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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The world view : Afghanistan

It is quite refreshing to see overall optimism and definitely a new sense of purpose on the world stage ever since Obama ascended Presidency of United States. The gratification stems from the fact that despite economic down turn one can see a glimmer of hope over the horizon. Down side of such a world view is that it can accompany complacency as the towering problems, regional imbalances and the wide spread chasm and deprivations cannot and will not disappear without being addressed squarely. The wrongs committed since time immemorial and aggravated and neglected during the Bush presidency due to lack of shear willingness or capacity to understand have created fragile situation which demand immediate genuine address. Unfortunately, there are no solutions, which can be pulled out by use of a magic wand but would require delicate hard work, willingness to understand and work towards assuaging the hurt sensibilities caused by years of ignorance and arrogance of powers to be. The region that requires immediate and without fail any attention is the conundrum in Afghanistan, which has has now almost overtaken much of polity and geography in Pakistan. One can be forgiven for being cynical about genuineness of the efforts being made, which brings the realization if problem is really understood. In the absence of basic and unbiased understanding no solution is going to have any lasting effect. Increase in the number of NATO troops in spring and a decrease in autumn, in an imitation of out of depth federal reserve and other world bankers in a desperate attempt to save capitalism, will definitely will not have any impact and will certainly not stop swelling of jihadi ranks. The impending implosion of Pakistan has its roots in its very creation and subsequent failure in establishment of a genuine political system and long unchecked periods of unbridled military regimes who did bidding for Western alliance up to the near end of cold war era. And the Western power while prophesying democracy had no scruples to deal with and encourage dictatorial military regimes in the country starting from Ayub Khan during to cold war era to Parvez Musharraf in the reign of war on terror. The parallel happenings in Afghanistan with deposition of King Zaheer in 1973 and subsequent violent changes of regimes until the ill conceived Soviet invasion in 1979 created a ground for the proxy battle between two super powers and both had no scruples in forwarding own interests at the cost of the fragile region including its impoverished population. The turmoil in Afghanistan spilled over to Pakistan in the form of refugees and the overlapping ethnic affinities in the frontier regions of two countries generated a common state of crisis, which regime in Pakistan set out to exploit to the hilt. The new found status as a front line state against spread of communism brought legitimacy to Zia-ul-Haq regime in Pakistan and opened the flood gate to Western and Middle Eastern aid in the form of cash and weaponry. Fighters of all hues, nationalists to fundamentalists, were all heavily rewarded for fight against soviet occupation and opium cultivation never was never a problem. In fact, the cash generated from the proceeds of drug pedaling was spent on arms for fight against Soviets. Westerner and Pakistan intelligence agencies joined hand in training jihadis. The scenario started unraveling aftere the collapse of soviet block and withdrawal of occupation force. Mujahideens and ward lords who had made profession out of their fight against communism, now turned on each and like never before a total chaos over took Kabul and rest of Afghanistan. This was the very oppurtune moment when west took its leave from the forsaken place and left it to fend itself.

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