As President Hamid Karzai continues to play ‘Ducks and Drakes’ with the Americans over our northern border, continually putting off making a decision as to whether or not these foreign forces of occupation and exploitation should stay on, in a ‘reduced roll’ it is claimed, after 2014, the ridiculous ostriches here in Pakistan continue to be just that. ‘Ostriches’ who, on the whole, much prefer to keep their heads buried as deeply in the blinding sand of ignorance as they possibly can until, that is, their necks are severed from their bodies both metaphorically. It could very well be, physically too and it would damn well serve them right!
When will, not just the apology for a government and ominously silent armed forces, the people as a whole, realize that what happens next in Afghanistan – especially in the run up too or aftermath of the scheduled April elections there – affects Pakistan too. And that if, as most ‘experts’ and ‘global Afghan watchers’ predict, that country rapidly disintegrates into yet another bloody civil war, the knock-on effect on this, the supposed ‘Land of the Pure’, will be astronomical. It could, without having to resort to stretching the imagination, mean war here too and do NOT laugh: The situation is serious and has never been more so.
With 1.6 million registered and an estimated 1.2 million, maybe many more, unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan right now, imagine the effect another 3 – 5 million, mainly women and children, Afghan refugees will have on our already unstable economy. And even more unstable, very rackety, political scene and, as just one example, you will gain an understanding of why ‘Im the Dim’, ‘Taliban Khan’ or whatever else you want to call him, is, according to both reports and rumours, desperately seeking an exit from his responsibilities as party leader of PTI in KPK. The province which will bear the brunt of the initial wave of refugees and which will, if - or more likely when - the war spills over the Durand line, be the all important battle front. This will be a front the ‘Khan’ certainly cannot hold but running away, as he is attempting is, on the face of it, ‘just not cricket’ at all!
According to ‘private’ sources, well over 64% of property in Islamabad is now in Afghan/Pathan hands. And certain areas of the Capital city, as they are in other cities throughout Pakistan too, are well and truly Afghan, as Peshawar has been since the late 1970’s but this, in itself, is not the problem. The problem is that of Talibanization……which makes one wonder why ‘Taliban Khan’ suddenly wants out when, in all respects, he should be shouting ‘victory’ or the cricketing equivalent. Could it be that, in the face of war, real war, the man is just not up to his elected task and is, in point of fact, nothing more than an out and out coward?
Anyone with as little as a single ounce of sense, can clearly see that while their ‘master’ prevaricates, the warlords who have done so well for themselves, who have amassed incredible fortunes during his long rule, are already on the run. And if they haven’t yet left in person, their accumulated wealth most certainly has as they know all too well, President Karzai’s time is well and truly over. And so, of course, is theirs unless, that is, they do as they have always, historically done. They have been and fighting each other for whatever little – or lot if the so conveniently ‘newly discovered’ mineral wealth is snatched out of American hands which, on the face of it, is highly unlikely. Any which way you look at it though, the victims, as always, are the innocent people who, quite simply, want to survive. And it is these millions of extremely poor, largely uneducated, homeless and hungry souls who will surge into a Pakistan which has no largess left. And, in doing so – which they have an inalienable right to do, as to seek refuge in your neighbour is, let’s face it, a basic human right. The so-called Taliban, most of whom are not Taliban at all but ruthlessly ignorant bandits, are just waiting to take full advantage. This will finally, mean ‘Boots on the ground’ for America in Pakistan to safeguard our nuclear assets from these rabid idiots in religious disguise who actually, sources claim, want nothing more than to establish their very own ‘Pukhtunistan’. This would separate Afghanistan and Pakistan once and for all and be a bone of contention ever after – much to the amusement and glee of countries including America and India among others..
Inevitably, or so it currently appears, the south and east of Afghanistan will, - within seconds of civil war or otherwise, - be declared as Talib country. Taliban eyes, from the east of Afghanistan runs all the way south to Attock on the one side and Multan on the other. Both of these areas were, and could very well be again, an historical part of Afghanistan before the erroneous Durand line was slashed through the middle of tribes who, understandably given the circumstances, completely failed to recognize, let alone acknowledge it. The Taliban will use this fact to the bloody hilt irrespective of who gets in their way.
Whatever happens in KP is not going to remain confined there for long: It will result in bloodshed and changes, few of them good, throughout the country unless, that is, someone has the sheer, honest guts to stand up, stand out and contrive a viable peace agreement all round and do it right now!
The writer has authored two books titled The Gun Tree: One Woman’s War, The Parwan Wind - Dust Motes and lives in Bhurban.