Afghan Peace Process; Postscript

From Dr Hamid Hussain

Following was an exchange with an old Afghan hand of ISI.  It may be of interest to some.  His comments in normal font; mine in bold.

26 February 2019

 Thanks Sir for opening more windows;  My comments essentially of a wandering dervish in red in your main text;

Hamid

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Dear HH,

A very thought provoking analysis with indepth knowledge of situation in Afghanistan.  My take:

  1. No party can have total control over Afghanistan particularly psuedo democracy.(You are correct that no single party is strong enough to impose its will on the whole country.  In good old times, a chap like Amir Abdur Rahman put the fear of God by beheading a large number of tribal leaders and exiling others far away from their homeland.  In this way, he was able to impose a central state on reluctant Afghans. Times have changed.  It is time for a grand bargain and compromise although I’m not sure whether Afghans are ready for it.)
  2. Taliban will emerge as the largest group but will not be allowed total control by big powers. Fear CIS & Russians from fundamentalists will keep them supporting tajik and uzbek groups.(Correct.  Interests of many countries are divergent and each state will support its own proxy.  It is fine as long it is for political jockeying but all need to be mindful that one heated argument after endless cups of green tea can tempt one to reach for AK-47.  This urge needs to be controlled. If not then;

aur ja’am toteein gein; iss sharab khane mein)

3.hazaras & other shia gps having tasted part  powers will not easily succumb to Taliban rule. (Another reason for all Afghans to go for a bargain.  Like many highlanders, Afghans of all ethnicities have a distorted sense of honor.  They are willing to settle scores with gun for whatever perverted reason.  However, their grandmother is begging on the street, young son is molested in coal mines of Baluchistan (Shahrag mining town in Baluchistan is the most heinous place in this regard where boys as young as 8 or 9 from FATA and Afghanistan are being molested on daily basis) or daughters going into prostitution to put food on the table in Pakistan & Iran, and their honor is nowhere to be found. Reminds me the words of an American who had worked in Afghanistan.  He lived with his family among Afghans and worked in 1970s in Jalalabad for several years.  In mid 2000s, he went back for a trip to Jalalabad. He said that Afghans were poorer then but had honor.  Now they are richer but have lost their honor”. Hegel defined courage and bravery as “Courage among civilized peoples consists in a readiness to sacrifice oneself for the political community) Continue reading “Afghan Peace Process; Postscript”

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Arundhati Roy on Kashmir; Pakistan is simply another Bantustan

A quick note on Ms. Roy’s thoughts:

NEW DELHI —With his reckless “pre-emptive” airstrike on Balakot in Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inadvertently undone what previous Indian governments almost miraculously, succeeded in doing for decades. Since 1947 the Indian Government has bristled at any suggestion that the conflict in Kashmir could be resolved by international arbitration, insisting that it is an “internal matter.” By goading Pakistan into a counter-strike, and so making India and Pakistan the only two nuclear powers in history to have bombed each other, Modi has internationalised the Kashmir dispute. He has demonstrated to the world that Kashmir is potentially the most dangerous place on earth, the flash-point for nuclear war. Every person, country, and organisation that worries about the prospect of nuclear war has the right to intervene and do everything in its power to prevent it.

I followed another link to this article, In Pulwama Bomber Adil Ahmad Dar’s Village, It’s Another Day, Another Death, and I was shocked to see that the bomber was a native Kashmiri.

In Pulwama Bomber Adil Ahmad Dar's Village, It's Another Day, Another

Kashmir is on fire and the Indian government doesn’t seem to have realised just how much of an own-goal this incident has been.

India should be viewing Pakistan and Bangladesh as the West Bank & Gaza Strip of the Subcontinent. These Muslims Republics are a great place for India’s demographics to be absorbed and in retrospect 1971 was not the great victory for India.

India pretends to be Israel but Israel has a strict Jewish First policy whereas India is territorial focussed. Israelis don’t hunker for a land between the Sea & the Euphrates but stay within defensible borders and hold on to their cantonments.

India shouldn’t be fighting corrupt Pakistani generals and businessmen; it should be bribing them. If Pakistan tomorrow becomes 5 banana republics; the Punjab border would be overwhelmed with Muslim refugees.

Post 1971 India was left with:

An estimate made in the year 2000 placed the total number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India at 1.5 crore, with around 3 lakh entering every year. 

I imagine the majority of these illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are not Hindu.

Like Israel, India will soon have to decide whether it wants to have a solidly Hindu future (with compliant Hindufied minorities) or a “Akhand Bharat.”

But deep down Indians, of all stripes (Hindutva included), cannot bear to part with Pakistan & Kashmir. There is an atavistic bond Hindus/Indians have to this mythical Mughal fantasy, that they just can’t quit Pakistan.

Any sensible Hindu leader would be advocating partition upon partition to isolate and quarantine these bantustan Pakistans. Isolated, weak, divided and led by a corrupt Muslim elite drunk on Indian money; these little Pakistans would have been wonderful pawns of India.

Instead India’s loss will be China’s gain; Israel doesn’t do such mistakes.

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Complete Victory For Imran Khan

Pakistan is offering to return the pilot as a gesture of goodwill. Huge humiliation for India on every level.

I’m extraordinarily impressed with Imran’s handling of the crisis. This is the end of Modi, who should have been the Indian Benjamin Nethanyahu.

Pakistan has been cool, strategic and conciliatory while India has been bombastic, hotheaded and bloodthirsty. Completely outfoxed and to lose in a dogfight with Pakistan is a big shame on the Indian air-force. Continue reading “Complete Victory For Imran Khan”

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BrownCast Podcast episode 18: India and Pakistan; Confrontation in the Subcontinent

Image result for kashmir crisisAnother BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunes and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above. You can also support the podcast as a patron (the primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else…). Would appreciate more positive reviews.

In this episode Razib and Omar talk to Major Amin and Dr Hamid Hussain. Major Amin and Dr Hamid are familiar to our readers for their regular contributions on military history. In this episode we discuss the current India-Pakistan confrontation and what comes next. Events may have moved on even as this gets posted, but I am sure listeners will find it an interesting review of the military and political aspects of the crisis.

Postscript: I may have been too hasty in concluding that only one plane was lost that day. It seems that witness accounts and initial Pakistani claims all mention two aircraft. Pakistan says that was another Indian plane, Indians say it was a PAF F-16. Right now, all we can say is that Abhinandan’s MiG 21 crashed without a doubt.. what happened to the second plane and who was it? We don’t know yet for sure.

Note from Razib: I tried my best, but there were a few issues with the sound on this podcast. But since the substance is timely and hard to find elsewhere I think it’s worth it!

Image result for kashmir crisis

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India needs to learn how to deal with Zombistan.

Pakistan is a zombie nation animated by a virus. You can attack the zombie but only more will grow, it is only by curing the virus will the zombie came back to normality. India must show the world how to cure a virus like Islam instead of grinning every time it battles zombies. Continue reading “India needs to learn how to deal with Zombistan.”

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Afghan Peace Process

From Dr Hamid Hussain

My two cents of Afghan peace process.  It is based on my own limited perspective informed by regular travels to the region and interaction with many including Pakistanis, Afghans, Americans, Indians etc.  Many have been kind to candidly share their views and not ‘official’ narrative as well as hopes and aspirations of common people in streets and bazaars that they shared with me.

Hamid

Making Peace with Broken Pieces – Afghan Peace Process

Hamid Hussain

 “There is nothing further here for a warrior.  We drive bargains; old men’s work.  Young men make wars and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men; courage and hope for the future.  Then old men make the peace.  The vices of peace are the vices of old men; mistrust and caution.  It must be so”.   Prince Feisal (Sir Alec Guinness) to T. E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) in Lawrence of Arabia.

In the last few months, a new window opened in the seventeen years old war in Afghanistan. There was breakthrough with first serious efforts of direct negotiations between United States (U.S.) and main militant group Taliban.  It was President Donald Trump’s announcement of withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan that got the ball rolling.  He made this decision without consulting any other government agency. Pentagon, intelligence community and State Department view rapid withdrawal as a recipe for disaster.  Trump appointed former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and an Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad nick named Zal to spearhead this effort.  Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar worked as intermediaries and a bridge between Taliban, Pakistan and Americans.

Negotiations between Taliban and Unites States is only one dimension of a complex conflict.  Taliban’s strategy is simple in its execution.  It used its committed cadre of fighters and support structure in Pakistan to escalate violence to a level to achieve two goals.  First to sow enough fear and uncertainty among Afghans that will undermine the efficiency and to some extent legitimacy of the government.  Another objective is to convince fellow Afghans that without giving them a share in power and economic pie, Afghans will never see peace.  Initially, behind the scene, questions were raised by Americans whether Taliban are a unified entity to work with.  Taliban responded by announcing a three days ceasefire during Eid festival.  There were no attacks all over the country proving their point that they have a firm command and control system and all fighters follow the leadership.  When United States announced troop withdrawal plan, Taliban thought that by directly negotiating they will get the credit and fulfill one of their objectives of forcing foreign troop withdrawal.  This will help them to carve out a much larger share in power after American withdrawal. Another factor was intense pressure on Taliban from Pakistan and Arab countries.  Agreeing to direct negotiations with Americans, Taliban placated both parties and if no agreement is reached, they can claim that they entered in negotiations with good faith and put the blame of failure at American doorstep. From U.S. point of view, there is a narrow window of about six months. Domestic troubles of President Trump will take a sharp turn with completion of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s work.  In addition, presidential campaign will start in the fall of 2019 and these two factors will suck all the oxygen in White House.  Like many other foreign policy issues, Afghanistan will also recede in the background.   Continue reading “Afghan Peace Process”

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Is Pakistan (or Pak sponsored group) responsible for the attacks?

This is not the LOC of the 80s or 90s. India with Israeli know-how has put in place high tech equipment monitoring equipment. Its practically impossible to smuggle men and goods across the LOC without the BSF finding out.

I have Kashmiri friends (Pandits & Muslims) who wouldn’t identify themselves as being Pakistani or Indian.

A friend of mine writes the above. He’s a credible source as he’s a East Asian pilot (half Pak). I was trying to find out more information on whether the top paragraph is true about the flow of men and goods across the LOC.

This doesn’t preclude the possibility of funding crossing the border.

As for the second paragraph I would hazard a pro-Independence Pandit is a bit like a “Palestinian Jew.” Both are naive as the possibilities of Muslim majority countries.

I want to give a personal disclaimer that I find the whole situation absurd. Pakistan needs to just stand down and we need an economically integrated Punjab. But then I see two very intransigent mindsets (oil & water) and without sounding grandiose; I feel I’m am an ambassador to two very alien nations.

The elephant in the room is Islam. People forget that Imran Khan is an extremely liberal Pakistani but even spouts the line of “Madinat Islam.” Mind you I was just the same before my epiphany on Hazrat Asia. Unless Islam is broken in the same way Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism has been; we won’t see resolution in the Muslim world.

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Humble Address to his Majesty-

Pakistanis are great at winging it; I was just talking to a friend of mine who claimed that Pakistan couldn’t have been behind the attack in Kashmir since it has so many other issues to deal with. Furthermore when I bemoaned the lack of a large market such as India he simply held up that Pakistan had access to China.

This ability to constantly Jugaad it is admirable if foolhardy. For a nation allegedly so obsessed with Izzat, the Pak PM (who is notoriously arrogant) is essentially deferring the Saudi Crown Prince, who is less than half Imran’s age, as the new Caliph.

Well I guess beggars can’t be choosers!

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Can India and Pakistan Make Peace?

Major Amin sent in an old article of his from 2013 (posted below).
I think Indian and Pakistan CAN make peace, but not yet… Anyway, you can read Major Amin’s more pessimistic take here.. 
Can India and Pakistan make Peace – Agha.H.Amin , Major (r)
(from 2013)
The recent sudden angelic desire on part of the Pakistani establishment to make peace with India has nothing to do with any major shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy written in the Pakistani military headquarters popularly known as the GHQ.
The Pakistani apparent shift is merely a tactical response to extreme confrontation with the US over perceived US view that Pakistan is playing a double game in Afghanistan.
This is similar to Musharrafs flirtation with India from 2000 to 2007 which in reality was a gambit to prevent a two front war with Afghanistan occupied by the USA and a hostile India in the east.
The real picture of true intentions of the Pakistani military will emerge when the US withdraws from Afghanistan.
This will be the time when the Russians ,Iranians and Indians will have no choice but to support the Northern Alliance against Pakistan sponsored Taliban who regard all Shias, Ismailis,Non Pashtuns,moderate Pashtuns as infidels who deserve to be massacred.
The Pakistani politicians are a compromised manipulated lot who are under firm control of the Pakistani military thanks to the politicians own massive financial corruption. They will do what the Pakistani generals tell them whether it is the PPP, PML or any new party like Imran Khans Tehrik i Insaaf.
Pakistan will remain the same state run by an army rather than a state with an army.The Pakistani generals will control Pakistan’s politics and foreign policy and Pakistan India relations will remain a mix of an uneasy and an unpredictable peace.

Continue reading “Can India and Pakistan Make Peace?”

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