By: Faheem Nazimi
A continuation of the present stalemate will cause the U.S. to withdraw. It is just a matter of time. Public opinion in the U.S. now shows a majority for leaving Afghanistan. U.S. does not have a new strategy. I anticipate some minor changes in tactics, but those will not change the status quo. It will not force Pakistan to change its strategy, which is the main problem. Pakistan has pain points that can be used, but no one seems to want to do it.
Afghanistan has historically been punished unfairly by colonial powers annexing its territory to the former British-India and present Pakistan. This is an insurmountable predicament in the way of its economic stability and progress and the current fight against terrorism. The stability of this region is very dependent on Afghanistan. The present Afghan corrupt and failed narco-state on the one hand and the failure of the U.S. and the European community in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan on the other remains a great concern for the modern world. Pakistan’s committed military and financial support to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and Dayesh and other terrorist groupps in the most bizarre and hypocritical way is a dilemma of the century for the U.S. and its allies. They are de facto at war with Pakistan. U.S. and coalition supply routes through Karachi are increasingly difficult and extremely dangerous. The people of Afghanistan suffer devastation. All parties involved in the conflict on daily basis kill Afghans. They are losing trust in their government and the international community by the day. Therefore, the U.S. and its allies need to work out a brand new strategy with a new outlook for resolving the conflict in Afghanistan, considering the harsh historical and geographical realities on the ground that currently lie in the way of victory over the enemy.
The splitting of tribal Pashtun areas and its people against their democratic will and annexation of their legitimate territory, once called by the British ‘the nation beyond the Indus’, is an unacceptable and outrageous contravention of international law and human rights in the 21st century. The international community needs to look into this matter without prejudice or myopia. It is high time that Afghanistan’s annexed territory, ceded to the British India in 19th century, are restored as Afghanistan’s sovereign territory. The restoration of territory of Afghanistan is not only imperative for Afghan economic stability but it is essential and of paramount importance for the international community in the war against terror. This move will guarantee the stability, survival and sustainability of Afghanistan as well as the total and complete defeat and elimination of terrorism in the region, and will bring economic prosperity not only for Afghanistan but also to the region and Europe. The world will feel a breath of relief.
In short, our goals must be the defeat of terrorism and its allies, the elimination of spawning grounds for terrorism in the region and the emergence of Afghanistan as a free, democratic country with a rapidly growing sustainable economy. In order to achieve this common goal, a brand new outlook and strategy is required for the US and the West to review their strategy for Afghanistan and the region and make hard decisions. We are united in our fight against the travesty of the 21st century.
I believe that we all agree that Pakistan is the problem. My suggestions to the Afghan government are very clear and specific. They must press for a brand new strategy with the Trump administration before it is too late.
The Trump administration has not yet formulated a new policy for Afghanistan. So, now is a good time to help influence the formulation of that policy. My suggestions are as follows:
The strategic dynamics of the region must change if there is to be a solution, which, in my opinion, means focusing on Pakistan as the primary problem, there has been a greater consensus than ever before in Europe and America to this effect. At a high level, the issues that now need to be discussed in the development of a new U.S. strategy should include (1) naming Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism (2) rejection of the Durand Line (3) incorporation of Pashtun lands presently in Pakistan into Afghanistan (4) support of the secular Balochis against Pakistan, which can drive a non-terrorist wedge into the region and provide Afghanistan access to the sea.
To: His Excellency the president of Afghanistan