Article first published in Daily Times on 14-Sep-2021. Article being published on https://aswidevision.com/ with the consent of writer.
Prevailing situation in Afghanistan, especially after the withdrawal of US forces, Indian propaganda against Pakistan, mistakes committed by US in Afghanistan during 20-year-long war, prove genius of Pakistan military leadership for their suggestions to US political and military leadership on how to strategize their fight in Afghanistan instead of blame game. It is not betrayal by Pakistan but faulty US policies in Afghanistan which have led to troubles and pull out of NATO forces. Another major factor of US failure in Afghanistan is the RAW nexus and use of its proxies to destabilize Afghanistan and create a chaotic situation in the war-torn country.
There are three factors to be analyzed here: US invasion of Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 and subsequent policies adopted during the prolonged war, Pakistan military’s genius in fighting two-front war despite all the constraints, propaganda unleashed by India and western media against Pakistan in the shape of ‘good Taliban, bad Taliban’ metaphor. US global war against terrorism was backed by US congress, UN Security Council and NATO. As the days passed, after America attacked Afghanistan, situation worsened on ground. As the war prolonged, so were the mistakes.
There was neither a clear strategic objective in the mind of political leadership back home in America nor understanding of ground realities by military commanders on ground. Twice in the year 2003 and then again in 2014, US announced to end war in Afghanistan but it only happened shockingly in 2021. US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and then went for Iraq in 2003. Fighting two wars simultaneously was highly impossible for US. Craig Withlock interviewed lot of allied forces and US military commanders for his book ‘ The Afghanistan Papers; a secret history of the war’. He writes that war in Afghanistan was nothing but lot of misjudgments and miscalculations by US political and military commanders.
Vali Nasr, now Professor at John Hopkins university, in his book ‘The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat’ says that he had based his writing on the advice of Pakistan’s Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to the U.S. – to negotiate the exit with Taliban. The book mentions that General Kayani told American officials during a visit to Washington in 2010 that they would be “better off” negotiating an exit from Afghanistan with the Taliban, instead of trying to build up Afghan forces to 400,000 by 2014.
The official says that “the general was sure the Afghan army would eventually collapse”. Recalling Gen. Kayani’s firm response at one small meeting around a narrow table, he writes, “I cannot forget Kayani’s reaction when we enthusiastically explained our plan to build up Afghan forces to 400,000 by 2014. His answer was swift and unequivocal: Don’t do it. ‘You will fail,’ he said.
“Then you will leave and that half-trained army will break into militias that will be a problem for Pakistan.’ We tried to stand our ground, but he would have none of it. He continued, ‘I don’t believe that the Congress is going to pay $9 billion a year for this 400,000-man force.’ He was sure it would eventually collapse and the army’s broken pieces would resort to crime and terrorism to earn their keep”, the official wrote. “Kayani’s counsel was that if you want to leave, just leave — we didn’t believe you were going to stay anyway — but don’t do any more damage on your way out.
This seemed to be a ubiquitous sentiment across the region. No one bought our argument for sending more troops into Afghanistan, and no one was buying our arguments for leaving. It seemed everyone was getting used to a direction-less America.”Pakistan Army had strategized its war against terrorism on this side of the porous Pak-Afghan border. Though Pakistan Army was trained to fight conventional war yet they never hesitated to learn and fight the low intensity conflict. The only Army in the world which was fighting enemies on two fronts; eastern border with India and on western border against terrorists. Pakistan Army fought the war against terrorism befittingly and sacrificed more than any country in the world.
Introduction of new training module to fight low-intensit conflict, merger of FATA with Pakistan and development of areas close to Pak-Afghan border, national action plan to eliminate extremism and terrorism, fencing of 2400 KM Pak-Afghan border, taking terrorists head on in their hideouts and in sleeper cells in built up area speaks volume of Pakistan Army’s professionalism. Continuity of fight against terrorism with a deliberated strategy was main success of Pakistan Army. General Kayani, known for his brilliance, launched Swat operation in first half of 2009 and cleansed area of terrorists.
Gradually operations were extended successfully to, Bajur, Khyber, Mohmand and South Waziristan, and North Waziristan. General Raheel launched Zarb-e-Azb. General Qamar Javed Bajwa continued with efforts of Pakistan Army to eliminate terrorists and extremists and launched Radd-ul-Fasaad and carried out surge against terrorists through intelligence-based operations. Pakistan is the only country which has emerged victorious in two-decade-long war due to brilliance, commitment and foresightedness of its military leadership.
Pakistan was never committed in blame game but was only concentrating to fight terrorists and their sympathisers. Today Pakistan stand tall in comity of nations for its just stand and whole-hearted fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, when Pakistan was fighting as a frontline partner with US in the fight against terrorism, India was all along playing a double game to destabilize Pakistan through terrorist acts inside Pakistan, to engage Pakistan on line of control so as to divert the attention of Pakistani security forces from war against terrorism and also continued to propagate against Pakistan in world media.
The recent disclosure of Indian Chronicles by EUDisInfoLab is a testimony to Indian nefarious designs to destabilize the region and promotion of terrorism. Indian Chronicle is 15-year influence operation which was being led by the Srivastava Group. The propaganda operation began in 2005 and is still ongoing. The purpose of this Indian propaganda team was to damage the image of Pakistan, particularly security and intelligence institutions. Indian Chronicle is a testimony to the Dosier, Pakistan had given to UN in 2020 about hybrid war, India has unleashed against Pakistan.
Since last fifteen years India is spreading fake news through a multi layered network of 750 fake websites and Media houses in 116 countries. Indian did not rely on propaganda only but played with US on ground as well in Afghanistan. When US was engaged in talks with Taliban, India was supporting northern alliance to disrupt talks but failed. Today India stand defeated in Afghanistan and exposed for its propaganda campaign and promotion of fake news in the world.
(The writer holds a PhD from QAU in International Relations and can be reached at: email@example.com.)