At the recent UNSC session on Afghanistan, yet again the representatives of Kabul (and roughly 57% of Afghanistan) resorted to traditional mudslinging against Pakistan in unison with their Indian counterparts in a coordinated attack. As has become the defining theme of Afghanistan’s “escape from reality” syndrome, all of Afghanistan’s problems were claimed to be originating from Pakistan, and the great Afghan nation didn’t carry the burden of its failures or that of its backers in the West and East.
The rhetoric was, as it always has been for a while now, alleged support and sanctuaries of Taliban in Pakistan, albeit there is no proof presented, but loud noises do get the attention of their own. Both Afghanistan and India didn’t hold back in lambasting Pakistan with accusation after accusation, much to the disappointment of not just Pakistan but regional representatives as well who seem to have grown tired of this ritual of blaming others for one’s failures, and continued preference of US, Afghanistan, and India to “fighting it out with the Taliban”.
While Afghanistan and India hailed the US policy of more wars and bloodshed in Afghanistan (ironic, isn’t it?), Pakistan was joined by the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, Russian Federation, China, Japan, Uruguay, Egypt, United Kingdom, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, France, Italy, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Senegal, Netherlands, Canada, Germany, Turkey, Iran, European Union and Belgium in reiterating that:
-There is no military solution to the Afghan conflict. Ultimately the solution must be a political one.
-The Afghan govt must engage in a political process with the Taliban and other opposition groups.
-The peace process should be “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned”, but “Kabul must take the first step in that regard.”
-The threat of Daesh must be taken very seriously, and must not be ignored.
-“The presence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had failed to address instability in Afghanistan,” the Russian representative said.
Despite such global echoing of responsibilities that the National Unity Government of Kabul (and roughly 57% of Afghanistan) must shoulder in order to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan, the Afghan Foreign Minister kept up with his futile attempts to convince that it was somehow Pakistan’s responsibility, and not that of mighty US/NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan for the past 16 years, to fight Afghanistan’s war, and wave the magic wand that will instantly bring peace and stability in Afghanistan. Mind you, it was the same Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani, who tweeted about “terrorists within the (Afghan) system”. Needless to say, India was right behind Afghanistan to practically rephrase the parroted narrative to convince the world about Pakistan’s alleged role in keeping Afghanistan destabilized.
By blaming Pakistan for all its ills, the failing government of Kabul gains two things: Firstly, it gets more attention and incentives from India, which will practically shower anyone, including TTP/Daesh/BLA etc, with blessings and wealth as long as they display hostility towards Pakistan, with words or inactions. Much has been said and written about Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan emitting from Afghanistan. There is a well documented and well-established history of Indian support to hostile elements both inside and outside of Pakistan. By aligning with India, the current Afghan govt not only reaps the financial benefits but also gets to settle the historical scores from the days of Afghan civil war.
Almost the entirety of current Afghan elite in Kabul are/were members of the “Northern Alliance”, and anyone who has even briefly studied the Afghan civil war of the 90’s would immediately know the type of relationship Pakistan had with the warlords of Northern Alliance. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that once coming into power, the warlords of Northern Alliance have reignited the fire of hostility towards Pakistan and intend to take revenge for their humiliating defeat at the hands of Taliban. The Northern Alliance’s desire for revenge fits perfectly with Indian objectives of undoing the state of Pakistan by any means possible. To that end, the two have joined hands in an unholy alliance against Pakistan.
Secondly, the NUG exonerates itself from any form of responsibility & explanation that it owes to the people of Afghanistan in particular and region in general, as to how it continues to fail in securing Afghanistan, even after 16 years of uninterrupted and unconditional support from the world’s most powerful nations. The US alone has spent close to a trillion dollars on Afghanistan, yet results are far from even remotely what can be regarded as “desirable”.
This parroted hostile narrative against Pakistan conveniently covers up all the mistakes, the corruption, the collision with the “enemy”, the incompetence, inefficiency and corruption of the Afghan Security forces, the scams which created bottomless pits that routinely become the highlights of SIGAR reports, the mind-boggling policies and practices of Afghan govt that directly and indirectly help the Taliban, the rise of Daesh, and most importantly the lack of taking action against terrorist sanctuaries inside Afghanistan that continue to spawn more and more terrorists that attack the state of Pakistan. The Afghan govt paints itself the victim to hide its own dirty deeds.
Afghan govt has no or weak control over almost half of its own territory, which again is a well documented and hard fact of life. It hardly makes any sense for Afghan Taliban to take shelter in Pakistan when they control and govern such huge swaths of land inside the Afghan territory. Helmand, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Herat, Baghlan and Mazar Sharif have the huge concentration of Taliban, and all are within Afghan territory. Unless the Afghan govt is implying that all the above-mentioned areas are part of Pakistan, it would be wise to concentrate on removing Taliban from these areas instead of blaming Pakistan for questionable claims of “sanctuaries inside Pakistan”.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy and position of Regional Rapport.