America, Pakistan and the Game of Shadows at Durand


by Hamid Abassi


From theory to practicality, it seems that there isn’t a different between the way souls deal, or the states.

Looking closely, it gets obvious that the similarity or the connection is in no way a coincidence, but in fact it’s a soul or a collection of them which steers the states as well, providing the similar nature of actions, reactions and repercussion.

The Greek were smart enough to draw out boundaries on interaction between souls, and later the states.

As per them which stand very much valid till date, the biggest misdeed in interaction, relation or understanding remains pretending.

Though a simple word, deep within it holds a world of ambitions, misperceptions and wickedness, locked away cleverly with a outlook to fool not only in the proximity, but the source as well.

A relation having this feature whether between states or the soul has two things guaranteed i.e. neither it will be withstanding not it will benefit any involved subjects, qualifying it to be an affair of MUTUALLY ASSSURED DESTRUCTION (MAD).

The dilemma stated above, although confusing as it may seem is a true reflection of how America and Pakistan are conducting themselves in Afghanistan and the surrounding.

The 11 year odd mutual assistance, intelligence sharing, joint operations etc can be summed up in the paradigm of absolute role play toward each other, as well as the million involved.

In the week gone by a strange silence has gripped Washington and Islamabad following a drone strike which killed Taliban decorated commander Mullah Nazir. As per the agreed custom we usually hear condemnations from Islamabad whereas triumph from Washington, but this time around it has been calculated.

It happened a few times notably in Salala, Abbotabad (May 2nd) in this association that both sides have been caught pretending, and this being done by none other than themselves precisely. To Pakistan, Nazir was no alien. He stood by the state when they were sent packing by the unseen, unnoticed Taliban (Pakistan Chapter) in its Tribal Areas and Swat especially.

His control over a massive territory, a categorical stance over no aggression on Pakistani forces and his resources across the Durand was vital for ending the war within, truly and solely caused by the Allied invasion into Afghanistan post 9/11. If this raises your eyebrows, let me make things simple for you.

How did Americans pull a graceful end to Iraqi onslaught? Let’s not fool ourselves by crowning Mr Petreaus surge or Mr Maliki exemplary governance. In fact it was Americans realizing that like a body under threat from viruses, a calculated insertion of the same virus, though tamed can act as a shield against the mother virus.

This theory translated into friendly militia turned the tide for Americans in Iraq. A covert version of same theory was in practice through Nazir, which has been laid to rest by the predator strike. This gives rise to the immediate question of why we need it? Obviously inhabitants across the globe have seen how Pakistan has been left to become a shooting gallery while a coalition rest across the border, silently. Upton 45,000 souls have perished so far, with billions lost in economical chaos and millions suffering directly.

Nazir nucleus remained his assertion that it’s the invaders across the Durand which have caused this crisis, and their withdrawal will open the gates for peace on both sides. Now of course in theory it seems simple, but this withdrawal in his and others sharing same idea comes by inflicting losses on coalition forces in Afghanistan, which brings the “Do All-Say None” theory into activation. The 1st stance remains the most vital for Islamabad, but the 2nd phase goes inverse to our commitment for assisting international troops fighting in Afghanistan. So this counts for the silence witnessed on both side after his elimination.

The 2nd part of this “Game of Shadows” involves Americans in Afghanistan. Not so long ago the world woke up to the reality of Malala Yousafzai, a girl shot for her stance over women education and a progressive society away from the feeling of guns and terror. The West and America lead from the front in condemnation, without addressing the question of assassin behind her attack. It is no other than the feared Maulvi Fazalullah, safely housed in the bordering area inside Afghanistan with ample assistance to grow, recruit and conduct strikes across Pakistan.

He is directly responsible for the murder and bombing of thousands of civilians and security personnel, yet shielded perfectly in a territory which is unmistakably the domain of ISAF/NATO and the Americans. Authorities across the border have now clearly accepted that he is based in Afghanistan, as is the case previously with terrorist like Brahamdagh Bugti fighting against forces of Pakistan in Baluchistan. Shielding deliberately or through ignorance, Americans have made visible the black hole which exists in their policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan. The tit for tat over militias, with US backing unfriendly Taliban to Pakistani troops and vice versa is the fruit of pretending that has gone around for well over a decade.

We see condemnations once again from Washington over the killing of vaccination staff in Pakistan, with no address to the fact that their covert campaign courtesy Shakeel Afridi over OBL has fueled this fire, which our society can no longer counter through advocacy.

The genesis of post 9/11 invasion of Afghanistan remains clear that the prime stakeholders remain Afghanistan (To be cleaned), America (The Victim) and Pakistan (The Ally). India, China, Iran, Russia etc have their due share, but do not mistake it with the primary one as the flames have burnt in Kabul, Washington and Islamabad exclusively. Reluctance over acceptance of each other’s concern is highly novice. American policy maker should have backed their goal of securing a peaceful and responsible Afghanistan which isn’t a threat to any state in future instead of tempering their mandate by adding containment, energy corridors and so on to this agenda.

For Pakistan, it remains highly important that once this goal has been secured, the withdrawal shall leave a setup which guarantees peaceful coexistence with Islamabad and an environment friendly enough for all states to do their routine business in Afghanistan, let it be trade, diplomacy etc. The biggest threat to this post withdrawal settlement remains Americans unchecked invitation to Indian mission in Afghanistan away from trade and commerce.

The destabilization inside Pakistan is clearly based in Afghanistan or channeled through it, but a blind eye from Washington has made the matter worse. The cat and mouse will end only when the two allies of necessity respect each other mandate and concern.

Otherwise the MAD will not be limited to the two sides of Durand, but the ripples will be heading to Washington and even further. It is time that the truth shall be revealed to ourselves, before moving it to the partner soul/ state. Affairs of Rome have always been dealt the way Romans wanted, and same should be the standard in Afghanistan.


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Hamid has a Masters Degree from National University of Modern Languages, with expertise in international relations and political science. Since 2008, Hamid has remained wired to the blogging circles of Pakistan.