The spoilers . . . | By Zaheer Bhatti

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The spoilers . . .


WHY were you so upset at the Afghan Security Adviser in the puppet Afghan Government foul-mouthing against Pakistan Mr. Foreign Minister! You or your predecessors never complained or protested to the Americans when they openly called you worst names in saying, “These Pakistanis would sell their mothers for a few bucks;” readily corroborated by Musharraf as revealed in his book, bartering away over 600 odd Pakistanis wanted by the US.

Why complain to this Afghan imperial lackey who may be merely resonating his Master’s Voice. Worst still Mr. Qureshi! One sees no follow up of your froth-emitting statement of the other day; No wonder why Pakistan is taken for granted by every Tom, Dick and Harry!

The tracks of this foul-mouthing by the Afghan Minister nevertheless should lead to the principal spoiler which is quite flabbergasted these days over the prospects of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, as it sees the Afghan Taliban sweeping back to power come what may, which precludes India having to wind up its networks in Afghanistan operating against Pakistan; no wonder Indians trying to open a backdoor channel to seek reprieve from the Afghan Taliban.

The United States; rulers if not dictators of the Post-World War-2 global political scenario, enjoyed the status of the sole super power after termination of the protracted cold war and dismemberment of its challenging Communist Soviet Bloc.

For decades ever since, it has been engaged in warming war theatres of its liking around the world in far off territories in a bid to siphon off world’s natural wealth from those lands.

Rather than risk its own troops in combat, it has traditionally sought mercenaries to do the job and found Pakistan its best bet; time and again using it as a piece of tissue paper.

India to the contrary has slyly kept out of harm’s way, and yet readily cashed its opportunities while crying wolf and acting as the spoiler at the same time; making the best of the given situation without staking its strategic assets or committing its foot soldiers in alien war theatres.

Posing to be serving as policeman for the region to satisfy US obsession of China, India has not just succeeded in diverting from its domestic faux pause, but also found tacit support of its new found strategic ally over appalling mayhem it has been carrying out in its occupied territories of Kashmir besides tinkering with its status and demography and succeeded in putting the issue of Kashmir on the back burner; benefitted as a perfect spoiler in the Afghan situation in the process.

Pakistan has had this love-hate relation with Afghanistan from the very start wherein vested interests in Afghanistan have always played into the hands of Pakistan’s arch enemy India which has made no secret of its animosity to it in precipitating the East-West Pakistan divide; its then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi boasting soon after separation of East Pakistan that it has sunk Pakistan’s Two-Nation Theory in the Bay of Bengal, followed by a beeline of Indian leaders marvelling at their escapades in destabilising Pakistan, notwithstanding open Indian actions against Pakistan such as engineering religious riots, mass massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, burning alive Muslims aboard Samjhota Express and destruction of the 600 year-old Babri Mosque of the Moghal era in Ayodhiya.

Whenever in our history, Afghanistan and Pakistan have tried to cultivate mutual understanding; Pakistan serving in the vanguard of resistance against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and hosting over three million Afghan refugees fleeing their homeland during the war including its multiplying generations for over 4 decades now, the thankless imperial puppet Afghan regime and its tailored intelligence wing NDS also acting as spoilers weary of their artificial footing, have readily served the main culprit which has been allowed a foothold in Afghanistan through its totally unjustified multiple Consulates after the NATO assault of the rugged land; ostensibly helping Afghan reconstruction, but actually patronizing anti-Pakistan elements including Tehreek Talibaan Pakistan having fled Pakistan’s tribal region after the cleansing operation, and providing sanctuaries to them and Daesh in exchange for carrying out attacks inside Pakistan.

In this entire backdrop, although this National Security Advisor from Afghanistan needs to be interrogated over what made him make such insulting comments about Pakistan, it warrants recalling Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan pending an unqualified apology from the Afghan Government besides demanding removal of the seven letter skunk from the sensitive office he least deserves to hold; or else Pakistan may continue being paid back this way, for hosting three generations of Afghan refugees and allowing trading access to the brotherly Muslim country for whom Pakistan wishes nothing but peace and stability.

It seems back to square one in Afghanistan, as once again one hears reverberations behind closed doors of American efforts to secure some base in Pakistan or an air corridor to carry out drone strikes against the Afghan Taliban, despite a categorical statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Minister that Pakistan would not provide any base to the departing US or NATO forces.

After the Taliban warning to Pakistan not to commit the blunder yet again, let this be a final warning to any Government in Pakistan from the people of the country against playing the sucker to any foreign entity now or any time in the future; enough being enough with the economic and diplomatic backlash and isolation this country has had to endure and continues to suffer; Musharraf lying prostrate on just one call and acting more loyal than the king after 9/11, in committing what Colin Powel said America did not even ask.

The genuine sons of the soil Afghans namely the Afghan Taliban have been large-hearted enough to forgive Pakistan’s indiscretion once, but they will not do it another time if any Pakistani Government ever again played the mercenary, and Pakistan will have made a permanent enemy out of the neighbouring Muslim State in which it once dreamt of enjoying strategic depth.

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

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