[Reader-list] Taliban is the future

Pawan Durani pawan.durani at gmail.com
Tue Mar 9 17:17:32 IST 2010

Dear Mr Kaul ,

My view on this is different .

I believe that if we do not fight Taliban in Afghanisatn now , we would be
fighting them in India 3 years from now.

Choice is ours.


On Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 5:11 PM, Kshmendra Kaul <kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com>wrote:

> Dear Pawan
> I would agree with Gen Hamid Gul that "Taliban is the future". Not only for
> Afghanistan, which has been explicitly mentioned by Gen Gul but also for
> Pakistan, which Gen Gul might be hesitant in mentioning but about which
> there is no ambiguity that Gen Gul would like to see that happen.
> Afghanistan is likely to see the dislodgement of the present (USA
> supported) government either, if Taliban agrees, by it being integrated with
> the Taliban (as Pakistan and USA also are attempting) , or by a takeover by
> the Taliban in case USA decides not to suffer any further losses in
> Afghanistan and vacates.
> It is also likely that such a Taliban-Run Afghanistan will be a smaller
> geographical entity carved out from the present one.
> Taliban is already integrated into Pakistan. The ideology of the Taliban
> is being furthered in Pakistan, not only by religious teaching and
> propagation but through clearly visible ideological expressions in the
> Politics, Military, Media, Education and Civil Society of Pakistan.
> If Afghanistan were to go the way projected by me, it would not be long
> before there is an openly Talibanised shift in the governance of Pakistan.
> I would term the currently seen actions by the Pakistan Military against
> TTP (Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan) as jostling for control between two
> different Talibanised entities.
> Whatever be the scenarios emerging in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I think it
> is downright stupid of India  to be involved in any which way in Afghanistan
> in what appears to be India's vision of the grandeur of being termed a
> Regional Power.
> India is better advised to concentrate on improving the lives of the
> citizens of India and altering it's adventures to defending and insulating
> India from the religious and political adventurism of inimical neighbours.
> Kshmendra
> --- On *Mon, 3/8/10, Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com>* wrote:
> From: Pawan Durani <pawan.durani at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Reader-list] Taliban is the future
> To: "reader-list" <reader-list at sarai.net>
> Date: Monday, March 8, 2010, 7:56 PM
> Dear Readers ,
> Before I am being misinterpreted once again , i wish to clarify that the
> subject line is not mine . This is a statement by Gen Hamid Gul of
> Pakistan.
> The reason I am sharing his interview is for the reason that I found his
> thoughts very similar to Lashkar & Taliban. Just wanted to know if others
> feel the same ?
> Pawan Durani
> http://generalhamidgul.com/home
> “America is history, Karzai is history, the Taliban are the future”
> You recently said 'the Taliban is the future, the Americans are the past in
> Afghanistan'. Isn't that a little far-fetched?
> The Americans are defeated. It isn't necessarily because their firepower
> and
> their might has weakened, but it is because their own people are sick and
> tired [of engagement in Afghanistan]. There is fatigue now, fatigue is the
> threat and is the worst thing for a nation to suffer from. There is no way
> that the Americans can hold on to Afghanistan.
> Could that lead to [Afghanistan President] Hamid Karzai's government being
> toppled?
> Karzai is no more. He is now fighting for his life. They have already
> started telling him that by the end of this year he will have to shoulder
> the responsibility of security in Afghanistan. But what are they giving him
> for this? Nothing at all. In fact, more civilian casualties in military
> operations are going to weaken Karzai's position.
> Some in Afghanistan believe that the extent of civilian casualties has
> empowered the Taliban's resurgence.
> It is not only that. While the civilian casualties have certainly made the
> Taliban a popular movement in Afghanistan - some 80 per cent of the
> population support them - the people of Afghanistan are fed up with
> corruption.
> They are sick of the influence of warlords and drug barons, and the
> continued American occupation.
> If it was a shot stint - come in and get out after completing the job - the
> situation would have been different. But the Americans didn't do that. If
> they wanted to disperse al-Qaeda, they succeeded after the first year, and
> after that they should have pulled out. The fact they stayed on betrays
> their real intentions in Afghanistan until Barack Obama, the US president,
> came and started talking about withdrawal.
> It was only last December that Obama announced that the US will pull out of
> Afghanistan. Hillary Clinton said the same thing, but there is a dichotomy.
> On the one hand they say 'We are not here to stay in Afghanistan', but on
> the other hand they carry out surges and want to prop up and build the
> Afghan Army.
> However, they don't give the money to build the Afghan Army - just $140mn.
> Compare this to how much it costs the US to keep just one soldier in
> Afghanistan - $1mn dollars per soldier per year in Afghanistan. They have
> now about 68,000 US troops. It is currently costing them $65bn just to
> maintain these troops. There are another 30,000 US troops now coming, so it
> will cost the US $100bn a year to maintain its forces in Afghanistan.
> The US is a heavily indebted nation so how are they going to afford this?
> Some 57 per cent of Americans in the polls say they don't like this war and
> want their boys to return home. The Americans can't take casualties, that
> is
> their problem. To compensate, they started employing security contractors,
> some 104,000 security contractors currently in Afghanistan.
> What does this mean? Mercenaries to be used where troops cannot be
> deployed?
> We have already seen what mercenaries did in Iraq. The Americans are more
> and more inclined - because the US military cannot suffer casualties - to
> employ mercenaries, not just from the US but also from the local
> population.
> This is a very dangerous trend if we are to believe that mercenaries can
> win
> wars and carry forward the political objectives of the country. This means
> that whoever has more money can employ more mercenaries, win wars, win
> territories, etc.
> Given everything you have just said, how do you think the latest US and
> Nato
> offensive against the Taliban is going to play out?
> It is not going to work. I think it is an 'eye wash', it has political
> purpose back home. But there is no political purpose for Afghanistan. They
> are saying that they are protecting the civilian population, but they are
> dislodging the civilians from their homes in very harsh weather conditions
> in Afghanistan.
> The cold winds from the steppes of Central Asia sweep these regions. When
> you launch such military operations, the people are inevitably dislodged
> and
> their fields abandoned. In this situation, what are the Americans trying to
> achieve - I don't know.
> There is much ambiguity about their political objectives. Every military
> conflict must have a political purpose. I cannot discern that there is any
> political purpose.
> From a strategic point of view, Pakistan's involvement in Afghanistan has
> been seen as setting up a buffer, or deterrent, to India. But now that
> Pakistan has nuclear capability, how important is Afghanistan to Islamabad?
> We want a friendly Afghanistan. We know India is playing havoc with us. The
> Pakistani Taliban are being sponsored by the Indian intelligence and the
> Mossad, by the way, to carry out their attacks in Pakistan. The Mossad is
> very active in Pakistan and they are providing all the guidance and
> technical support to the Indian intelligence. So, Pakistan has to have its
> back covered - no country can fight on two fronts.
> We have to have a friendly Afghanistan, this does not mean that we dominate
> Afghanistan. No one can dominate Afghanistan, a country which has already
> buried two superpowers and the third one is about to be buried there.
> No, that's not the purpose Pakistan has in Afghanistan.
> Is the failure to stabilise Afghanistan adversely affecting Pakistan's own
> security?
> Yes, indeed it is. The conflict is not just derivative of the failures of
> the Kabul government - that is a puppet government. The real cause of the
> conflict is the occupation of Afghanistan by the Americans. If they go out,
> and after such a time - post-US occupation, the OIC and the Muslim
> countries
> have to come in and play their part. Then Afghanistan can redeem itself.
> I do not think that Afghanistan will be another Vietnam for the Americans
> because they have said they will pull out. Obama is a president who is very
> clear. In his State of the Union address, I think it was clear he was not
> addressing terrorism but instead focusing on such internal issues as
> healthcare, unemployment and debt servicing.
> It appears he is more focused on the domestic front than foreign affairs.
> You can't focus on both at the same time.
> There has been a surge in violence in Pakistan since the exit of Pervez
> Musharraf, the former president. The Pakistani Taliban threaten towns and
> cities, and there are tensions between the PPP and MQM in key ports like
> Karachi. What is needed to stabilise Pakistan right now?
> Political cleaning up of the mess. The rule of law must take root in
> Pakistan. Unfortunately, the more powerful among the politicians and
> generals, when it comes to their turn - whether by martial law or civilian
> democracy - they want to run the affairs of the country according to their
> own predilections and propensities. And that is where we go wrong.
> The political institution has to be set right; the Supreme Court and
> Parliament must be empowered. Right now, all the power is vested under the
> 17th Amendment, which was an amendment to the constitution passed by the
> dictator Musharraf in 2003. This gave more power to the office of the
> president and the ability to bypass the constitution and remain in
> leadership irrespective of elections.
> Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, now has that power and he is
> refusing to budge. So, the 17th Amendment has to go, Parliament has to be
> empowered, rule of law by the Supreme Court has to be established and the
> army must not interfere. Then things will begin to fall in place and we
> will
> take the right direction.
> Do you think the US is helping Zardari stay in power because he is seen as
> co-operating in the so-called war on terror?
> I think there is ambivalence in their position and they sometimes do
> criticise him. The American press has in the past bashed Zardari, but it
> has
> gone quiet now. The Americans fear the return of the Supreme Court in
> Pakistan because it could rule that the US drone attacks are violations of
> the country's sovereignty.
> If that happens, Parliament would have to act on the Supreme Court's
> decision and reverse the policy. The Americans are sceptical and suspicious
> that if the Supreme Court is given free reign in Pakistan, it is likely to
> rule against their interests and agenda in Pakistan.
> Do you think the government will survive until the next national elections?
> The government will survive but I am almost certain Zardari will not. I do
> not want to appear to be clairvoyant, but I doubt Zardari has many days
> left
> in government.
> In recent years, US officials have accused you of having close ties with
> the
> Taliban and al-Qaeda. How do you respond to that?
> No, this is wrong, I have no such ties. As far as al-Qaeda is concerned, I
> simply say come up with the evidence for 911. You haven't even charged
> Osama
> bin Laden so far, that means you don't have hard evidence against him. The
> full story is yet to come out.
> In my opinion, all this is a gimmick, an inside job.
> In regards to the Taliban, I support their cause of Afghan resistance. I
> lend them my moral support because I have in the past had strong
> connections
> with them. Incidentally, I maintained strong connections with both sides.
> Many in the Afghan government are my good friends.
> But since the Taliban are representing the national spirit of resistance, I
> have given them my voice. The Americans sent my name to the UN Security
> Council to put me on a sanctions list and declare me an international
> terrorist. But they failed because the Chinese knew the truth well and
> blocked that move.
> Basically, the Americans have nothing against me. I saw the charges and I
> replied to them in the English-language press in Pakistan. I said if they
> have anything against me to bring it forward, put me on trial. Tell me what
> wrong I have done. I have been taking moral stands. The Americans talk of
> freedom of speech, but apparently my speech hurts them because it counters
> their excesses.
> I won't use the word 'interests' because what US policy-makers are doing
> runs against the interests of the American people. If I say this is right
> and this is wrong, I am exercising my right and ultimately, this is to the
> benefit of the American people.
> But Zardari once told a western journal that you are a "political ideologue
> of terror".
> I wrote a letter to Zardari that I am an ideologue of jihad, which is
> common
> between us. He is a Muslim like me and believes in the Quran. Terror is a
> totally different thing. I do not support terror at all, but jihad is our
> right when a nation is oppressed. According to the United Nations Charter,
> national resistance for liberation is a right. We call this a jihad.
> Source: Al-Jazeera
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