Pot call­ing the ket­tle black

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Sul­tan M Hali

some es­sen­tial el­e­ments.:

1. US and its al­lied at­tacked Afghanistan be­cause it was har­bour­ing Al-Qaeda, which had tar­geted the New York Twin Tow­ers and Pen­tagon on 9/11. 2. On one hand the Afghan ad­min­is­tra­tion is black­balling Pak­istan, on the other, it is re­quest­ing Pak­istan to keep 3 mil­lion Afghan refugees for an­other three years.

3. TheAfghan Diplo­mat claimed that Pak­istan is vi­o­lat­ing other na­tions’ sovereignty. Be­fore lev­el­ing charges, Mah­moud Saikal should have looked in­wards whether Afghanistan en­joys sovereignty? Oc­cu­pied by the ISAF, ruled by the Tal­iban with no writ of the state, it can hardly be con­sid­ered sov­er­eign.

4. Be­fore echo­ing scripts writ­ten by New Delhi, Afghans should re­call 1979, when the Soviet Union in­vaded their coun­try, In­dia which was a Soviet ally, did not raise even a voice of con­cern against the vi­o­la­tion. Pak­istan on the other hand hosted five mil­lion Afghan refugees and is still host­ing over three mil­lion. Pak­ista­nis fought shoul­der to shoul­der with the Afghan Mu­ja­hedeen to force the Red Army of USSR to re­treat. In re­turn Afghanistan is host­ing the lead­er­ship of Tehreek-e-Tal­iban Pak­istan (TTP), which is wreak­ing havoc in Pak­istan.

5. What Pak­istan needs or does not need is none of Afghan’s busi­ness. Pak­istan on the con­trary is a sov­er­eign coun­try, which can look after its own se­cu­rity.

6. Pos­ses­sion of a Pak­istani pass­port by Mul­lah Man­sour is hardly ev­i­dence of Pak­istan’s col­lu­sion. Travel doc­u­ments of ev­ery coun­try are avail­able in the Black Mar­ket for a price.

Mr. Saikal quoted Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani’s ad­dress to a joint sit­ting Email: sm_hali@ya­hoo.com of the Na­tional Assem­bly where the Afghan leader had called on Pak­istan to re­spect the Quadri­lat­eral Co­or­di­na­tion Group (QCG) agree­ments and take ac­tion against ter­ror­ists who have their bases and lead­ers in the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

Mr. Saikal should visit Pak­istan and be kind enough to show a sin­gle safe haven of any Afghan Tal­iban any­where in Pak­istan. If it ex­isted prior to Pak­istan mil­i­tary’s launch of Op­er­a­tion Zarb-e-Azb, it is a mat­ter of the past. The coun­try is rid of the scourge of ter­ror safe havens. If there were any, they have been suc­cess­fully tar­geted and elim­i­nated. Con­trar­ily, the Afghan Tal­iban lead­er­ship roams about in Afghanistan with im­punity, mak­ing a mock­ery of Afghan Na­tional Se­cu­rity Forces as well as the in­ter­na­tional Spe­cial Forces still de­ployed in Afghanistan.

On one as­pect, the learned Afghan en­voy to the UN is right. His coun­try has mor­phed into a “launch­ing pad” of ter­ror­ism against Cen­tral Asia, South Asia, West Asia and the Far East. Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Tal­iban and other dark el­e­ments of all ilks, move freely on Afghan soil threat­en­ing the se­cu­rity of all of Afghanistan’s neigh­bours.

Mr. Saikal’s re­it­er­a­tion of Afghanistan’s com­mit­ment is at best laugh­able. His coun­try is spoil­ing for a fight. Build­ing a fence and check posts along the Pak Afghan bor­der should be wel­comed by Afghanistan as it would be a de­ter­rent to cross bor­der ter­ror­ism, but Afghan forces have been fir­ing at the Pak­istani peace­keep­ers and have mar­tyred of­fi­cers and men of Pak­istan Army, en­deav­or­ing to keep the bor­der safe.

After all the abuses hurled at Pak­istan, cast­ing doubts at its in­ten­tions and ac­cus­ing it of du­plic­ity, it should have dis­tanced it­self from the peace process. Un­for­tu­nately, Pak­istan too is com­mit­ted to peace in the re­gion be­cause it is a se­ri­ous stake­holder. Hav­ing suf­fered se­vere fall­out from the chaos pre­vail­ing in Afghanistan, Pak­istan has lost more than sixty thou­sand pre­cious lives to ter­ror at­tacks. Un­less there is peace in Afghanistan, Pak­istan can­not en­joy the fruits of peace ei­ther. A num­ber of de­vel­op­ment projects which can ben­e­fit both Afghanistan and Pak­istan, are be­ing held hostage to the peace process. The Turk­menistan Pak­istan In­dia (TAPI) gas pipe­line, the CASA 1000, are all be­ing held in abeyance till peace re­turns to Pak­istan.

Mah­moud Saikal should dis­con­tinue slam­ming the “un­forth­com­ing at­ti­tude” of Pak­istan, and ap­pre­ci­ate that Pak­istan too seeks peace in Afghanistan. Why should it sully the wa­ters, when its own peo­ple, law en­forc­ing agen­cies and in­stal­la­tions are be­ing tar­geted by ter­ror­ists based in Afghanistan?

His­tory is re­plete with ex­am­ples, where Afghans have ex­posed their in­grat­i­tude to their bene­fac­tors and suf­fered in the bar­gain. It is high time that in­stead of be­ing led by rhetoric and venom be­ing in­jected by In­dia against Pak­istan, the Afghans open their own eyes and judge for them­selves who their real friends are. The re­cent in­vec­tive by the Afghan Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the UN was car­ried as head­line news by all In­dian dailies and TV News Chan­nels be­cause his words of ver­bal as­sault against Pak­istan were like milk and honey to the In­di­ans. In­stead of play­ing to the Gallery in New Delhi, Mr. Mah­moud should de­cide what is favourable for his own coun­try. —The writer is re­tired PAF Group Cap­tain and a TV talk show host.

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