by Zia Sarhadi (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 46, No. 10, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1439)
Afghanistan under US-NATO occupation has become a den of terrorists. Hindu India also uses the war-ravaged country as a springboard for launching terrorist operations inside Pakistan, especially its southwestern province of Balochistan.
The most recent attack occurred on Pakistani posts along the border with Afghanistan in Bajaur Agency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (KP). The November 13 terrorist attack was launched from Afghan-istan’s Kunar province. Pakistan lost two army personnel — Captain Junaid Hafeez and corporal Raham — while four soldiers were injured.
The November 13 attack followed another one a week earlier (November 6) in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad where terrorists on motorbikes shot and killed Pakistani consular official Rana Nayyar outside his house. Who was responsible for this attack? Indian and Afghan-backed terrorists are active and were certainly responsible for the dastardly crime.
The November 13 attack on army posts in Bajaur was carried out from Kunar where the terrorist group, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is based. It operates under the noses of US-NATO and Afghan forces. While the Americans habitually demand of Pakistan “to do more” to fight terrorism, on the other side of the border, the Americans harbor and support and arm these terrorists. Even the former Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed in an interview with Russia Today in London (October 8) that US bases were being used to aid the terrorist group, ISIS. This group has emerged in recent years to join the Afghan terrorist network where the TTP is already active.
Karzai revealed that unmarked non-military color helicopters were supplying the terrorists weapons and other material, “not only in one part of the country but in many regions,” and that the terrorist group (ISIS) had spread its tentacles in the country right under the noses of US forces and the CIA. Asked if he agreed with the assertion that the terror group was a US construct, Karzai replied, “Absolutely.”
There has been a sharp rise in terrorist attacks on Pakistani posts from safe havens across the border in Afghanistan. This year alone, nearly 308 terrorist attacks have been launched against Pakistan. It comes close to the highest number of attacks since 2012 when 324 attacks were reported. “This is the price Pakistan is paying for [the] security vacuum on Afghan side of the border,” the Pakistani military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on his official tweet on November 13. He went on, “More efforts are required on Afghanistan side by all stakeholders. Lives of forces and citizens [are] equally precious on both sides of [the] border. It now requires elimination of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghanistan and effective Afghan border security.”
Pakistan has deployed more than 200,000 troops in the tribal area along the border with Afghanistan. Since the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in October 2001, Pakistan has suffered nearly 70,000 casualties, almost half of them military personnel. These include three generals, several brigadiers, colonels, majors, and captains. Pakistan has also suffered losses to its infrastructure totaling more than $120 billion.
Even at the height of the US-NATO deployment in Afghanistan, their troop levels never exceeded 160,000. Today, the US has about 12,000 troops in Afghanistan. Further, US casualties in Afghanistan until October 2016 were listed as 2,386 deaths and around 20,089 injured. These are miniscule compared to what Pakistan has suffered, yet the Americans never tire of telling Pakistan “to do more.”
At the root of the problem lies America’s continued occupation of Afghanistan and its seeking a military solution. In 16 years, the only thing the US and its allies have achieved is mass slaughter of civilians and the destruction of whatever little infrastructure Afgha-nistan had. The US has demonstrably failed to subdue much less defeat the Taliban whose ranks have swelled following each American atrocity against civilians.
The puppets it has installed in power are prisoners in a small area of Kabul. This was graphically illustrated when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Kabul in October. He met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at the Bagram military base outside Kabul. It was too dangerous for Tillerson to go to the presidential palace in Kabul.
The vast majority of people do not want foreign troops on Afghan soil hence the determined resistance by ragtag bands of Taliban fighters that have pinned down the military of a “superpower” (with an annual military budget of $650 billion!) and its NATO allies. The US has also sunk nearly $1 trillion on military operations in Afghanistan. The net result is zero from the military standpoint but informed observers know what the US game plan for Afghanistan is: permanent occupation of the country for geostrategic and economic reasons.
The fallout from America’s war on Afghanistan has seriously affected Pakistan that shares a 2,600 km long border in very rough terrain that is difficult to monitor. Pakistan has established 975 posts along its western border while Afghanistan only has around 218 posts on its side. There are huge gaps in some areas through which the terrorists slip in and out easily.
In order to prevent cross-border terrorism, Pakistan is erecting a 12-foot-high fence over the objections of Afghanistan. One wonders why the Kabul regime is so adamant when its patron saint and godfather never tires of demanding that Pakistan “do more.” The reality is that Afghan security forces and intelligence agencies as well as the CIA are complicit in aiding Pakistani terrorist groups such as the TTP (and now ISIS as well) that have sanctuaries near the Pakistani border.
India, too, is involved in these dastardly crimes and is actively aiding and abetting terrorists in Afghanistan to launch attacks inside Pakistan. Chuck Hagel, the former US Defence Secretary as well as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have admitted to India’s destabilizing role in Pakistan.
While it has a small number of people in Afghanistan, India has opened a string of “consulates” in Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan. It is not difficult to figure out what the real purpose of these “consulates” is. Agents from India’s intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) are swarming all over the border region and indulge in terrorist activities as well as support terrorists against Pakistan.
On March 3, 2016, Pakistani security forces captured Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a naval officer working for India’s intelligence agency, near Chaman, Balochistan. Jadhav had taken on an alias — Hussein Mubarak Patel — and had ensconced himself in Iran’s port city of Chahbahar. He had been involved in terrorist activities in Karachi as well as working closely with Baloch separatists.
When a Pakistani military court sentenced him to death (because he was a naval officer), India promptly lodged an appeal for a stay of execution at the International Court of Justice. While claiming that he had resigned from the navy, why was Delhi so keen to go to such lengths to save his skin? After all, India does not care for other Indian citizens. Besides, the fact that Jadhav had adopted an alias clearly indicates his evil intentions.
Together with Afghanistan and a number of other countries (the US, Israel, et al.), India is playing a dirty role in the destabilization of Pakistan. And the US has the gall to demand that Pakistan “must do more.”