Islamabad's Politics of Double-Standard and Hypocrisy
AAR editorial - 8/21/01
On one hand, Pakistan's Sindh province government bars Islamic militants from raising funds in the name of Jihad and orders radical Muslim militant groups to remove signboards from their offices to quell internal sectarianism, on the other hand the militarists turn a blind eye of approval to the blatant activities of the Pakistani pro- Taliban groups in that country who, with a very imperial disposition, claim to wage a "Jihad" in Afghanistan against the anti-Taliban Muslim Afghans. We witness here Pakistani hypocrisy and double-standard at its best.
A despicable collection of extremists and Taliban-like Pakistani politico-religious groups - shamefully dubbed the "Afghan Defense Council" - was formed this year at the behest of retired Pakistani intelligence and military chiefs allied with radical Deobandi leaders the likes of Sami-ul-Haq and Fazl-ul Rahman, to counter international efforts to promote constructive change in Afghanistan, by empowering the Afghan people.
The latter extremist mullahs have extended an invitation to the entire religious and political leadership of Pakistan to attend a grand meeting in Islamabad later this month to "review Pakistan's Afghanistan policy and to update it in the context of new ground realities."
It is reported that as part of the preparations for this Pakistani exercise on the fate of Afghanistan, a special 17-member fact-finding mission headed by former ISI (Pakistani military intelligence) chief Gen. Hamid Gul is visiting Kabul to prepare "a special report on the Taliban regime." Meetings are also scheduled with Taliban main-man Mullah Omar and other senior advisors (that does not preclude Ussama Bin Laden). Let us not forget that Hamid Gul and his team participated at the military parade put on by the Taliban regime as a show-of-force on Sunday in Kabul, and praised the proxy militia regime by boasting, "what we witnessed today was evidence of systems being built up. It is in its embryonic state, but in some ways they have come a long way."
This is Pakistani militarists and religious fanatics call Afghan "ground reality." A stubborn insistence to force the world to recognize that the Taliban are the best Afghans deserve and no political change derived from popular will - as opposed to radical theocracy - is permissible. Apparently this august collection of Pakistani Taliban allies will advise the beholden Musharraf's regime on policy toward Afghanistan "in the light of today's ground realities, both domestic and international."
Beside the shear arrogance displayed by this radical collection of Talib lovers to interfere to such extent in the internal affairs of another nation by dictating policy, sending armed foreign fighters to Afghanistan, collecting large amounts of war-funds in Pakistan and in places as far away as the Gulf states in the name of "Jihad," advising the Taliban on administrative and legal Afghan matters, this group also acts as an intermediary for the Pakistani military establishment to dilute the presence of official interference in Afghan affairs. As a result, hundreds of retired or semiofficial military and intelligence operatives work through these groups to prop up the Taliban military and administrative establishment.
This state of affairs cannot continue if the world wants to bring about constructive change to the Afghan scene and avoid a major humanitarian, as well as security, political and social disasters, in that part of the world.
Thus, if the militarists are sincere - as some in Washington and other capitals naively think they are - and they can ban certain terrorist-like activities in the name of Jihad in Sindh, then the challenge they face today includes banning the activities of the notorious "Afghan Defense Council" and other similar illicit activities to halt further destabilization of Afghanistan and the region. Meanwhile we will, and should, not hold our breath as long as the extremists and Islamabad's militarists view the Afghan "ground realities" from the same strategic venue. Pakistan can do better for its own sake, to achieve grand economic hopes, and for the sake of its neighbors and the region as a whole.
This calls for concerted and serious efforts on the part of Afghans and those who believe in Afghan sovereignty, national unity, territorial integrity, regional stability and cooperation, and the Afghan right to self-determination, to counter, in any way possible, the actions of extremists, zealots and adventurist militarists who hold imperial dreams of subjugating Afghanistan, changing its culture and traditions, and turning it into a hub for terrorism and violence in the region and beyond.
|Back to News Archirves of 2001|
Disclaimer: This news site is mostly a compilation of publicly accessible articles on the Web in the form of a link or saved news item. The news articles and commentaries/editorials are protected under international copyright laws. All credit goes to the original respective source(s).