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Tragedy-comedy with Afghanistan

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Tragedy-comedy has a long history in Afghanistan.  This history has bruised our national pride. The tragedy is Afghanistan has a longest history of being interfered by others. And the comedy is those who interfere in our internal matters call it an act of helping. When it comes to this tragedy and comedy, there are too many countries but Pakistan stands out permanently.

Pakistan’s Senate Defense Committee Chairman, Mushahid Hussain, said that Afghan Taliban is not Pakistan’s enemy. He also said the Afghan Taliban is not a threat to Islamabad. This clearly indicates that Afghan Taliban is a friend of Pakistan. Mushahid Hussain is the man who blamed India for the sabotage of peace talks with Afghan Taliban when news reports surfaced in media regarding the death of Mullah Omar.  And this is the biggest tragedy. Then what is the comedy? “The enemy of Afghanistan is the enemy of Pakistan,” is the biggest comedy. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, in his May 2015 visit to Kabul, said the enemy of Afghanistan is the enemy of Pakistan.

The two neighboring countries have had a rocky relationship for year. They usually trade accusations of harboring and supporting the other’s terrorist groups. However, after the formation of the national unity government in Afghanistan, things looked promising but for a brief span of time, as the pledges made by Pakistan proved to be elusive. Sharif had pledged that any militant group seeking to destabilize Afghanistan from the soil of Pakistan will be hunted down and taught a historical lesson. He also had said that coordinated attacks will be carried out on mutually agreed basis to target hideouts of militants along the Durand Line.

Pakistan always leads Afghanistan up the garden path. Being naïve or having no other option, its eyes fall on Pakistan, again and again—any port in the storm. This is happening despite Kabul knows that Islamabad lies through its teeth. This is once again the tragedy. The comedy is Pakistan’s civilian political leadership makes some promising statements, for which sometimes they get scolding from their military leadership, which is constitutionally subservient to the political leadership, but on the ground, this subservient is the master.

To validate the claim it wouldn’t be incongruent to quote Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, who informed Benazir Bhutto about the ISI’s support for the Taliban and she laughed and said: “We civilians couldn’t stop the ISI even if we wanted to.” And in her response the then ISI’s major-general, Aziz Khan, said he couldn’t understand why so many people in the Bhutto government were so averse to the spread of Islam—the biggest tragedy and comedy in the our living memory as he meant supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan was the spread of Islam. However, Benazir Bhutto was pressed to the extent that not only she changed her mindset but later on took pride in supporting the Taliban.

All these happenings, validate that Afghanistan has been a worst victim of tragedies and comedies, and it Pakistan, that most of the times, gets on Afghanistan’s nerve by interfering in the latter’s internal matter. And then the most perturbing happens—blaming the victim.