Skip to main content

US war in Afghanistan: Why is Pakistan getting "concerned" with its peace, security

By Syed Mujtaba*
A war extending almost two decades led by US in Afghanistan has implications for the entire region. Pakistan has been a major stakeholder in the war, and now feels it was dragged into it. Undoubtedly, it played the most significant role in in this war, for which it has also paid a price higher than any other nation involved.
Roots of the US war on terror originate in Afghanistan following the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan in late 1980s. Pakistan was then a military ally of US, which forced the former Soviet Union make its soldiers return to their barracks.
It is well known how US was responsible for launching the mujahedeen to fight Soviet presence. Osama bin Laden emerged as a prominent figure of the mujahedeen, and became the chief of AI-Qaeda. Tables turned, however, when AI-Qaeda, led by bin Laden, hijacked four passenger aircrafts from four different airfields and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001 resulting in 2,977 casualties.
This, no doubt, was a huge security lapse and heated things inside US. It led US to launch operation 'Enduring Freedom' against the accused bin Laden and his group. The then mujahedeen turned into terrorists in US books. US set its foot on Afghan soil again on October 7, 2001 and the war on terror was “realized”.
US called the war on terror as the need of the time. It was able to gather international support on this, as terrorism had already become a matter of global concern.
US counted on Pakistan support its war in Afghanistan, but the support made it suffer more than any other US ally. Together with US, NATO forces and the Afghan army, Pakistan fought Taliban by providing regional support. This made Taliban to begin targeting Pakistan in attacks on various fronts. These included suicide attacks killing hundreds, instilling fear among the masses.
In a report issued by the Pakistan Ministry of Finance, the country suffered a loss of 123.1 billion US dollars from 2001 to 2017 as a result of this war. Further, about 75,000 Pakistani civilians have lost their lives because of Pakistani involvement in the Afghan war. Meanwhile, US continued to aid Pakistan for its cooperation by providing 33.4 billion dollars from 2002 to 2016.
The consequences of this involvement of Pakistan have been massive, affecting its stability and security. Pakistan is now facing the aftermath of this war on multiple grounds, and has deteriorated its standing in the international community.
According to reports, the Trump administration has been continuing to put pressure on Pakistan, alleging that the latter is harbouring and supporting insurgents in Afghanistan. A similar statement was issued by NATO in 2006, but was reverted, as no “tangible” proof could be found. The government and the army of Pakistan have, of course, denied such accusations time and again. Pakistan has insisted, it wants peace in Afghanistan and seeks political support to end the Afghan war.
The US-Pakistan bilateral ties, in fact, started to tumble in 2011 after a surprise raid in Abbottabad killing Osama bin Laden, and touched the lowest in January 2018, when Trump suspended US security assistance to Islamabad on claims that Pakistan is not cooperating with US against militant groups.
Reflecting to this claim, Pakistan asserted that peace and stability in Afghanistan is a mutual responsibility and it had done everything in its capacity for the stated cause. Indeed, peace in Afghanistan is directly associated with peace in Pakistan and other countries in the neighourhood. Not without reason, Pakistan wants a peaceful Afghanistan.
After Imran Khan became Prime Minister, his narrative on Pakistan on the US-led war became even clearer. He rejected as “unsubstantiated” all rhetoric against Pakistan facilitating terrorism. He stated that Pakistan would not carry the blame of US failures.
Angered at the tweet of Trump targeting Pakistan for “not doing a damn” and “just getting financial assistance of war from US”, Khan retorted, “Trump needs to be informed about historical facts. Pakistan has suffered enough fighting US's war. Now we will do what we think is best for our people." Soon thereafter, Pakistan foreign office registered a strong protest against the allegation.
Imran Khan's stand confirmed that Pakistan, in this region, is too important to ignore.
---
*Socio-political observer based in Jammu & Kashmir

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?