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Pakistan's Afghanistan
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-10-13 07:46:32
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There was a news flash warning that at least 41 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in Pakistan and that only two days after another series of flashes had crossed my computer screen talking about militants storming Pakistan’s army headquarters. Before Saturday there were a series of explosions all around Pakistan and the week before a few more suicide bombers. Not to mention the month before that. So what’s going on with Pakistan is it turning into Afghanistan?

And by saying that Pakistan is turning into Afghanistan I literally mean it since the real face behind all this terrorism is the one of the Taleban. The Taleban as an ideology or practice owe their existence to Pakistan and especially the last leadership of the country – General Musharraf’s regime - even though their ties have long history. General Musharraf played a dangerous game with the Taleban which coasted the north part of the country. In the beginning Musharraf’s regime used the Taleban to clear the most rebelling north side of Pakistan from opposition elements and later while the Taleban started getting more and more powerful Musharraf used them as a threat and an ally in the same sense Stalin allied with Hitler.

Even though the Taleban started as part of the mujahedin in the battle to free Afghanistan form the Russian invaders soon after the end of the Russian involvement they became the main players and then the ones who absorbed the mujahedin movement. The same time religious fantastic took place of the sense and tens of Ayatollahs grew up preaching the real Islam and the return to the basic values. Another important element it was the support they attracted from Saudi Arabia and Iran which soon translated into money and materials; all kind of materials, from weapons to sophisticated technology from all the Islamic countries.

Bin Laden for all of us is just a terrorist and that cover what we often forget, Bin Laden meant and still means a lot of money and not only his own money – that are already unbelievable – but the money network he created with the odd assistance of CIA and other western intelligent services. You see it was still the cold war and for the west Russia needed a defeat in Afghanistan, it was their Vietnam. Musharraf wanted to have a part of the share and most likely he had his share in his personal bank accounts somewhere in Switzerland.

I know it is hard to believe but the amount of money have been spent in Afghanistan the last three decades from all the sides and if they were seriously spent in the country and not in the name of the people but for the people Afghanistan most likely would have turned into the Switzerland of Asia. And here I’m not only talking about the amounts spent for weapons or missions but the money spent for bribes, money for and from the drugs, we often forget that Afghanistan is a major producer; and finally the money for the mercenaries. Of course mercenaries, not everybody gone to Afghanistan because Mohamed ordered those, most of them are mercenaries from all around the world. You see, it always ends in money.

The game Musharraf’s regime played with the Taleban was dangerous but the general and his security stuff thought that it was controllable; wrong! They couldn’t control the Taleban and now the Taleban want more! That they managed to hit the army headquarters is not just scary, is terrifying for the simple reason that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And this is something I often wrote about. The risky part wit the nuclear weapons is not in Iran – even though that is also dangerous – but Pakistan. That a country balancing between a doubtful democracy, definitely shaken and a dictatorship with edges into the Taleban is not a country that should have nuclear weapons. Perhaps that makes more to the point the latest declaration from the American president for the reduction of nuclear weapons.

That Pakistan has nuclear weapons is really dangerous but that the Taleban have access to Pakistan is terrifying and it doesn’t matter all the reinsurances from Hilary Clinton nobody should feel safe. After all the next world war, which most likely will be nuclear is not going to start in USA or UK but in countries like Pakistan, Iran and North Korea! And that makes the war against the Taleban in Afghanistan more critical since now is tied with the future of all of us!


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Emanuel Paparella2009-10-13 15:12:46
Time for NATO to rethink its raison d'etre and step up to the plate in Afghanistan and help in the heavy lifting by committing more resources to it? Who, after all, appointed the US the policeman of the world?

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