Back with the defeated narrative | By Zaheer Bhatti


Back with the defeated narrative

I stand by clearly behind my decision to withdraw from Afghanistan as our objective to get Osama Bin Laden and decimate Al-Qaeda from the region had been achieved, said American President Joe Biden while lamenting that Ashraf Ghani when advised, refused to negotiate with the Taliban and eventually fled the country instead of standing fast.

While one is inclined to partly endorse his country’s changed narrative, it is hard to understand why the US President was issuing warnings to the Afghan Taliban of consequences if any impediments were created in the withdrawal of American forces are harmed, when the Taliban who had made a solemn commitment for safe passage to the US personnel as part of their accord, were carrying out the pledge in letter and spirit.

There was no doubt that the Allied Forces and the US were themselves responsible for the recent chaos that ensued in Afghanistan, because after Pakistan’s painstaking efforts to bring the warring factions to the negotiating table which resulted in an agreement between the Taliban and the US enabling their dignified withdrawal during the Trump regime, his successor Joe Biden having served the US Administration for eight years as Vice President, continued to bombard Taliban positions in favour of its puppet regime which not only compromised US Agreement with the Taliban, but also indicated that he still nurtured the illusion that the official Afghan forces would fight it out, whereas he ought to have been aware of ground realities and crafted a peaceful transfer of power before withdrawing.

Afghan Taliban lightening advance establishing control over the country virtually without a fight, does not so much reflect their strategic prowess or military muscle, as it does the lack of will in the Afghan puppet Army to confront the righteous, the civilian disillusionment over the last two decades and a sense of relief over withdrawing occupation Allied Forces which had forcibly occupied the country on the feeble pretext of wanting a single person named Osama Bin Laden allegedly involved in its self-staged Nine Eleven.

With American and European analysts and think-tanks blaming each other but largely attributing the dramatic Taliban takeover to US miscalculation and intelligence failure in gauging their potential, one feels sorry for their jitters in not just passing the buck on to Obama, Trump and Biden for the Afghanistan disaster; conveniently ignoring mention of George Bush who was the main architect of the unwarranted assault on a battered Muslim nation which had served as cannon fodder for the big power rivalry, but also blocking Facebook tweets supporting the Afghan Taliban.

Worst still, in reverting to their beaten narrative once again with the Afghan Taliban take-over, of apprehended violations of human rights, civilian security and women’s empowerment and propagating civil war in the country, these demi-gods on earth need to be mirrored their bias and duplicity in seeing no human rights violations in killing, rape, extortion, torture, abduction and pallet gun blinding of men, women and children in the India-occupied Kashmir for over 70 years by India, illegal annexation and forced demographic alteration similar to Israeli occupation of Arab lands; in complete disregard of Security Council Resolutions granting Kashmiris the right to choose their destiny.

Contrary to western propaganda, the civilians barring a few whose sense of uncertainty and insecurity would take some time to overcome were largely welcoming the Taliban hold in Afghanistan with a sense of relief.

The fact is that only those civilians were feeling insecure and fleeing who had served the occupation forces and had some sense of guilt; such as their interpreters and informers, besides several uniformed ranks surrendering unconditionally.

The scenes of panic and storming of Kabul Airport were created by these very elements as the US installed stooge Ashraf Ghani and his associates fled the country with tons of public money and his collapsed Government also deserted duties at the airport, of which the US forces reportedly then took control.

But what followed is unforgettable and unpardonable; watching the evacuating US Air Force plane take off as if running for life, without ensuring that fearful Afghans wanting to be evacuated still clinging on the body of the aircraft were safely removed.

This resulted in the poor souls falling to die in the skies, with body parts in the landing gears revealing later that some were allowed to be grilled to death.

How does one describe this apathy, cruelty and cowardice of the self-professed sole superpower which only cared for American lives while the rest be damned? But as the Taliban moved in to establish control and normalcy fast returning, it is a shame that the Afghan Government currency reserves have been held in ransom abroad by the US declaring them frozen; which reflects very poorly on the morality of a nation championing justice and equity.

The German decision to withdraw aid to Afghanistan considering the Afghan Taliban a terrorist entity is removed from reality and shall soon have to be reversed because the Afghan Taliban waged a successful freedom struggle for liberation and vacation of their homeland by the Allied occupation forces, and it was time the world distinguished between terrorists and freedom fighters.

And whereas the UN Secretary General is seen appreciating the Taliban approach and maturity in handling the situation, BBC, CNN and Fox News have been putting out interviews with chosen Afghan women from undisclosed locations in Afghanistan and those supporting the narrative of the West living abroad; expressing premeditated fear and insecurity, besides men in uniform from the US and Britain having served in the protracted Afghan Campaign with their stories of sacrifice in a war which achieved nothing and where one of them lost his limbs stepping on an explosive mine; conveniently forgetting the tens of thousands of Afghan natives bombarded, butchered and disabled by the Allied Forces devastating their country, as if they were children of a lesser God.

In hindsight, the determined Afghan nation represented by the soldiers of God namely the Afghan Taliban have bounced back with God’s grace and caused the invaders to vacate, taken control and declared general amnesty for all while issuing a policy statement that it desired friendly relations with all particularly its immediate neighbours and would form an all-inclusive Government; women anchors and newscasters far from being prevented from work, females in all walks of life including education have been asked to resume duties without fear but in hijaab; as required in Islam.

While one has no reason to disbelieve the Afghan leadership intent, it must blunt the Western propaganda through their national and social media, and make sure that the spoilers are also prevented from creating chaos at the behest of the US, by using Afghan soil for internal strife and external interference.

Because even though the badly bruised US has partly achieved its objective of holding back Russian access to warm waters and Chinese economic inputs in the region for the last two decades through this misadventure costing it dearly, it will not let up.

—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.

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