Will another bloody chapter be open in Muslim History?

Gloves are off and diplomatic niceties have been put aside. President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, blames Pakistan and Iran for interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan without ifs and buts. He blames these two neighbors for dismembering Afghanistan. And he warns that this time Afghanis will not suffer alone, Pakistanis and Iranians will also suffer.

“We know (interference) is going on. We know that money is being brought into Afghanistan. It will not have the impact that they want it to have – not for Afghanistan and not for themselves – so they had better stop. If they don’t stop, the consequences will be exactly what I said earlier. The consequences will be that this region will suffer with us, equally, as we suffer. In the past we suffered alone. This time everybody will suffer with us. Any effort to divide Afghanistan ethnically or weaken it will create exactly the same things in the neighboring countries. All the countries in this neighborhood have the same ethnic groups that we have, so they should know that it is a different ball game this time. We are bloody determined. It is not going to be Pakistan playing the Pashtun, non-Pashtun game in Afghanistan. It is not going to be Iran playing this or that game or any other country. We can play the same game with a lot more historical power, with a lot more power in our history than others can. They should know that very well. It won’t work this time. Afghanistan has an ownership. I told you we will not be refugees again. We own this country. Afghanistan has a voice now. The United States, Pakistan, Iran and everybody should know that this time Afghans will not become refugees. I would be one of those Afghans who would not become a refugee again. It has to be very, very clear. That is why I am talking so clear. This is my conscience speaking, the conscience of an Afghan person,” said Karzai in an interview with Associated Press. [1]

President Karzai further reminded the world that this time the mistake of leaving the country will not be repeated. “The past is gone. We were unaware: The Soviets came, invaded us and we went out of Afghanistan to defend our country. We defended our country and that was right, but we made a mistake by leaving our country. It was one of the biggest mistakes we made, leaving the country,” he said.

President Karzai’s interview will definitely surprise the Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte. On February 2, 2006, he was assuring the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that President Karzai and President Musharraf have a common enemy by saying “Many of our most important interests intersect in Pakistan. The nation is a frontline partner in the war on terror, having captured several al-Qa’ida leaders, but also remains a major source of extremism that poses a threat to Musarraf, to the U.S. and to neighboring India and Afghanistan.” [2]

No body can say that Director of National Intelligence was ill informed. What happened in two weeks? Is it Iran factor?

But first lets analyze Karzai factor. President Karzai is threatening two neighboring countries. He is a president who is called the ‘mayor of Kabul.’ Even his mayoralty depends on the protection of the United States. He cannot survive even a single moment without the protection of the foreign troops. As the Afghan military forces are concerned, they are also not in a position to control even Kabul.

So why is this open declaration of war against Iran and Pakistan? Is it America’s voice? Surely it is. It is reminding Iran that if the US attacks it, it shouldn’t dare to use Afghan card. Analysts of all color are indoctrinating the Americans that Iran has two trump cards, Iraq and Afghanistan. It means that Iran can create trouble for the US in Iraq and Afghanistan through its sympathizers.

But why is this open declaration of war against Pakistan? Gen. Musharraf is a recognized ‘terror warrior.’ View this open declaration of war against Iran and Pakistan from another angle. View it as the continuous murder of Afghan nation by the Untied States. First Afghans were used against Soviet Union. More than million perished. Then Taliban were used against the post-occupation Afghan leadership. Then Northern Alliance was used to oust the Taliban. And again another segment of Afghan society will be used against Northern Alliance. Or another game plan is already about to be implemented.

All these changes drenched Afghanistan with the blood of their own sons. It is now 25 years that Afghans are killing Afghans under one slogan or another; even without any slogan. And on every stage of this continuous murder, America was there.

Any foreign presence breeds stability for a friendly, unfriendly and even the host country. American presence in Afghanistan is not acceptable to the post-Shah Iran. Shah would have loved it. Any pro-American leadership in Afghanistan is not acceptable to the post-Shah Iran.

On the other hand, American presence in Afghanistan is acceptable to the pro-American Pakistani leadership. Any pro-American leadership in Afghanistan is acceptable to the pro-American Pakistani leadership.

In this background, both Iran and Pakistan are not standing by each other but against each other. And both are looser. Is Iran safer in the presence of America? Is Pakistan safer in the presence of America? Is Afghanistan safer in the presence of the Americans? The answer is no.

The ground reality is that three of them are locked in a situation which was not of their making. Only a bold initiative can unlock this murderous lock. Leadership of three countries should sit together. Afghan leadership has to promise that foreign troops have to leave the country not in years but in months. Iranian and Pakistani leadership have to promise that they will accept any outcome which is acceptable to Afghans.

And American leadership should know those killing fields in Afghanistan or in any other country does not serve the interests of Americans. Killing fields only serve the interests of the special interests groups on the expanse of Americans. Hearts and minds cannot be won on the piles of dead bodies. American leadership should know it by now.


[1]. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1104AP_Afghanistan_Karzai.html

[2]. http://intelligence.senate.gov/0602hrg/060202/negroponte.pdf