The equation must change | By Zaheer Bhatti

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The equation must change


THE United States of America mulls over protecting Kabul with air-strikes’ screamed banner headlines in some newspapers the other day.

But is it not what they have been doing for over 20 years now without achieving chartered result despite pumping in trillions of dollars in the bottomless campaign! With Afghanistan deliberately allowed to be destabilized after Palestine and Kashmir, the imperial game plan was getting miserably exposed.

It beats you for common sense why the US must contemplate resorting to bombing Afghanistan yet again in order to protect Kabul (meaning its puppet Government) from the Afghan Taliban onslaught; the very force with whom it had been forced to negotiate peace; obviously recognizing their power and influence over Afghanistan despite over two decades of Allied abortive bid to wrest control from the jealously independent Afghan natives who have been calling for vacation of their motherland by the intruding foreign forces, from day one.

It also beats common sense, for the US to insist on protecting its stooge Government in Kabul which despite a whole Army at its command and an elaborate infrastructure laid for it by the Allied Forces still had no writ beyond Kabul in 20 years.

The Pentagon and the State Department were trying to remain relevant the wrong way and merely pretending to leave; meaning therefore that the Americans are finding the bitter pill of withdrawal hard to swallow regardless of the graceful exit strategy being afforded to it.

It is a mockery and naivety of the first order that you should be seeking to bomb Afghan Taliban who are the principal stakeholder in the peace process and designate them as terrorists, and whom your installed puppet Government in Afghanistan continues to describe as insurgents.

Make up your mind Uncle Sam! Realistically speaking, your stooges are a pathetic minority whose writ in the country in over two decades is next to nothing; having been unable to force-fashion a social change in Afghanistan despite a tailored Constitution, and who can be accommodated only up to an extent in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned National Government.

Make no mistake; the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan it was when you came, and the same shall it be in the future after you leave.

More than anyone else now or in the future, it is the regional powers like Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan which must play a central role for peace in Afghanistan after the American withdrawal, as the stalemate was holding up development of the region which was not affordable any longer for the regional stake-holders who have the first right to interpose compared to distant powers such as the USA.

The Afghan Taliban also must seize the opportunity and frustrate its adversaries propagating civil war and instability after American withdrawal by showing accommodation and foresight for a greater national cause.

The Kashmir issue likewise, besides being a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India; the unsettled agenda of partition, but one which has assumed immense strategic importance as the gateway to regional development.

But unfortunately, India having forcibly annexed its controlled territory on the lines of Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands; illegally doing away with the special status of Kashmir pending resolution of the issue through a UN Plebiscite it no longer feels obliged to honour.

In resorting to another eye wash of an APC consulting Kashmiri leadership over the changed status which has been rejected by its own puppets, it is continuing to change its demography and amassing further troops, inviting a nuclear confrontation, which once started, no one will be able to prevent from spreading across the globe.

Should humanity realize the deadly fall-out of such a prospect, it better act before it is too late.

With all efforts at resolving the issue bilaterally between Pakistan and India as advised by most countries, having been deliberately scuttled and aborted by the Indian side, the equation must radically change.

It is now for the regional powers namely China, Russia, Iran and Turkey and the Central Asian States; the stake-holders in regional development, to make history and seize initiative to free the Kashmiri land and its people, from any further exploitation.

They should make it possible to resolve the Kashmir imbroglio in favour of its rightful owners; the people of Kashmir who must be allowed to decide their fate and future according to the standing UN Security Council Resolutions.

And whereas it is a timely warning issued to the G-7 Summit by the Chinese Government that the times to dictate terms by this small elitist group of nations were over, it was squarely pointing to the US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan.

Taking cover under catch phrases like Freedom, Democracy, Rule of Law, Equality and Human Rights, the United States was exploiting this Group of Seven (G-7) in furthering its hegemonic agenda by doing quite the opposite of what it professes while dealing with the outside world.

The NATO Alliance, vainly terming Chinese advancement a security threat, actually means a threat to their hegemony.

The imperial cartel which criticizes its main challengers; China over human rights violations in its Sinkiang Province and its administration of Hong Kong, and Russia over alleged use of chemical agents within its territories, seeks to browbeat those smaller nations desirous of practicing democracy and rule of law without outside interference, but sees no evil in trampling these values itself at home; racism against the coloured settlers, and Islamophobia in the US, Britain and France, and expansionist conduct of its partners in crime; Israel against Palestinians autonomy and India against its occupied territories of Kashmir.

The only way these double standard can be effectively challenged short of a nuclear armed conflict, would change the equation and to make the fast declining United Nations relevant by creating strong lobbies in favour of smaller nations to resolve their chronic issues and to fashion an equal world; Afghanistan, Palestine and Kashmir being its test cases.

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

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