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Waging an Undeclared War: Myth and Reality

By Muhammad Nawaz Khan : –

In response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s unwarranted accusation on Pakistan of waging an “undeclared war of aggression” against Afghanistan during the conference on “Kabul Process for Peace & Security Cooperation” held on 6 June 2017, serious reservations were expressed by the Pakistan military leadership in a special Corps Commanders’ Conference followed by a special meeting of the National Security Committee. Both the forums not only strongly condemned the recent incident of terrorism in Kabul and resolved to remain steadfast and resolute in support of the Afghan people but also expressed deep concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, while firmly rejecting the baseless allegations leveled against Pakistan.

They argued that “instead of blaming Pakistan, Afghanistan needs to look inward and identify the real issues.” Afghan President’s accusation is a rhetoric repeatedly used by India and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A glance into the ground realities manifests that instead of playing the notorious blame game against Pakistan, the Afghan leadership needs to reverse the endogenous factors involving bad governance fed by rampant corruption and drug money leading to domestic chaos, bothering the Afghan masses by dragging the country to the whirlpool of anarchy that proves as a breeding ground for producing international conspiracies further worsening the situation with no immediate end in sight.

Afghan President seems to be in a disillusion, which he must discard altogether; understanding that instability in Afghanistan has direct implications for Pakistan. That is why peace in Afghanistan is Pakistan’s first priority and it encourages and supports the conciliatory process in Afghanistan. Peace in Afghanistan is indispensable for the peace in Pakistan in particular and the region in general. Indeed, the statement of the Afghan President is in perfect disregard to the Pakistani contributions towards the Afghan people. According to an estimate, Pakistan is facing 80 per cent threat from Afghanistan and 20 per cent threat from within Pakistan, whereas the Afghan government is in the state of complete denial on the use of Afghan soil against Pakistan. The dilemma is neither the Afghan state nor the US are effectively working to address the menace of cropping terrorism. Now, Pakistan has to fortify its security by itself. Operation Zarb-e-Azb followed by Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad exclusively demonstrated to the outer world how Pakistan dislodged all the terrorists; TTP, foreign terrorists on Pakistani soil and particularly the Haqqani network.

What is happening today in Pakistan is the direct fallout of the extremist rise in Afghanistan, something that needs to be acknowledged internationally as any change in Afghanistan will caste direct impact on Pakistan. Pakistan’s future prospects are closely linked to the security situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s economy has suffered greatly,

since the inflow of foreign investment has ceased. Therefore, an end to insurgency in Afghanistan is bound to stabilize Pakistan.

Pakistan wants stable and independent Afghanistan, which is essential for its own security. Simultaneously, Pakistan is highly concerned about the current use of Afghanistan’s territory by another country against Pakistan, especially in the case of Balochistan. Despite the recognized fact that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism, India is benefiting from the on-ground situation by its dirty meddling in Afghanistan, underground activities in Balochistan and aiding terrorist activities in big cities of Pakistan. Given the fast pace of India’s participation in the developmental work in Afghanistan, it is assumed that India can exploit the unstable situation in Afghanistan turning it into a battle field of proxy war against Pakistan. India being the extended neighbour of Afghanistan faces no direct threat from Afghanistan.

In fact, Pakistan provides a buffer state to India against Afghanistan’s backlash. Mr. William Dalrymple, warned that Indian assertion of its influence on Kabul for the sake of its security is not a valid argument at the cost of regional security. Statement of Mr. Hegel and testimony to the US Senate of General Mc Crystal that India’s presence in Afghanistan was a source of trouble for Pakistan, are the ostensible evidences of how India is using the Afghan soil for fanning terrorism in Pakistan. In addition, most recently the US intelligence community has informed Congress that Pakistan does not want heavy Indian influence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is the only country in the Afghan equation, which has achieved clear and measurable success against terrorism despite limited capacity and huge human and economic costs. The country has not only remained committed to the cause of peaceful and stable Afghanistan but also worked with all regional and global initiatives to that end. At the same time Pakistan has shown exceptional restraint even when Afghan territory was used for terrorist acts in Pakistan, which resulted in massive human losses. Most importantly, Pakistan is fully cognizant of institutional collaboration (Raw-NDS) by elements hostile to Pakistan and it will defend itself resolutely against manifest and future threats. At the same time Pakistan remains committed to continue its ongoing efforts for local, regional and global peace. In all, after suffering heavily out of foreign intervention, the internal wars, and the war-on-terror, the present Afghan Government has to realize that the Afghan citizenry badly needs peace and development, which desperately calls for national reconciliation through peace talks among all ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

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