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Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 28, July 3, 2010

US Bid To Make Way For Taliban’s Induction In Kabul: Compounding Earlier Follies

Saturday 10 July 2010, by Bashir Mohammad

The strategy devised at the London Conference on Afghanistan last January—“reintegration and reconciliation”—is a veiled scheme to once again hand over Afghanistan to Pakistan through the vehicle of the Taliban (whose acceptability is being sought to be ensured by the use of such an adjective as “moderate” which in reality is hollow, senseless and bereft of any meaning). US President Barack Obama’s rhetoric on the “Way Forward in Af-Pak” has the same thrust.

The consequences of this dangerous scheme are not hard to foresee. These would, in all probability, be

(a) resumption of a civil war sucking in the neighbouring countries;

(b) spread of terrorism and bloodshed further afield;

(c) virtual partition of Afghanistan into Pushtoon and non-Pushtoon states.

IT is an unmistakable fact that the US and Pakistan are ignoring the traditions and sentiments as well as cultural linkages of Afghanistan’s Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks along with the interests of its neighbours and friends—Iran and the Central Asian republics, India and Russia. They are backing the installation of a regime of Sunni fundamentalists in Kabul. While the Karzai Government has lost the trust of the Afghan populace, the Taliban is hated in Afghanistan to this day. In this setting an innovative move by Washington in the Afghan political chessboard was essential if only to unfold a new perspective in the near future. But that has failed to materialise.
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Washington appears poised to compound its earlier follies and make way for the induction of the Taliban in Kabul. President Obama’s new strategy is centred on the presumption that the US’ success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to its partnership with Pakistan. Nothing can be more fallacious than this presumption as has been amplified by the US’ own experience since the end of 2001 when the world’s most powerful dispensation launched its “war in terror” on the Afghan territory in the aftermath of the unprecedented attack on the citadels of the US’ economic and military might on September 11 of that year.

It needs to be also emphasised that the international community should eliminate both the drug traffic and opium fields of Afghanistan. It is practically impossible to fight the militants and terrorists in that country ignoring the phenomenal growth of drug production across the Afghan landmass. It quite well known that both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda are substantially financed by the drug money.

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