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Repercussions of US withdrawal from Afghanistan


Abdul Rahman Malik |

“The Afghan soil has been very difficult for the invaders whoever tried to occupy it or tried to impose their hegemonic rule. Everybody is well aware that what happened with the two big powers i.e US and the then Soviet Union who invaded this Tribal influenced country sustained heavy losses in terms of armed forces and financial loss. If the tripartite talks   between the US, the Afghan government and the Taliban succeed with support from Pakistan, these will play a pivot role in bringing peace in region and will definitely secure CPEC from hybrid warfare since Afghanistan will also be the key beneficiary since it is  a landlocked country and mostly depends on Pakistan for its transit trade. It is hoped that Pakistan’s efforts peace will be appreciated by the international community along with Pakistan role as a close ally of US in War on Terror.”

The Afghan soil has been very difficult for the invaders whoever tried to occupy it or tried to impose their hegemonic rule. Everybody is well aware that what happened with the two big powers i.e US and the then Soviet Union who invaded this Tribal influenced country having sustained heavy losses in terms of armed forces and financial losses.

Afghanis have sustained several insurgencies either religious extremism or communism and having resisted to these forces by fighting guerrilla wars or civil wars. The turbulent nature of circumstances has never been conducive for any foreign invaders.

Pakistan being key US ally has paid a heavy price since thousands of the valiant Pakistani soldiers and the innocent civilians have lost their precious lives in the war on terror.

The Soviet Union installed the communist party in a bid to enlarge or expand the communist empire to Afghanistan. Though, the communist regime in Afghanistan carried  out various radicalized thoughts and reformed the constitution on the basis of Communist believes and even tried to suppress the dissent voices through force but such tactics did not bear any fruit and when the Soviet-Afghan war started, the Soviet Union faced utter humiliation in the hands of Insurgent Mujahideen supported by the US and other pro mujahedeen forces .

The Soviet-Afghan war lasted over nine years but given the geostrategic and geographic location of Afghanistan, the Soviet fought an unwinnable war based on furthering the communist thought and bringing the territory in its occupation.

Read more: Restoring peace in Afghanistan – Zafar Jaspal

On the contrary, the resistant Afghan and Non-Afghan forces propelled Soviet troops to pull out of Afghanistan as Gorilla war incurred mammoth trouncing to Troops. The Afghans, historically, are the born warriors and that is why they have maintained their freedom for many years. The Soviet Pullout from Afghanistan had left the fragile and weak Civil Government in turmoil and the state witnessed turbulence and chaos after Soviet withdrawal.

The Soviet invasion led to the disintegration of Soviet Union when 15 of States declared independence, thus Afghan soil proved graveyard for the Soviet Union. The US support to the insurgent mujahedeen and other groups had forced Soviet troops to retreat.

likewise ,when US-led NATO forces had entered Afghanistan for the regime change and to nab the most wanted  terrorist (in the eyes of US) –Osama-Bin-Laden, The Russia had reportedly extended the Olive branch to insurgent Taliban and had supplied the sophisticated weapons since it was not just war between the insurgent Afghan Taliban and US, but it was war between the two Big powers of past and present –i.e the US and Russia.

To counter, the Twitter blitz, Pakistan government under PM Khan set the records straight and went on to say that We are no more hired gun as we have done a lot and it is US’ turn to do more.

Despite battling the longest war and the existence of thousands of US forces in Afghanistan, US has failed to bring peace in Afghanistan and has not been able to suppress the Taliban and retrieve areas from the Afghan Taliban stronghold.

Ironically, the US failure has always been linked to Pakistan and this blame game exists for the years. Pakistan is always pressed to do more despite doing more in so-called the war on terror. Pakistan being key US ally has paid a heavy price since thousands of the valiant Pakistani soldiers and the innocent civilians have lost their precious lives in the war on terror. Despite such unprecedented sacrifices we are still asked to do more and the blame of US failure is associated with Pakistan to hide their weaknesses and humiliating defeat.

Pakistan Armed forces conducted two massive operations namely Zarb-e-Azab and Radul Fasad against terrorists, additionally, targeted operation in Karachi and in some parts  Baluchistan where RAW supports the separatist movements. The arrest of in-service Indian Naval Agent Kalbhushan Yadav was the prime evidence Indian involved in Baluchistan when he (Kalbhushan) publicly confessed that he was sent to bring instability in Pakistan and to support the Baloch separatist groups to carry out terrorist activities in the country.

Read more: US envoy doubts Afghan Taliban’s desire for peace

Pakistan is amongst the few countries that have witnessed the heavy influx of refugees after US invasion over Afghan. Thousands of Afghan refugees entered Pakistan through Durand line and settled in KP, Quetta, and Karachi. Even, most of the refugees are not registered at UNHCR camps.

Some of the refugees went to India and Iran as well but the major influx remained in Pakistan reached the number of 1.4 million as per UNHCR report and Pakistan was  ranked the country with the highest number of refugees in the world and have been mitigating the refugee crisis on its own since the US has not supported economically. Rather, US president Donald Trump questioned Pakistan that it has not done the damn thing for the US despite payment of millions in US security AID through the much-criticized Twitter tweet and levelled the charges of deception against Pakistan.

To counter, the Twitter blitz, Pakistan government under PM Khan set the records straight and went on to say that We are no more hired gun as we have done a lot and it is US’ turn to do more.

Will the existing Ashraf Ghani Government will survive the US withdrawal if any truce reaches between the Taliban Groups and Afghan government under the power-sharing formula or coalition government.

Donald Trump after the humiliating defeat in US midterm Elections 2018 and after advice from think tanks, took a U-turn and wrote a letter to a letter to PM Imran Khan seeking help to resolve Afghan conundrum and bringing the insurgent Taliban to the negotiating the table.

The move was welcomed by both Civil and military leadership. Pakistan continued its resolve to play the role for the Afghan peace process. With two rounds of talks; one in Kremlin Moscow hosted by Russia and second in UAE, has proved the possibility of talks and as per the demand of Taliban leadership, US has announced to pull its forces stationed in Afghanistan.

Now, the question arises that how the US will leave the fragile and weak Afghan Government and plans to withdraw its forces stationed at Afghan soil for 17 years. Will the existing Ashraf Ghani Government will survive the US withdrawal if any truce reaches between the Taliban Groups and Afghan government under the power-sharing formula or coalition government.

Read more: Peace in Afghanistan not possible without Pakistan, Says U.S General

It is too early to predict but given the prevalent chaotic circumstances, it could be ascertained that the weak Ashraf Ghani government is incapable to cope with the security and economic challenges currently faced by a war-ravaged country where uncertainty surrounds all the hopes of Peace and the 17-year war has brought the misery in Afghanistan.

The US intervention in Afghanistan was aimed at expulsion and eradication of the insurgent groups both Afghan and Non-afghan including the strong resistance force  of  Taliban having shown their resistance for the last 17 years and the US is the verge of  facing yet another humiliating defeat in the hands of Taliban whom it considered the extremist insurgent group and killed thousands of Taliban, now initiated the dialogue  process with the same group shows that the US has miserably lost the toughest  Unwinnable war on terror in Afghanistan and  failed to bring peace and cleanse the so-called terrorists from the Afghan soil.

It is hoped that Pakistan’s efforts for peace will be appreciated by the international community along with Pakistan’s role as a close ally of US in War on Terror.

Though it has been able to install US-backed Government as the Soviet Union had done, it has missed the targets and goals set for the longest war it had fought, regrettably, ending in a very disappointing note. It could be said that Trump’s Afghan policy has experienced a significant shift after it feared isolation from the world in the Multipolar world order.

Pakistan’s stance on finding the political solution to the Afghan imbroglio was finally accepted and Pakistan’s new PTI government has reshaped and realigned the priorities in the foreign policy making it very robust to suit its needs in Multipolar world order especially furthering the game changer Project CPEC that has already ignited a hybrid war among the regional players i.e Iran, India, and International player America .

Finally, if the tripartite talks between the US, the Afghan government and the Taliban succeed with support from Pakistan, these will play a pivot role in bringing peace in region and will definitely secure CPEC from hybrid warfare since Afghanistan will also be the key beneficiary owing to its landlocked status and mostly depends on Pakistan for its transit trade.

Read more: US further sidelines Pakistan in Afghanistan peace efforts

It is hoped that Pakistan’s efforts for peace will be appreciated by the international community along with Pakistan’s role as a close ally of US in War on Terror.

Abdul Rahman Malik is a Policy Researcher, Governance Specialist and Development Sector Professional having worked for Asian Development Bank and other National and International Development Organizations. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space. 

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