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Afghan Jihad

A Brief Introduction to the Pak-Afghan Relations:

Afghanistan is the only country which voted against Pakistan membership of the United Nation in 1947. The two countries had tensed relations with each other’s for almost quarter of a century but tensions were kept under control. During the wars of 1965 and 1971, Afghanistan remained neutral and neither supported Pakistan nor India. Bhutto sought to improve relations with Afghanistan but Dauod made provocative statements about Pakistan and entered into close relations with Russia. However he soon realized that Soviets had their own agenda and by providing assistance to Afghanistan they had find access to the internal politics of the country. So consequently he tried to improve relations with Pakistan. Now the communist coup in 1978 put an abrupt end to the efforts towards reconciliation. Now Tarakai came to power who worked for enforcing socialist system in Afghanistan but he was replaced by Hafiz-Ulllah Amin.


The Advent of Soviets into Afghanistan and Response of Pakistan:

On 27 December 1979, Russian troops entered its armed forces on a large scale in Afghanistan. Hafizullah Amin was further replaced by Babrak Kamal. Now resistance within Afghanistan against Soviet intervention and Soviet sponsored Kabul regime began to take shape. Under pressure from Soviet troops millions of Afghans migrated to Pakistan and Iran for protection and organizing resistance groups in order to wage a guerilla war against Soviets army. The Soviet invasion caused a serious threat to the neighboring countries of Pakistan and Iran.  The main cause of the Soviet invasion was to secure its frontier by surrounding it with a set of neutral or friendly states and established Communist regimes in these countries. The next important reason was access to Afghanistan resources and expansion towards the warm water ports in the south. In this context the Pakistan became vulnerable to Communist expansion and President Zia-ul Haq saw it as a threat to Pakistan itself and decided to as he put it ‘to fight the battle for Pakistan’ inside Afghanistan. Zia sought to internationalize the issue and in this context he was able to secure a resolution from the Organization of Islamic Conference and support from the Non Aligned Movement and the US General Assembly. His aim was to enlist worldwide economic and military support for organizing Afghan resistance groups against Soviet invasion.


The Response of United Stated towards the Intervention of Soviets in Afghanistan:

The US was aware of the threat posed by the Soviets invasion, because they had a vital strategic interest in Afghanistan so they could not ignore the threat to the Pakistan security.  In order to hold back the apparent Soviet expansion towards the warm waters, the US and Saudi Arabia decided to support Pakistan to backing the growing popular resistance in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation. Pakistan also had acquired strategic importance after the fall of the Phavely dynasty in Iran. The Carter administration, who had described Pakistan as a “frontline state” in the Cold War, offered US$400 million in military and economic aid to Pakistan but it was rejected by General Zia describing it as a ‘peanuts’. However Pakistan refusal to accept US aid did not affect its policy and it continued to support its policy of resistance for more than a year. Now when the Ronald Reagon administration took office he revived the offer of cooperation with Pakistan and significantly increased the level of assistance. The Reagon sent William Casey to negotiate with Zia on terms for funding and organizing anti soviet war in Afghanistan. The Reagon administration Said that we will give you three and a half billion dollars for the first five years plus all the loans that you want and we will stop bothering you as for as your nuclear program is concerned and we will let you have operational control of the war that is being fought in Afghanistan.  So in matters of days Pakistan was transformed from an isolated military dictatorship into a front line ally of the US. Under the plan Pakistan received $3.2 billion aid equally divided between economic and military assistance. A separate arrangement was also made for the purchase of forty F-16 fighter aircraft. The military was a major beneficiary of the Zia rule. Zia government benefited from the aid to keep itself in power and also to change Pakistan society and economy.


Impact and Consequences of the US Aid to Pakistan:

Now during this period the Pakistani government with the assistance of US and Saudi Arabia created a very vast and resilient network. This network had four main points.  (1) Smuggling of drugs. (2) Smuggling of arms. (3) Using the religious institutions and seminary institutions in particular as well as the refugees in order to create a guerrilla force that would fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. (4) The control mechanism through which all of this was to be done was Pakistan military in particularly the military intelligent agency. The influx of arms drugs, Islamic radicalism, the growth of seminary etc was very lucrative for the Zia government in the sense that it was receiving billions of dollars of aid but it had a very powerful impact on the Pakistani society. One was the phenomenal growth of drug abuses; another was the accumulation of the weapons created very serious problems in terms of maintaining law and order.  The most dangerous results of the Afghan war were the development of drug, trade, Sectarianism, Klashankove culture and the arm race in the region particularly Pakistan had to suffer a lot.


End of the Soviets:

Babrak Kamal was removed from the office on May 4, 1946, and Najibullah came to power but he was unable to crush the activities of the activities of the afghan mujahedeen’s. In the meantime the Geneva talks began to progress and on April 16, 1988, the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan, with the United States and Soviet Union serving as guarantors, finally signed the Geneva Accord.  Now Mujahidin won and Soviets withdrew from the Afghanistan and two years later the Soviet Union itself collapsed because of the economic crisis. Now with the disintegration of the Soviet Union the Cold war came to an end and the USA is now the sole super power. It has achieved its objectives.


Pakistan paid a very heavy price for its involvement in this conflict. For years to come it had to suffer the consequences of its effort to the mujahidin.

About Ali Tariq

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