AFGHANISTAN COMPLEX SITUATION AND ITSIMPLICATIONS ON PAKISTAN

Afghan history is full with fighting, foreign interventions and perpetual instability. Itsgeo- strategic location coupled with her economic dependence on others made itsusceptible to foreign influences and interventions during various periods of history. Theregion in which Afghanistan is located provides a snapshot of the main 21 st centurythreats which afflicts the global community as a whole. Political and militarycompulsions demanded creation of a buffer state between British India and Russia, twogiant powers in Asia. United States, the new global power did not nurture any design onAfghanistan. The changed geo-political realities ended Afghanistan’s buffer status andhence relevance to the international community. It was only when USSR, afterconsolidating in Eastern Europe started expanding towards south that it evoked halfhearted interest of US in Afghanistan. The US and its proxy alliance continued support inone form or the other to various armed factions after the Geneva accord of April 1988. Asthe Kabul regime weakened, external powers got tempted to join internal Afghanfactions, peripheral forces emerged stronger, resulting in rise of suppressed ethnic/tribalanimosities.Soviet invasion and the presence of the US today on the Afghan soil point towardscontinuation of the conflict with different players in different times. The strategicinterests of the great powers of the day in Afghanistan pitched against the potential threatof terrorism, religious extremism, smuggling and drug trafficking substantiates theassertion that Afghan security situation has the potential to generate effects far beyond itsborders.Historically Pak-Afghan relations have been never been smooth and had the element ofrecurring mutual suspicion. There is no country that wants peace and stability inAfghanistan more than Pakistan, and no country stood to suffer more from instability inAfghanistan more than Pakistan. The deep historical, ethnic, religious and sectarianaffinities with Pakhtoons in Afghanistan and more so the presence of Afghan refugeesinside Pakistan has a direct impact and repercussions for Pakistan due to prevailing6internal instability in the country. Ever since, the cornerstones of Pakistan’s policytowards Afghanistan have been the end of Afghan Civil war, restoration of a permanentpeace, establishment of a multi–ethnic, broad–based government, and the repatriation ofAfghan refugees.Pakistan has suffered from the killing of noncombatants by both state and non-stateactors with the latter group often based both inside and outside the present-day country.Currently however, the biggest threat to the state and citizens of Pakistan emanateskilling civilians and policemen to achieve their political and religious ends, origination ofwhich can be attributed to General Zia ul-Haq’s controversial “Islamization” policies, thepresident of the country in the 1980s. His tenure saw Pakistan’s exceeding involvement inSoviet-Afghan War, which led to greater influx of ideologically driven Afghans in thetribal areas and the explosion of Kalashnikov and drugs culture. The state and itsintelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in alliance with the United States andCentral Intelligence Agency(CIA) encouraged the Mujahideen to fight the proxy waragainst the Soviet Union, most of which were never disarmed after the war and startedcivil war. Taliban (formal Mujahideen group) made government in Afghanistan. InOctober 2001, US invasion, thousands of Taliban fighters and virtually the entire intactTaliban senior leadership shura (religious council) had found sanctuary in Pakistan’sfederally administered tribal area (FATA) at the center of the border, as well as in partsof the Pakistani province of Baluchistan to the west and the north west frontier province(NWFP) to the east and south. Taliban and other religion extremist elements areoperating on both sides in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Taliban and extremist elements arekilled thousands of civilians and policemen indifferent area of Pakistan. From thesummer of 2007 to late 2008, more than 1,500 people were killed in suicide and otherattacks on civilians. Taliban and extremist elements create security threat for Pakistan.AimThe aim of this thesis to high lights the Afghanistan complex situation and itsimplications on Pakistan. Though out the history, Afghanistan complex situation andweak government create a security threat for Pakistan. Since the late 1970s Afghanistan7had suffered brutal civil war in addition to foreign interventions in the form of the 1979Soviet invasion and the 2001 U.S. invasion. Pakistan is significantly and directly affectedby the foreign invasion in Afghanistan. Pakistan is facing a variety of security threats; aninternal threat, an Indian threat, and the threat from Afghanistan. In order to comprehendPakistan’s security dilemma, it is necessary to start our discussion with analyze theAfghanistan geographically importance, foreign intervention in Afghanistan, pak-afghanrelation, Pakistan’s foreign policies towards Afghanistan, the resistance movement andrefugee problems, and then evaluate the security situation. Admittedly, the India factorcannot be ignored in studying Pakistan’s security dilemma.Research questionsThe research questions are; why unstable Afghanistan is a security threat for Pakistan.What are the Pakistan’s foreign policies towards Afghanistan?Theoretical perspective:Security dilemma is a term used in IR and refers to a situation wherein two or more statesare drawn into conflict, possibly even war, over security concerns, even though none ofthe states actually desire conflict. Essentially, the security dilemma occurs when two ormore states each feel insecure in relation to other states. None of the states involved wantrelations to deteriorate, let alone for war to be declared, but as each state acts militarily ordiplomatically to make itself more secure, the other states interpret its actions asthreatening. An ironic cycle of unintended provocations emerges, resulting in anescalation of the conflict which may eventually lead to open warfare 1 .The Term was coined by John H. Herz in his 1951 book Political Realism and PoliticalIdealism. At the same time British historian Herbert Butterfield also described the same1 (Kanji, O. 2003. ‘Security’ in Burgess, G. and H. Burgess (eds.). Beyond Intractability. Conflict ResearchConsortium, University of Colorado).8situation in his History and Human Conditions, but referred to it as the “absolutepredicament and irreducible dilemma” 2The security dilemma is the beginning of First World War Supporters of this viewpointargue that the major European powers felt forced to go to war by feelings of insecurityover the alliances of their neighbors, despite not actually desiring the war. Furthermore,the time necessary to mobilize large amounts of troops for defense led some GreatPowers (such as Russia) to adopt a particularly accelerated mobilization timetable, whichin turn put pressure on other states to mobilize early as well. However, other scholarsdispute this interpretation of the origins of the war, contending that some of the statesinvolved really did want the conflict.Pakistan is facing a variety of security threats; an internal threat, religious extremistthreat, an Indian threat, and the threat from Afghanistan. There are many factors whoinvolve in Pakistan security problems. Pakistan is bordered by Afghanistan in west andIndia in east. Since the late 1970s Afghanistan has suffered brutal civil war in addition toforeign interventions in the form of the 1979 Soviet invasion and the 2001 U.S. invasion.When we see Pakistan’s security dilemma, it is necessary to analyze the Afghanistancomplex situation, the resistance movement, afghan civil war, afghan refugee problem,Talibanization, and then evaluate the security situation. Admittedly, the India factorcannot be ignored in studying Pakistan’s security dilemma. India is a great threat forPakistan’s independence and integrity. Kashmir conflict is a bone of contention betweenPakistan and India. Pakistan is significantly and directly affected by the foreign invasionin Afghanistan. The eleven years of the war in Afghanistan was a dangerous period forthe national security. In the 2001, US invasion in Afghanistan create a Taliban emergencein Pakistan. Pakistan has deep historical, ethnic, religious and sectarian affinities withPakhtoons in Afghanistan. A high percentage of the Taliban is ethnic Pashtuns; Pashtuns2 Roe, Paul. The Intrastate Security Dilemma: Ethnic Conflict as a ‘Tragedy’? Journal of Peace Research,Vol. 36, No. 2.(Mar., 1999), pp. 183-2029are a sizable minority in Pakistan and dominate the Pakistani military. Public support forthe Taliban runs very high in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). Religiouselements (Taliban) are tried to enforce their agenda on Pakistani society and challengethe Pakistani constitution. From the summer of 2007 to late 2008, more than 1,500 peopleare killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians.This theoretical premise will provide me the platform to analyze all the giving complexsituations, threats and then evaluate the security situation.Methodology DesignThe concept of security dilemma denotes to a number of interrelated and sometimesoverlapping topics and questions. Due to the immeasurable nature of the concept ofsecurity dilemma, the method will be qualitative. The bulk of the study will be attainedthrough the analysis of documents, books, electronic journals, and scholarly papers andtherefore it will include textual interpretation or ‘content analyses’ as well. Textualinterpretation will be used to summarize, and identify the main properties of the text; andthen evaluate the text.My research design would analyse the data provided by different books, intelligencereports, internet and articles. I will define the main concepts and develop a logical andconsistent design for the study. I will look at the Afghanistan complex situation, whichcreate security threat for Pakistan. I will analyze the Afghanistan geographicallyimportance, foreign intervention in Afghanistan, pak-afghan relation, Pakistan’s foreignpolicies towards Afghanistan, the resistance movement and refugee problems, and thenevaluate the security situation.10I don’t intend to compare the findings with other south Asia countries. I choose the twocountries for my research Pakistan and Afghanistan. I give the answer for my question infour chapters.11Chapter 1HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AND EVENTS LEADING TO US LEDINVASION IN AFGHANISTANGeneralAfghanistan is a landlocked country of approximately 250,000 square miles located at theintersection of the Iranian Plateau, the Central Asian Steppes, and the Indiansubcontinent. It is bordered by Iran in the west, Pakistan in the south and east,Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north, and China in its easternmostregion. 3 It covers an area of 647497 4 sq Km which makes it somewhat smaller thanPakistan. It stretches 1300 Kilometers from the Southwest to Northeast and has a generalwidth of about 600 kilometers. Shaped liked frying pan its handle forces its way throughthe Pamirs for a distance of 320 Kilometers at heights ranging between 20000to 25000feet. This narrow stretch of territory known as the Wakhan corridor was carved out by theBritish to prevent the Russians from having a direct access to their possession in India.GeographyBordersAfghanistan lies in the Central Asia and is bordered by Iran on the west (936 km), byPakistan on the east and south (2,430 km), and by Turkmenistan (744 km), Uzbekistan(137 km 5 ), and Tajikistan (1,206 km) on the north; a narrow strip, the Vakhan (Wakhan),extends in the northeast along Pakistan to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region ofChina (76 km). For the most part the boundary runs along the navigable Amu Darya3 Obaid Younossi and Khalid Nadiri, “Afghanistan at the Crossroads” Chapter 12 of Afghanistan : stateand society, great power politics, and the way ahead : findings from an international conference,Copenhagen, Denmark, 2007[cited 2 Dec 2008], Available [Online] at http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf-proceeding/2008/rand-CF238.pdf4 Musa khan Jalalzai, Taliban and the Great Game in Afghanistan. Vanguard Books Ltd, 1999. Page16.5 The World Fact Book – Afghanistan, [available online] at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html.12(Oxus River).The Durand Line forms the frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Theboundary runs most of the way through precipitous mountain ranges over a distance of2416 kms. The lowest point is Amu Darya (258 m) and highest point is Nowshak 7,485m 6 .History of BoundariesThe modern kingdom of Afghanistan was founded in 1747 7 . It was Great Britain andRussia who, in 1893, agreed, between themselves, that the river Oxus should be thenorthern frontier of Afghanistan. In 1893 the Durand Line was established by SirMortimer Durand to demarcate boundaries between Russia and British Empire 8 .Geo-Strategic SignificanceAfghanistan located at the tri junction of three strategic regions is also called a region atthe cross roads of history, as it has been used as a trade route linking Central, West andSouth Asia. Pakistan directly dealt with whatever power existed on the ground tofacilitate the development of ground trade with Central Asia. 9 The collapse of SovietUnion and discovery of mineral resources in Central Asia dramatically altered thegeopolitical equation. Afghanistan has thus, once again acquired critical importance as aland bridge for oil and natural gas pipelines and trade route. Today, the Central Asianstates have come to draw much attention as it is believed that they hold the potential keyto energy security in the 21 st century.6 Country profile available online at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html7 http://www.marxists.de/middleast/neale/afghan.html8 Qaeem Ahmed Shayeq, Pak Afghan Relations: The Durand Line issue, Policy Perspectives Vol. 5, 2008,Number 2, Special issue Afghanistan, Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.9 Barnett R. Rubin, “The Search for Peace on Afghanistan: From Buffer State to a Failed State”, YaleUniversity Press, 1995, pp.138-9.13Fact File? Demography. The estimated population of Afghanistan in July 2003 is28,717,213 10 out of which Pashtun are 44%, Tajik 25%, Hazara 10%, minorethnic groups (Aimaks, Turkmen, Baloch, and others) 13%, Uzbek 8% 11 . Thedemography of Afghanistan has an important bearing on its power politics.Afghanistan’s ethnography has generated a highly politicized statistical debate.The 6-year survey carried out by a Norwegian foundation suggests that Pashtunsmake up an estimated 63 per cent of the population, along with the mainlyPersian-speaking Tajiks (12 %), Uzbeks (9 %) and the mainly Shia Hazaras (6%): wak Foundation, Norway 1999. The CIA Fact book, by contrast, gives 42, 27,9 and 9 % respectively. The tiny non-Muslim minority of Hindus and Sikhs,mainly shopkeepers and traders in Kabul, were displaced by the Taliban; somewere killed, and thousands fled to India 12 .? Religion. Sunni Muslim 84%, Shia Muslim 15% 13 , others (Sikhs, Hindusand Jews) 1% 14 . Although highly regarded, religion did not acquire the status ofpolitical authority in Afghan society. Religion acquired greater significanceduring Afghan resistance when an Islamic Jihad was launched against Sovietoccupation. Historically, in Afghanistan religious authority is based on threegeneral principles; scriptural knowledge, sacred descent and mysticalassociation 15 .? Languages. Pashtu 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Turkic languages(primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and10 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html11 Library of Congress Country Studies-http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+af0037).12 http://www.newleftreview.org/?page=article&view=271313 Encyclopedia Britannica, “Afghanistan.”14 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html15 Jalalzai , Op cited Page44.14Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism But Farsi is the dominant language in Kabul andwidely regarded as more cultured than Pashtu 16 .Historical perspectiveBritish Rule and the Great GameThe British, after establishing their colonial rule in India, desired to control Afghanistan.In the meanwhile, Czarist Russia was steadily advancing southwards and by 1869,Samarqand and Bokhara had become states of the Russia. The second Afghan warbrought Afghanistan under control British influence. In July 1887, an Anglo –Russianagreement was signed at St. Petersburg by which the Russian agreed to halt furtheradvance southwards. By an Anglo- Russian Agreement of 1895, the Wakhan became apermanent part of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, by the Durand Agreement of 1893, theeastern border of the country was precisely fixed between Afghanistan and India.Events Leading to Present Situation? The Soviet Invasion. In December 1978, Moscow signed a treaty offriendship and cooperation with Afghanistan. On December 24, 1979, largenumber of Soviet troops landed in Kabul and seized all-important installations.On December 26, they killed Hafizullah Amin and installed Babrak Karmal who,although backed by 120,000 Soviet troops, was unable to establish authorityoutside Kabul.? Islamic Resistance. Afghan Mujahideen made it almost impossible for theregime to exercise effective control outside major urban centers. In 1984 they16 Farsi is also sometimes referred to as Dari in official settings, in order to pretend it is not the samelanguage spoken in Iran.15began receiving assistance from the U.S and other powers 17 , which enabled themto further, restrict the Soviet and Afghan forces to major garrisons.? Najib Tenure. In May 1986, Muhammad Najibullah replaced Karmal butfailed to gain the support of people. By mid-1980s, the Afghan resistancemovement was exacting a high price from the Soviets, both militarily withinAfghanistan and by souring the U.S.S.R.’s relations with Western and Islamicworld.? Pakistan’s Role. Pakistan played a vital role in the formation of resistanceand subsequent war against Soviets Union. It hosted over 3 million refugeesbesides providing bases, logistic, moral and diplomatic support. It also sufferedboth in terms of human lives and damaged to the property.? The Soviet Withdrawal. In 1988, the new soviet leadership realizing no winsituation, agreed to withdraw 18 the forces from Afghanistan in a phasedprogramme.Post Soviet Withdrawal Time.The withdrawal of Soviet Union left far reaching effects on Afghanistan, substantiated asunder:-? Unipolar World/Demise of USSR. The withdrawal of USSR helped US tobecome the sole super power. It also weakened USSR economically and internallyand finally played an important role in disintegration of USSR.? Political Vacuum. Through out its history, Afghanistan had never seen acentral political system. Traditionally, the King’s rule was limited to the centre

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