IN Afghan war of 1845, sixteen thousand men strong British Army suffered complete annihilation at the hands of brave Afghans on Afghan Soil with only one survivor – A doctor by profession. He was given this new lease of life only to enable him to tell the tale of their death and destruction to their Masters – the British Crown – which he did.
The lesson learnt by British Raj was that “Never to indulge in any kind of such venture again”. This makes us understand the plight of US Army in Afghanistan. In the Afghan rugged territory the mighty US Forces have failed to make any significant impact and their casualties have run into thousands. US wants a safe and honorable or at least face saving retreat from Afghanistan. In this, Pakistan alone can help it achieve this aim. India can be of no consequence at all. The mutual bonds of trust and honor built over the years by General Zia ul Haq with the Afghan Mujahidin are too strong and deep to be disturbed by Indian handiworks. The religious bonds unite the two sides. Indian intentions and efforts cannot weaken this bond.
Afghan Jahad at the very outset had no material support or backing from any country. Soviets occupied Afghanistan to access the Warm Waters that’s its age old aspiration. Thus its ultimate aim was to subdue Pakistan. The motivated young boys of Kabul University stood up to the challenge and caused a halt to this advance. For complete two years, they single handedly put up insurmountable resistance. In 1981 US entered the Arena and helped Aghan resistance militarily and materially.. Pakistan was only funneling and channeling the military aid.
Afghan Jahad ended with many dividends and Soviets exit from Afghanistan. Pakistan was able to defend its goals without firing a shot or losing a single soldier. On the Shahadat of General Zia ul Haq, the Afghan Mujahdin honored him with the title of “Shaheed-e-Jahad-e-Afghanistan”. It caused impetus to muslim / Islamic sentiment globally. Came into being the Central Asian States of Uzbikistan, Turkministan, Tajakistan, Azarbijan and Kazakhstan. Soviet Union could not keep its entity and was fragmented.
With the communist yoke weakened, these states tasted and demonstrated for the first time their religious freedom. The mosques in Bosnia resounded with the call of Allah o Akbar. The German nation got united. A brick of Berlin wall, reportedly the first one symbolizing demolition, is in the custody of Pakistani forces. In his last days General Zia ul Haq had expressed a desire to offer Nawafil e Shukrana in the Jamia Mosque of Pul-e-Charkhi once the Soviets withdraw from Afghanistan. Alas, destiny did not allow that.
However when in 1991, I went to Afghanistan to effect an agreement between Ahmed Shah Mehsood and Gulbadin Hikmat Yar, I offered these nawafil at the Jamia Masjid Pul-e-Charkhi on behalf of my father. It was an amazing occasion. Thousands of Afghan men women and children gathered to offer homage to General Zia ul Haq. With teary eyes they all prayed for his “magfarat”. The success of Afghan Jehad has rejuvenated the Khalistan Tahreek in India where the Sikhs rose in rebellion. Reportedly, the Government in Pakistan that followed, had surrendered to Indian pressure and handed over to India list of Tahreek Leaders. This enabled India to crush the movement.
However the movement is still in its stead and moving for success. The Sikhs have not forgotten their leader Bhindrawale nor the massacre that followed. I hold it firm that any just and legitimate movement cannot be suppressed by any amount of brute force. After the end of Taliban Government in Kabul, it was felt that it is the end of Taliban Factor. But many were convinced that US wil soon realize its follies and will seek parleys with Taliban. Soon, the world saw the Americans in negotiations with Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef. A Convict of Goentanamobay was being begged for forging peace. Despite the death of 15 lac Afghans, the US is yet yearning to seek a negotiated and safe exist. “Afghan Baqi, Kohsar Baqi, Al-hakmo Lillah”
Oppression of Kashmiris by India is causing serious concern globally. With the Kashmir Policy, pursued by General Zia ul Haq the movement was ripening and had entered a decisive phase. General Zia ul Haq had devoted all his energies towards the success of Jahad-e-Afghanistan and Jahad-e-Kashimr. He was so deeply attached to the Jehadi content that occasionally he would join them right in the middle of the fighting. A few years back in a Seminar at Lahore Hafiz Saeed Ahmed narrated an interesting incident. According to him, he came to know of the blowing up of a vital bridge in Jalalabad area by Russian troops.
He hurried to see the place himself. He shared his concerns with the mujahideen and wondered as to what would happen in the absence of this strategic bridge. The mujahideen informed him to his utter surprise, that General Zia ul Haq had been to this place himself only a day before, and had ordered for its restoration. The role of General Zia ul Haq in making Pakistan a nuclear state is an established fact. It was because of his efforts that Pakistan conducted its Cold Test in the Mountain Range of Keraan near Sargodha on 13 March 1983. Following this, the Chaghi Nuclear tests were conducted in May 1998.
Only a few of us would know that the miles long tunnel used for May 1998 explosions had been constructed and made test worthy in Mar 1983. Further decisions were halted due to obvious reasons. This capability and its achievement had emboldened President of Pakistan to warn Rajiv Gandhi that India will be wiped off from the face of earth. This was not a mere rhetoric but was backed by military preparedness. This frightened Rajiv Gandhi and Indian Leadership and the Indian Army which had been deployed against Pakistan in threatening posture was swiftly withdrawn.
Nuclear issue had remained a bone of contention between US and Pakistan. General Zia ul Haq withstood every pressure and never compromised on this issue. Once a high powered US delegation of Senators visited Pakistan to press for their demands. They met the President and demanded that the Senators be briefed to their satisfaction through ground evidence. Satisfaction of these senators will pave the way for Pakistan military assistance. In those days the military aid was tied down to the Presidential Certification. General Zia ul Haq said I am the President of Pakistan and my words should suffice to satisfy the lowest government. it is not my job to satisfy the Senators. It is the job of US administration. We are not responsible for your internal machinations. Despite this refusal there came the Presidential Certification.
Recent moves by India on Kashmir have endangered the world peace. The global powers should take cognizance of the situation. Pakistan has to play a pivotal role in every sphere of diplomacy and other skills to address the situation.