WHY THE HECK IS AFGHANISTAN STILL UNSTABLE?
Billions in foreign aid, massive casualties by foreign troops (159 Canadians) and thousands of civilian losses — so why is Afghanistan still in turmoil, after sixteen years of foreign military policing?
A question that no doubt lies in the mind of every foreign investor as well as most Canadians.
The answer couldn’t be further from what Pakistan’s new ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has alluded to at a recent conference at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington:
“Pakistan did not know what suicide bombers were, but after jihadis came to fight in Afghanistan we ended with that bag in our hands”
He even went as far as adding that: “Afghanistan is a magnet for militants”
No sir, lets not be delusional and instead look at the facts.
- Despite your government’s denial for over a decade, Bin Laden the mastermind of 9/11 was in fact found and killed in Pakistan a breath away from Abbottabad’s military academy.
- Despite your government’s denial, Taliban’s leader mullah Omar was found dead in Karachi Pakistan.
- It is in Pakistan that over 20,000 madrassas (Taliban training schools) exists.
- Top US military and intelligence commanders from two administrations, testified that Pakistan supports Taliban and other terror networks within Afghanistan.
Ambassador Chaudhry’s albeit inaccurate fiery rhetoric, does provide the answer to that evasive question central to Afghanistan never-ending nightmare. A truth that has been passed on from generation to generation to every Afghan woman, man, child — Pakistan does not want peace in Afghanistan.
NOTE: We are referring to the Government of Pakistan not its innocent citizens.
In fact, Pakistan’s very existence has been and continues to be dependent of a continued unstable Afghanistan.
In order to understand Pakistan’s foreign policy of terror vis-à-vis Afghanistan, one must go back to the root of the issue, where it all began.
After many failed attempts of political influence and military expansions in Afghanistan, by both the imperial governments of British-India and Russia, the former finally decided on November 12 1893 to sign a truce with the ruler of Afghanistan. The one page document commonly referred as the Durand Line Agreement signed by Queen Victoria’s envoy Sir Henry Mortimer Durand and Abdul Rahman Khan, essentially outlined the Anglo-Afghan border and provided guarantees of non-interference in Afghanistan by the British. Indirectly it also provided assurance to the Russians that Afghanistan would be off-limits to both sides.
There was only one problem, the imposed Anglo-Afghan border was also shared by then sovereign state of Balochistan. In a signature, textbook move, the British promptly excluded them from the Duran Line Agreement altogether. The British, under false pretenses, assured the Afghan rulers that Balochistan was part of British India, and therefore, there was no consent required of anyone from Balochistan to agree on demarking borders.
Thus, to avoid any complications, the British kept the Baloch rulers in the dark about the Durand Line Agreement. When in fact, they had no legal right to demark the boundaries of Balochistan without the consent of the Baloch rulers.
After the advent of independence for India, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of modern day Pakistan turned on his ally Mahatma Ghandi and insisted on the independence of Pakistan or else. Fatigued by all the bloodshed that had already been spilled against the British occupation, and at a great political cost, on August 15 1947, Ghandi caved in.
From a technical perspective, the Durand Line Agreement should have been null and void from the outset, more so after India’s independence. Jinnah knew that if the Balochs were to ever find out about the agreement they would rightfully contest it. Thus, the flawed Durand line agreement became an unavoidable threat to the existence of Pakistan’s illegitimate Afghan borders.
Barely settled in his new gained home, Jinnah turned his focus towards Balochistan. When Balochistan's ruler Mir Ahmad Yar Khan remained unpersuaded by Jinnah’s annexation sales pitch and of making Muslims Great Again, the latter promptly invaded Balochistan on March 26, 1948.
Occupied Balochistan is today one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It is the largest province in the country, covering 44 percent of the total area. And ever since the occupation of their lands, the Balochs live in an unspoken Apartheid.
Pakistani security forces were accused of illegally detaining 19,000 men, women and children in Balochistan according to a February 2014 Aljazeera article.
With the larger segment of the British-imposed Durand borderline in their control, it remains that Pakistan retains only one major problem, Afghanistan.
Unable to invade Afghanistan, Pakistan has engaged in a long-term strategy to ensure its own existence. Pakistan’s purpose — an unstable Afghanistan — equates with a stable, prosperous and undisturbed Pakistan.
Recent events prove that Pakistan’s four-decade long strategy has been very effective and successful. Both Kabul and Washington have repeatedly stated that militants and extremists in Afghanistan all come across the border from Pakistan. And that is exactly what Pakistan wanted all along. Islamabad’s response has been to formalize the Durand borderline and fortify it with a Great Wall.
All of the above when paired with the lineup of the extraordinarily incompetent and fantastically corrupt regimes that has plagued Afghanistan, provides the answer to the 16 years-long evasive question as to why that country continues to be unstable.