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Monday, December 20, 2010

Holbrooke’s advice


This refers to the editorial, “Holbrooke’s advice” (Nov. 17). There can be a dispute over whether Holbrooke advised for an end to the war in Afghanistan or not.


But most of the people around the world feel that this directionless destructive war should be brought to an immediate end. I disagree with the editorial’s concluding note that the US should get engaged with insurgents to strike a deal for a dignified exit (for Americans) and leave the mess to the Afghans (to deal with). This is exactly what happened in 1988 when both the Soviets and the US left Afghanistan without wasting any time. Then what happened in Afghanistan between 1989 and 1996 till the Taleban took over Kabul, and also between 1996 and 2001 till the Americans took over Kabul, is well documented. Do we want to make the same mistake — leave the war-torn country to its warlords and enjoy another decade of civil war?
Should we forget the treatment of women at the hands of the Taleban, should we forget the massacre of Hazara civilians in Mazar-e-Sharif and in the surrounding Hazarajats, should we also forget the execution of innocent civilians, the burning down of the villages and crops of opponents, the widespread beating of men and boys not sporting beards or daring to question them? There were countless massacres that the Taleban committed against non-Pashtun ethnic groups including Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and other religious/sectarian minorities. Their rivals — the Northern Alliance — are also not innocent; we have seen the systematic destruction of Kabul and the indiscriminate killing of civilians during their time as well.
We don’t see any peace coming to Afghanistan as a result of a hasty US exit. Such a move will put any peace prospects at risk not only in Afghanistan but also in all of its neighboring countries, particularly in Pakistan. The Pakistani Taleban will get full support from their Afghan counterparts to establish their rule at least in Pakistan’s northern Pashtun-dominated areas. We have seen a trailer of this horrible bleak movie in 2009 when the Taleban-ruled Swat valley for a short while.
There is no short cut for the Americans to leave Afghanistan and then expect the region not to get into another cycle of bloodbath. The international community should not allow the Americans to leave unless they manage to clean the mess they created in the 1980s.

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1 comment:

  1. Hello! America has spent ten years in Afghanistan now without any success as we know and will probably remain unsuccessful until Pakistan plays its part in particular and other Muslim countries in general where they (The Muslim countries) have used the religion for making The Taliban so should they weaken it by targeting its theoretical basis regarding "Shareya", "amr-e-bil maruf nahi anil munkar" and misinterpretations of "Jihad" and we Muslims should consider it when America has accepted and considered its blunder of Afghanistan but will we?