کور / سياسي / The28th January’s gathering: optimisms and desperations

The28th January’s gathering: optimisms and desperations

By: Qaribur Rahman Saeed.

The28th January’s gathering: optimisms and desperations.

The end of 2009 proved to be the worst ever fatal year for both to the Afghan nation and to the international forces invaded the country in 2001. However, 2010 will commence among much optimisms and desperations.

 According to UN report, in 2009, the losses of the common people have been increased by 11% comparable to 2008. According to UN statistics, “In impoverished Afghanistan, civilian casualties were up 24 percent during the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2008, to 1,013. The independent” icasualties.org” says 506 foreign soldiers have died so far this year in Afghanistan, up 70 percent from 2008 and more than three times the number killed in Iraq in 2009.

Meanwhile, the military and political pundits predict more disturbed and destructive scenario for security situations in the upcoming year” 2010”.

By passing 8 years of invasion under the auspices of United Nations and spending huge amount of budget, no changes have been seen in the real life of the people of the country. Vis versa, half of the population of the country is under the poverty line, and in some provinces, according to the reports, the life of the people are threaten by cold weather and poverty.

Milliards of Dollars poured in the country from one window and had taken by the donor countries back on the other window. The corruption and inefficiency of  the  high-up’s  from the one hand  and the  malicious designs and ill-intentions of the bureaucratic officials and drug-mafia from the other hand had jeopardized the running system  of the  country. The expectation of the nation from the election process and again from the newly elected regime also went to ruins. The introduction of the new- cabinet by the president H. Karzai, inflamed these expectation to the ashes. The same faces with the same agenda and with the same back ground again have imposed on the already broken shoulders of the desperate nation.

 “The drug mafia is very active in the country, and the country is allegedly the producer of 90 percent of the world opium, unemployment and illiteracy are said to be the causes of the widely use of drugs. “

Most dreadful is that,” the lives of the Afghan people are vulnerable to drugs. The number of drug addicts estimated to be over one million in Afghanistan, a nation with a population of around 30 million, according to English daily.”

 Many expectations were bound prior to the announcement of President Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan. As per security situation, and the engagement of the US forces against the Afghan Opposition, whom are absolutely Afghans, were signalizing and predicting that the US president would be taking a wise decision towards the solution of the imbroglio and would be able to save the precious and innocent lives of the Afghans as well as their own uniformed men and women in the beleaguered land. However, the US president while keeping the Noble peace price in one hand and a full loaded rifle in the other shoots more than 30,000 troops to the battlefield. As a matter of fact, these forces are involved in many notorious operations. The most recent example of these operations is the brutality taken place by the US Marines in the Narang Dist. Of Kunar province, resulted in the killing of 10 villagers including 8 students of the school. These killings defamed Obama’s career and put him in a severe test. Had president Obama moral courage He would have returned the Noble Peace price back to the Norwegians! The sending of that huge well armed army to the battlefield is also questionable, well they are able to control the atmosphere or they well pure more oil on the already inflamed situation in the land?

For the time being more than 110,000 foreign troops are present in Afghanistan as a planned surge of 30,000 more US soldiers and 6,800 from other NATO member states by late 2010 makes the withdrawal of foreign forces seem far out of reach.

Furthermore, the killing of these innocent people in the past as well as in the recent days has been the cause of strict differences between president Karzai and the NATO alliance. While the continuation of these kinds of incidents, which NATO insists on it, well furthermore widen the gulf between the two sides. It is reported that President Hamid Karzai has condemned the killings and promised to investigate the incident.

Civilian deaths in coalition airstrikes are a contentious issue in Afghanistan. U.S. commanders have made protecting civilians a top priority in the new U.S.-led war strategy aimed at countering the Taliban.

The huge propaganda against the previous Karzai’s govt. and his Cabinet were also reversed by the western circles and now not only everyone approves it but eulogizes the same gang of “so-called ministers”.

Meanwhile the western military Generals announced to increase the size of the so-called Afghan National army and National Police force, to make them capable of defence against the terrorists. However, the composition of the so-called ANA itself is the cause to lose the confidence of the majority Pashtoon tribes of the country. According to the available data, around 70% of the personal have been taken from the Northern alliance, whom themselves are the creators of the instabilities in the Pashtoon settled provinces. The same is the composition of the Police forces. The language of the army also has been changed, and those Pashtoons who don’t know the other language are not daring to go to either army or police. According to the locals, ANA and police, in these settled areas, are conducting   operations more immorally than the NATO forces.

Besides, the confidentiality between the Afghan army and foreign troops is diminishing. The reports being provided, elaborate incidents deliberately occurred by the Afghan police or military personal by killing its mentors. According to a recent report” An Afghan army soldier on Tuesday 29th Dec. opened fire on US-led forces, fatally shooting an American soldier and inflicting injuries on two Italian troopers.

In early November, five British soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman at a checkpoint in Helmand province. Two American soldiers were fatally shot in a similar incident in late March.

Analysts say the frequency by which the attacks have been taking place point to resentment within the Afghan soldiers at the US-led military presence.

 Meanwhile, the continuous resentment about the presence of the troops in Afghanistan makes the helping countries to rethink about sending more troops to the insurgency engulfed country.

Most of the European nations are against the sending of their sons and daughters to the battlefield, even some questioning their governments for the purpose of killing their sons and daughters?  

Germany and France are not interested to offer sending more soldiers; on the contrary, they say they are thinking of withdrawing their Military Units from Afghan quagmire.

In US itself  the graph of the supporters have been decreased sufficiently, while in Great Britten the Brown government is  under huge pressure to withdraw its  uniformed  boys and girls from the battlefield.

Furthermore, as new troops pack their bags to go to the war in Afghanistan, a new poll shows that a majority of Canadians say the eight-year conflict is not winnable.

The Ipsos Reid survey said on Tuesday that 66 percent of Canadians disagreed that “the build-up of troops will ultimately create a military victory over the Taliban.”

Experts have warned that the new surge will lead to more battles and a higher death rate among foreign soldiers as well as Afghan civilians.

Most of the American and European analysts are of the view that, the Afghan conflict cannot and will not be winning by the surge of the troops. The German Defence minister also emphasized for the peace initiative with the Afghan opposition parties” i.e. Hezbe Islami and the Taliban”

According to Irish Times, GERMAN DEFENCE minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has proposed talks with “moderate” Taliban groups. The beleaguered defence minister has also suggested greater differentiation between insurgents in Afghanistan as part of a new NATO strategy in the region.  “One will have to think about what sharpening up politically, what Henry Kissinger called ‘communications channels’. Not every insurgent is of equal danger to western society,” Mr zu Guttenberg told Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “There are differences between the groups in Afghanistan which radically oppose anything western and whose goal it is to fight our culture and those which are simply immersed in their own, local culture.”

Talks with moderate Taliban could be constructive, “so long as one doesn’t set oneself a trap”.

Meanwhile, The number of Germans who oppose the Bundeswehr’s mission to Afghanistan is increasing. According to a new ARD-Deutschlandtrend survey, some 69 percent of German citizens are in favor of withdrawing German forces from Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Only 27 percent of Germans believe that Bundeswehr troops should remain stationed in Afghanistan, a drop of 10 points since the last survey in September. The survey, the results of which were released late on Thursday evening, also revealed that over three-quarters of Germans no longer trust the German government to provide “full and honest” information about the Afghanistan mission.

Besides, severe differences for the upcoming parliamentary elections are also seen between the Afghan government and its international supporters. According to reports,   US Congressmen urged President Karzai to delay the next parliamentary ballot until electoral reforms are in place, reports say:

However, President Hamid Karzai insists the elections must be held in May despite widespread concerns about the credibility of the electoral body; the Associated Press quotes US legislators as saying. The reports added that: The Afghan government is determined to hold legislative elections in May and will pick up the bill if the international community refuses to pay, the president’s office said Tuesday.

In the results, it is necessary that, the upcoming 28th January gathering in London must focus on the solution of the Afghanistan conflict instead of focusing on sending more military personal to the beleaguered country. When the peace and security prevails, then everything would be possible.

The channels for the peace solution between the conflicting sides are open and available. Even in this very time the contacts has already been established. The delegations between the Kabul regime and the opposition parties have been exchanged. And according to close sources to Hezbe Islami, the party, by the request of the Kabul regime, will send a high level delegation to the capital for deliberations with both the concerned sides “i.e. the internal and external” sides. While an informal Taliban delegation already exists in the Capital.

In his sworn-in ceremony, President Karzai   announced to call Loya Jirga, to discuss and exhaust the ways to find the solution for the conflict.

However, the call for Loya Jirga will be more useful, if the participation of the opposition Parties are insured. Otherwise, calling Loya Jirga without the consent of the opposition Parties will not be fruitful and will be the waste of time and money.  The insurance would be possible if the international community shows their pure intention for the real solution of the conflict. Therefore, to insure the participation of the opposition leaders in the upcoming negotiations, necessary steps are proposed for creating confidence between the negotiators; for example: 

  1. Dropping the names of the high-ups of opposition from the black list.

  2. Military de-escalation and humanization of the conflict.

  3. Release of prisoners.

  4. Afghans side must give assurance that, they will neither endanger their neighbors nor the world at large.

  5. Negotiations partners would give the assurance that; they will not interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

Therefore, a peaceful, sovereign and independent Afghanistan will be able to maintain political, economic and cultural relations with all states of the international community; relation would be characterized by friendship, mutual respect and esteem “.

Hopefully, the London gathering for Afghanistan would not ignore the 8 years unsuccessful military occupation of Afghanistan and will take series the peace proposals, given by the opposition Parties. 

Qaribur Rahman Saeed,

The author is Afghan politician and former Afghan Diplomat.

E-mail: qrsaeed@hotmail.com