Code 45428
PublishDate: Sunday, June 17, 2012 17:27

Pakistan’s help is crucial for peace in Afghanistan

A part of the blame lays on Pakistan, most on Afghan authorities clearly make insufficient attempts to crush the resistance of rebels.

The outgoing year has been marked by growing violence and frequent clashes between rebels and criminal groups on one hand and the government troops and foreign forces on the other. Lately, the Afghan leaders, commanders of the foreign forces, journalists, diplomats and experts have put significant blame on the authorities of the neighbouring Pakistan for the sorrowful developments in the country. Though the Pakistani government headed by President Pervez Musharraf dismisses the accusation it has failed to put the whole country under its control.

Late last week, Taliban leaders dismissed accusation by Kabul that Pakistan supports rebels fighting against the new Afghan government. They said fundamentalists had been getting no assistance from Pakistan, but backing by ordinary Afghans to their struggle had been the source for stepping up their activity. Meanwhile, the Pakistani authorities hurried to say that they had extended no support to Taliban but made reservation that veterans of the armed forces and special services might back the fundamentalists.

It seems that there is a truth in this polemic. First and foremost, the Afghan authorities clearly make insufficient attempts to crush the resistance of rebels who are being now supported by a part of population disappointed with the Karzai regime and dissatisfied with the action of the foreign forces. However, a part of the blame lays on Pakistan for fighting has been going on in Afghanistan because Islamabad has failed to establish control over a large territory along the border with Afghanistan.

This territory has suffered almost no changes since the times of Soviet invasion. As before Afghan rebels use it for resting and recruiting new fighters. For one, it is well-known that suicide bombers have lately been used to launch attacks on both Afghan and foreign forces. This is typical tactics employed by the international Islamic terrorist groups. Such attacks have not been carried out in the country in the past few years.

Radical moves by the Musharraf government to establish its sovereignty over entire territory will clearly lead to a civil war and radical Islamists not only in the border regions of the country but also in Afghanistan will declare him their enemy number one. However, at the same time, the preservation of the current situation is destructive for the Pakistani rulers too.

Pakistan’s so-called tribal zones and regions along the Afghan border are considered to be the poorest territories in the country. The Pakistani authorities have thrown them at the mercy of local leaders, radical religious leaders and field commanders who have established their own law and order and even persecuted legitimate rulers.

In these circumstances the regions remind the situation that was before ousting the Taliban regime. At the time the international community paid less attention to the developments in Afghanistan, which was a place of attraction for terrorists and training camp for them. Currently, similar situation exists in the Pakistani regions along the Afghan border. At present Islamabad prefers to turn a blind eye to what is happening there and pretends everything is quite all right.

The situation has recently changed to such an extent that the local authorities conclude agreements with local militants, release prisoners and plea not to interfere in the life of these regions. This is a quite strange behaviour of the nuclear power that is ruled by a General who is considered to be a hardliner.

It seems that the Pakistani government wishes to rely on residents of these territories who are not always satisfied with the presence of Afghan militants and mercenaries of the Afghan resistance movement who behave impudently as if they were at home. Interestingly, Afghans, who were originally pleased with the establishment of strict law and order by the Taliban but later they became tired of dictation by fundamentalists, welcomed the Northern Alliance and international forces that ousted the Taliban regime with pleasure.

In fact, the current situation inspires no optimism. Late last week, reports said that elite units of French special task force that fought in Afghanistan would leave the country. Officially the move is aimed at reorganizing allied forces, of course, but it seems that Europeans are not quite ready to fight against strengthening Taliban, while more decisive and efficient US forces are over tensioned by the Afghan campaign and they could hardly intensify their attacks against Islamic radicals.

The command of foreign forces and western diplomats often say that coming year will be marked by the further growth of attacks in Afghanistan. Consequently, Pakistan will be exerted more pressure since it is becoming more complicated for the international community to fight against Taliban with out Pakistani assistance. Most likely, the strengthening partnership between Beijing and Islamabad will prompt Washington to toughen its attitude towards the Musharraf Administration. It is a different story, that the stern General has no sufficient resources now to establish effective control of the central authorities over the whole territory swiftly. However, in any case everything must be done to achieve this target. On the contrary, the situation will become worsen, and radicals who control now regions bordering with Afghanistan might claim for power across Pakistan in the future. 
(Afghanistan.ru)

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