the whirlwind offensive of the Taliban was unstoppable and soon they would reach the gates of Kabul, the US with tongue-in-cheek warned them to resolve the tangle politically and not through use of force, and that forcible capture of Kabul or takeover of power will be unacceptable to the international community. The latter (less Russia, China and Iran), hastened to join the rock band of hypocrites.   

While counselling them not to resort to violent practices, and not to re-establish Islamic Emirate by force, the US forgot that the Taliban regime was forcibly toppled in 2001, a puppet regime installed through sham election, an alien constitution imposed, the occupied country was ruled with an iron hand under the barrel of the gun and human rights, international laws were grossly violated and the ISAF soldiers given a license to kill, maim and torture without accountability. They also ignored that whichever region captured by the Taliban was free from reprisals and crimes, and on Aug 16 general amnesty was announced. 

In the backdrop of differing responses of the USA and the Taliban at the height of their glory, the US led west is still branded as civilized and champions of human rights, and the Taliban uncivilized, uncouth and barbarians. In spite of their positive soundbites, Taliban haters say it is too early to draw conclusions.

End of longest war

America’s longest war was officially terminated by the US CentCom Commander Gen Mckenzie on Aug 30. Since Aug 14, 2021, 123,000 people including 6000 Americans were airlifted from Kabul airport. After the departure of the last batch of occupation forces, the Afghans enthusiastically celebrated the independence of their country.

Ironically, the last group of the 8000 US-NATO troops and American nationals airlifted on Aug 30 had to seek a night transit in Islamabad, the most distrusted and abhorred country, instead of the most favored India or any of its airbases in the Arab Gulf States.

The Taliban took control of the security of Kabul airport on the night of Aug 31 and in the next 2-3 days they are expected to set up an inclusive government.  

Takeover of power by the Taliban in Kabul will augur well for the Af-Pak region. Pakistan is looking forward to a safe western border.     

Will lessons be learnt?

Will the USA learn lessons after the great debacle, or its Military Industrial Complex would continue to resort to military adventures in search of greater profits? In my reckoning, until and unless the ones involved in war crimes are put on trial before the ICC and punished, imperialism will not die down in the USA; nor its habit of retributions and interventionism. The Taliban’s $ 9.5 billion in the US central bank remains frozen; amounts required to be released by the World Bank and the IMF for various projects are suspended; hints of sanctions given if the Taliban refuse to cooperate. Daesh-K created in 2015 will possibly be supported by CIA-RAW as can be deciphered from Gen McKenzie statement: “I believe the Taliban are going to have their hands full with Daesh-K”.   

Will the Taliban learn lessons from their mistakes committed during their first tenure from 1996 to 2001 during which they were isolated by the international community and put under sanctions due to their obscurantism and radical behavior, and then toppled, chased and persecuted for two decades? Chances are that they will stand by their commitments by presenting themselves as reformed Taliban, wishing to make the war torn country peaceful and prosperous.

Unlike the past, this time both the Taliban and Iran are moving on the path of conciliation, accommodation and cooperation.  

India will neither learn lessons nor will change its deceitful and injurious posture towards Pakistan and will find new ways to harm its archrival.         

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS & Think Tank. asifharoonraja@gmail.com    

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