By Senator Rehman Malik
THE international chat room is full of noises about the sudden takeover of Kabul by the Taliban but nobody mentioned the way the President of Pakistan was humiliated for seeking permission to carry out airstrikes using Pakistan’s airspace. Power prevailed and the weakest succumbed to the high voltage of American and NATO pressure. We witnessed the same kind of pressure earlier in the Middle Eastern region where the USA’s policy on the Arab Spring to gain control of the Middle East were frustrated, just like their loss in Afghanistan now. If you see the hegemonic policies of the USA vis-a-vis the Middle East and South Asia, both support notions of aggression.
The International chat room displays various comments and these nonstop arguments are coming against the USA and Taliban.
Currently, the Taliban are being cursed for the non-inclusion of females in their cabinet whereas surprisingly there is hardly any female in international chat rooms themselves.
The International community will continue to curse the Taliban while it continues to advance its agenda without hindrance. Is it unfair now to keep the Taliban isolated? They need to be brought into the mainstream and be made a part of the international community. Let us see how the international community takes up the matter of Taliban in the UNSC to resolve it.
The announcement of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan was made first during the time of President Obama. However, at the same time, the warmongering policy of the USA to overpower the Middle East was already in full swing as part of the great idea of President George W. Bush to take over Middle East and Iran. Obama stated that the US forces, authorities and CIA had achieved their longstanding target and objective in capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden. He also said that the planned to withdraw thirty-three thousand surge troops by the summer of 2012, including ten thousand by the end of 2011 while an estimated seventy thousand remaining U.S. troops were scheduled to stay until 2014. Obama confirmed that the U.S. was holding preliminary peace talks with the Taliban leadership and also the UN Security Council. He extended the time of complete withdrawal to the end of 2016. Later in May 2016, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, both candidates trying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, promised to sign a security agreement with the USA as a prerequisite of any post-2014 U.S. troop presence, hence the drawdown was slowed down leaving behind 8400 troops.
In October 2018, the newly appointed U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, travelled to Doha to explore the potential for peace talks in a meeting with the Taliban. On 25th October 2018, Pakistan finally released former Taliban deputy leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, upon US’ request. The U.S. and Taliban began overt bilateral negotiations in Doha, agreeing to discuss military withdrawal, counterterrorism, and a ceasefire while the talks continued over the next eight months.
I had told Mr Zalmay Khalilzad in my capacity that the USA will fail in pursuing its agenda as the Taliban will never come to a compromise with Dr Ghani. He did not agree with me until August 15, 2021.
To reach the conclusion, Pakistan mediated again and finally, in February 2020 the US and the Taliban signed an agreement in Doha in which all foreign forces were supposed to quit Afghanistan by May 2021. The signing of the agreement is credited to General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Army chief and General Faiz Hameed, DG ISI. Taliban negotiation teams and the Afghan government gathered in Doha face to face for the first time after the Afghan government completed the release of 5000 Taliban prisoners. Acting U.S. Defence Secretary Christopher C. Miller announced plans to reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan to 2,500 by mid-January 2021.
Putting an end to the 20 years long US-Afghan war, President Biden announced that the United States will withdraw by September 11, 2021, regardless of the progress made in the intra-Afghan peace talks. As a hasty and dramatic development, Biden mysteriously ordered a quick evacuation of troops in August 2021.
The FBI report on the 9/11 incident sheds light on the meeting of a Saudi government employee, Omar Al Bayoumi with the hijackers in a restaurant which was portrayed as a chance meeting by the Commission. The FBI has now painted the meeting as a pre-planned and well-orchestrated event as the witness to the meeting saw Bayoumi waiting by the window of the restaurant for the hijackers rather than running into them by chance and they had a long conversation together. The report also suggests that Thumairy and Bayoumi were also linked to known international terrorists on a phone tree. Bayoumi was in ‘almost daily contact’ with a man having ties to the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Centre attack. Thumairy’s phone was linked to people having connections with the Millennium Plot Bomber.
It is ironic to say that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks himself was a Saudi national. The question that arises here is why Afghanistan and Pakistan are constantly blamed for something that they were never even involved in? Why Pakistan, despite its evident and remarkable role in US War on terror and the Afghan peace process, is accused for harbouring terrorism?
Technically, Al Qaeda was formed in the 1980s when young Muslims from around the world joined the Afghan mujahedeen as volunteers in a jihad against the Soviet Union. The question is who called, gathered, and trained them in Afghanistan? It was the USA. The USA gave birth to the Mujahideen by portraying itself as a messiah for Muslims and used them against its arch-rival for its geopolitical objectives. It was around the same time when a wealthy Saudi, Osama Bin Ladin, was one of those Mujahedeen brought by the USA to be trained. The USA deliberately left these Mujahideen behind to create a state of civil war in Afghanistan so that it could have a reason to interfere in Afghanistan in future. The point to ponder here is that all of these attacks happening afterwards were carried out inside Muslim territories and by the Muslims themselves, until the 9/11 attack happened. Why did the CIA not interfere when it was aware of possibility of something happening?
The US has deployed its forces in almost every Muslim country in the name of security and protection but who is the enemy that would harm them? The Muslims themselves or the ones who fear the strength of the Muslim community fighting their enemy together?
Now, the only reason behind the USA blaming Afghanistan and Pakistan is that the unity between both does not leave any stone unturned to create unrest in the region. So, the superpower once again left behind the bone of contention after sudden evacuation for the whole region to deal with.
Intellectuals and world investigators must explore if this incident had something to connect the US’ larger plan of taking over the Middle East and Iran? If this point was to be considered in the international chat room then why should the FBI rope in Saudi intelligence in it? Why and what next? After all who is behind Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and how dare the sympathisers of TTP openly threaten attacks on Pakistan. Let us see how Pakistan counters this lethal TTP in future.
The views are solely mine and do not necessarily represent the views of my party.
(The writer is a PPP Senator, former Interior Minister of Pakistan, and Chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and Senate Standing Committee on Interior. He can be reached at: email@example.com, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik)