Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Nasser Yousaf : North West Frontier Province takes the brunt

From his editorial in The Dawn,
The expression of such intense emotions matters little to our homebred Afghan experts who can be observed spearheading the ‘pullout of Afghanistan’ campaign. The local media also seems to be taking a great interest in the campaign by picking up the juiciest bits from the statements of the now visibly demoralised US generals.

The latest proof of this was seen when a leaked report referred to the alarm raised by the commander of US and Nato forces, Stanley McChrystal, calling for reinforcements as he saw defeat staring the troops in the face. The sense of defeatism contained in McChrystal’s report sent shudders down the spines of those in the Frontier who have seen the worst face of the enemy battling the US-led forces.

The US might be an ignoble villain responsible for all the world’s woes but it is doing one thing right: keeping the Afghans from fleeing their country like they did during the Soviet occupation and subsequent Taliban rule. Those referring to present-day Afghanistan as an occupied country intentionally neglect this most crucial aspect of the ongoing hostilities and the great sufferings of the Pakhtuns.

Pulling out at this stage would amount to handing over Afghanistan to the Taliban, which would undoubtedly force another wave of migration of Afghans and their consequent settlement in the Frontier. This could be the worst imaginable nightmare for the Frontier as the province — teetering and crumbling — is seen grappling with the most decisive moments of its volatile history.
In the build up to our invasion of Iraq the Pope said, Whoever decides that all peaceful means available under international law are exhausted assumes a grave responsibility before God, his own conscience and history. (Famously repeated by Tim Russert to SecDef Rumsfeld. See my post here.) Seems to me those advocating we stand down from Iraq face an equally grave responsibility before God. Someone pays the price for foolish pacifism too. Seems it's only the warriors charged with responsibility before God but I have a feeling God brings pacifists to the docket too. History certainly will.

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