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Ghani, Nawaz, Modi, Raheel and the Lost Peace of Afghan Nation

 

Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen

Afghan writer and political Analyst based in Kabul

President Ashraf Ghani participated in the Heart of Asia Conference, and before that, he received an unexpected warm welcome from Pakistan, as an honor guard blasted a 21-gun salute. Apparently, this welcome, however, was for admiring President Ghani but in reality, Pakistan did it for achieving its own interests and privileges.

I remember that Pakistan often had such touching expression and was honoring Karzai; and, we should not forget that Karzai, in the first days of his government, was being admired by Pakistan more than Ghani at that time

Pakistan, through different means, is trying to receive further privileges regarding the issue of Afghanistan; from 1979 until now, it is about 36 years that Pakistan takes privileges from the crisis in Afghanistan. Resolving the crisis is not important to it, the main point, for it, is how the world should deal with it regarding the issue of Afghanistan.

Their cities became modernized due to Russian invasion in Afghanistan, new city of Islamabad became built instead of old city of Rawalpindi; modern buildings and markets became built; and moreover, every employee of the Pakistani army and intelligence service and politician became rich.   

The most important point is, America did not want to become close with the government that its President Gen. Ziaulhaq, from its perspective, was a man who was reached to power through coup; however, it had to accept the demands of that general and cooperate with him, and besides that, the money of Arab oil was coming to Pakistan in order for the Afghan jihad to become supported.

Another vital achievement of Gen. Ziaulhaq was that he, using the issue of Afghanistan, could make nuclear power to Pakistan; neither America nor the world could find opportunity to put sanctions on it.

Furthermore, Gen. Hameed Gul, the director of ISI started rivalry with CIA and said that, if America put sanctions on Pakistan, it would raise the Islamic World against it; they had received that sort of privileges just because of the Afghan war.

Historical Mistakes of Mujahedeen

The leaders of mujahedeen, mistakenly, were doing everything through Pakistan; and, Pakistan, even, represented the Afghan Mujahedeen in the Geneva Accords. After the issue of peaceful transfer of power from Dr. Najeebullah came to ground, we witnessed that everything became inverted; neither the peaceful transfer of power happened, nor the war stopped.

The Afghan Army and its equipment eliminated, thousands of new tanks were sawed and sold with a little price in Pakistani market or they were received by Pakistan with an inconsiderable amount of money; if there were some old tanks, they became vanished during the civil war; and the remaining Russian tanks and weapons were, intentionally, destroyed by American soldiers after they came to Afghanistan.

We had a number of military jet, helicopters and aircrafts that shared the same fate with tanks. Scud and Luna missile were also reached to Pakistan’s black market. BMU, 40-millie and 12-milie rocket launchers were also faced the same fate and lost.

Nawaz Sharif was prime minister at that time, and he is also a premier, now. He, in his speech to the Pakistani nation, during his prime ministerial campaign on that time, with a great proud, said that: “I have done great service to Pakistan; I have destroyed the entire Afghan Army”. Really, he had done a great job for his country, but our Afghan politicians do not want to feel this.

There were Pakistani soldiers, spies and politicians that were helping entire involved sides in the Afghan civil war; they were helping Mr. Hekmatyar and Mr. Ahmad Shah Massoud, and their leaders of intelligence were meeting the both sides in different times.

The War of Taliban and former Mujahedeen

Those who became defeated during the war between the Taliban and the opposition parties in South and East of the country escaped to Pakistan; their leaders were including; Gul Agha Shirzai, the provincial governor of Kandahar, Haji Abdul Qadir, the provincial governor of Ningrahar and some other well-known commanders.

They were doing anti-Taliban activities in Pakistan and the Mashreqi Shura (Eastern Council) that was leading by Haji Abdul Qadir is a good example of it.  

It is worth mentioning that both the offices of the Taliban and the Eastern Council were located in Peshawar and near to each other in the same area, there was not that much distance between them. The Sharia newspaper of the Taliban and the newspaper of the Eastern Council were being published in Peshawar; and the Sahar (Morning) newspaper was the one that was publishing the news of disputes between the Taliban, the Eastern Council and the Mujahedeen.

After the Taliban seized Kabul, the Sharia newspaper was being published through governmental printing press; before that, there was not any printing press in Kandahar to publish a newspaper; in the case, there was a printing press in Ningrahar that was publishing newspapers.

Some commanders escaped from the Taliban and entered Iran and it was helping them against the Taliban in return. After Ismail Khan escaped from the prison of the Taliban, had gone to Iran directly; a lot of commanders of Helmand and Kandahar were gone to Iran.

And, Tajikistan, then, was a safe place for the commanders escaped from the North of the country; a special place was made for anti-Taliban Afghan commanders in Kolab.

After Parwiz Musharraf became “dictator” President of Pakistan, its relations were not good with America, Pakistan had economic problems and America had put sanction on it; however, the dictator President, Parwiz Musharraf who had taken power through coup and America had put sanction on Pakistan, later on became the closet friend and ally of America in order for it to attack on Afghanistan.

Pakistani officials have taken maximum economic benefit from the war in Afghanistan in the past fourteen years; they took money for surrendering the Arab and Taliban leaders to America, they took money for killing the youth of a specific tribe in Pakistan, they took money for securing the oil, food and equipment of NATO that were coming through the Karachi Port, and were being transferred to Torkham and Speen Boldak ports of Afghanistan, they took money for renting the Jacobabad Airbase and Solar Airfield and they also took money for sharing the intelligence information with CIA.

In the case, Pakistan has the same Ranger (vehicles) and tanks that America has given to the Afghan government.   

This time, it is because of America’s rush on Afghanistan that Pakistan’s Lahore City does rivalry with European cities, and the Punjab government, in the past 14 years, could have Lahore as an alternative for Pashtun-resident big economic city of Karachi, and to make insecurity in Karachi and insecure this great economic center and make the businessmen to migrate to Lahore.

The latest struggle for receiving money was by the peace process; now, as the NATO forces left Afghanistan, and they do not need neither the Jacobabad Airbase nor the Solar Airfield anymore, neither the conveys of NATO are going to Torkham and Speen Boldak nor the reason remained for operations in Waziristan; so only the peace project, in order to receive money from America, is left for the Pak and Afghan governments.

Ghani, Nawaz, Modi and Raheel Sharif

Nawaz Sharif met Ghani in Paris and invited him to participate in the Heart of Asia Conference; however, before that, Pashtun politicians resident in Pakistan had come to Kabul and had brought the message of Nawaz Sharif to Ghani in order for him to participate in the Heart of Asia Conference.  Ghani did not accept Nawaz’s request in Paris, and he, in Germany, also had precautious expression regarding the Heart of Asia Conference that was going to be held in Islamabad; after he came to Kabul, he, in some way, denied it.

The representative of Obama for Afghanistan and Pakistan whispered in Ghani’s ear that your participation in the Heart of Asia Conference is must, and we want to see you in there.

Narenda Modi came to Kabul, he received warm welcome in Kabul, he inaugurated the beautiful building of the Afghan Parliament; he, after holding meetings with Ghani, Abdullah and Karzai, directly, attended Pakistan and met Nawaz in there. Modi clearly talked about the regional security in Kabul and Lahore. Two days later, Raheel Sharif, the Pakistani Chief of Army was here in Kabul on December 28, 2015.

America did its job and made Ghani to go to Pakistan; the hand of the world especially the UK cannot be denied in Modi’s visit to Paksitan; now, it is Pakistan’s turn to perform its duty, and to prove that whether it would be committed to peace in practice or it would continue its former incorrect policies?

Ghani and Modi’s visit to Pakistan was the request of the West; Raheel Sharif’s visit to Kabul was also America’s wish; America and Britain try to break the ice between Pak and Afghan governments, in the case, there might be no ice in the reality, the leaders of both countries would be just following the policies of America and Britain.

Peace and Pakistan

A meeting of the Taliban with China is planned; it is the continuation of past meetings that were held as a result of Pakistan’s intercession. This meeting will be held in first ten days of January and perhaps, the Taliban would meet Chinese officials in Pakistan or somewhere else, and Pakistanis would participate in this meeting as a host and mediate.

This meeting was organized from a long time that Pakistan would benefit it and would say that the peace-related meeting between China and the Taliban took place; however, originally, it is china and Taliban’s talks that are being discussed. Perhaps, talks with the Afghan government would not be included in the agenda.

After that, the representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, America and China are holding meetings and are talking about the Afghan peace process; the Taliban would not participate in these meetings.

Also, representatives of some countries would perhaps hold meetings with the Taliban in Qatar, and they would talk about the solution to the issue of Afghanistan and the peace process. By the way, the PUGWASH Conference would be held in near future, also.

All of them are planned previously and Pakistan will not have any role in Taliban’s meetings except the one which is going to be held with Chinese officials; Pakistan, however, wants to have its privilege because the peace project is important to them, not the real peace and secure Afghanistan.

After that, Pakistan, in order to make the Taliban have face-to-face meetings with the Afghan government which is too hard for Pakistan to do so, would ask Afghanistan for some things that are not in its power, and through this they would blame the Afghan government, then.

It looks like the Pak-Afghan armies and security administrations are yet not to be ready for the initiation of direct peace talks; also, anti-peace views in the leadership of the National Unity Government (NUG) are the things that make the peace talks impossible and limit the peace just to an economic project.

I believe that if the Afghan nation and the Taliban understand that Pakistani generals and officials are truthful for peace in Afghanistan and the region  and their struggles are free of fraud and not for making money, the Afghan nation and the Taliban would be, again, ready to given a chance to Pakistan to do its repeated struggles; although, the Afghan nation has lost its trust in Pakistan’s truthfulness, so, however, Pakistan expresses that its truthful in peace, its struggles would  be fruitless until it proves its honesty in action.

It is also possible that Pakistan would bring some individuals so-called Taliban, as it did it in the past, in order to have talks with the Afghan government that would be fruitless. The main point is that the main side of the Taliban should participate in the peace talks, whenever the main side did not participated in the peace talks, every kind of peace talks would unsuccessful.

The Right Path of Peace!

The shortest and fruitful solution is that a small, independent group of Ulema, scholars and influential leaders who would be able intermediate between the both sides (the Taliban and the government) and have the trust of both sides, who would be able to reduce distance between the involved sides, to exchange their messages, demands and concerns to each other, and, in some cases, to put pressures on involved sides to accept flexibility. Bring the issue of the Afghan government and the Taliban to a decision, and a group should be made in order to make the decision, transfer the power to an independent individual and to establish a government, whatever they name it, accepted to the entire sides.

But it does not look that much easy because President Ghani and CEO Abdullah would not leave the power, the peace would cost them their power; therefore, they will not agree with a, somehow, easy process, and the, with different excuses, would waste the time using the term “peace”; as now the government talks about that which group of the Taliban should it make peace with. A huge split between the Taliban is yet to be seen; only the media and the government do propaganda in this regard.

The peace-related meetings should continue; as we have seen, sometimes, these meetings have positive results but sometimes, they are neglected or even has vanished the fruit of previous meetings, also. The Japan and France meetings were good, there was improvement, but when Karzai opposed the similar conference in Turkmenistan, the entire previously achieved improvements were lost. The inauguration of the Qatar Office was a good improvement, but Karzai opposed it. Also, the opposition of Karzai toward the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the US (BSA); however, the Taliban did not want to meet and establish an understanding with Karzai.

Dr. Ghani had a good chance at first, as he met the Taliban before the Presidential Palace (ARG) and his uncle, Qayyoum Kochai was often present in Taliban’s guesthouse in Qatar, he could discuss the problem directly with the Taliban, but after Dr. Ashraf Ghani entered ARG, he forgot his campaign friends as well as the Qatar Office. He, now, neither know about the address of the Taliban nor remember his uncle Kochai that what was he doing in Qatar? Who he was meeting to? And why he was meeting them?

The PUGWASH Conference in Doha, the meeting in UEA, the Norway meeting and eventually the Murree meetings were good development regarding the peace; however, Ghani like his ancestor Karzai, eliminated the entire development and he has to reinitiate the process now.

The important point is that the series of these meetings should not be stopped and the previous progress should be increased, instead of decreasing and eliminating, in upcoming meetings.

The inauguration of the TAPI Project is good development regarding peace and this project can have an important, positive role in bringing peace; the Afghan government and the armed oppositions should get maximum benefit from this project.

The shared economic interests of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India in the TAPI Project; however, as security is needed for the implementation of this project, so peace is vital for now more than any other time in order not to lose or delay this Golden Line of the TAPI Project; Iran, from a long time, is waiting for the opportunity and does not want the Golden Line Project (TAPI Project) to be passed through Afghanistan to Pakistan and, then, to India.

Why the Peace Process is delayed?

Whenever there is a little bit development in peace talks, obstacles are being created; during the Afghan war against Communistic regime, Dr. Najeebullah, the President of that regime agreed to transfer the power peacefully; however, his process, besides presence of UN in the country, became intentionally failed. More than 20 Pakistani trucks full of military equipment that were going to Mr. Hekmatyar made to return back and some of them were sent to Ahmad Shah Massoud in Panjshir.

Dostum, in accordance with Jabalussaraj Agreement, was able to prevent the peaceful transfer of Dr. Najeeb; it was not Gen. Dostum’s own idea, foreign countries and regional intelligence services were involved in that.

In past 14 years, we had good chances of peace in first two years after America attacked on Afghanistan; however, they were intentionally prevented, and the senior officials of the Karzai administration accept this statement.

Some former officials of the Taliban thought that showing Karzai the right way of peace was meaning blocking it by Karzai, because they had understood that Karzai did not want peace.

The same is also thought about Ghani that he does not prefer the right path to peace; he walks on the hardest path that does not go toward peace. And, he still thinks that he could benefit from the split in the rank of the Taliban and that Pakistan could make the Taliban become satisfied with receiving some ministries and provinces in Ghani’s government. However, it is not logical; hence, if the Taliban struggled for ministries and provinces, they would deal with America and they would stay in power.

Taliban also understand that if they accept the demands of the United States, America and the world would prefer them on the North Coalition and Ghani; but it is look like the Taliban want the basic/fundamental and peaceful solution of the Afghan issue which would provide every Afghan with his/her right in the family, village, city and the government.

The Afghan government and its armed oppositions, for the sake of Afghans, are supposed to get use of flexibility, solve the problem through inter-Afghan understanding, pave the ground for establishing trust between themselves, and instead of giving privilege to Pakistan, give the half of that privilege to its Afghan opponent.

We, the Afghan nation, want peace; we welcome those who bring peace in our country, whether if they are Pakistan, Qatar, America, Britain, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, India, Turkey, Iran or any other country/side; however, we have to pay high prices for the peace brought to us by others. Instead of that, Afghans, themselves, should become ready for peace, get use of tolerance and establish an understanding with each other.