Thursday, November 20, 2008

Benazir Bhutto: Before her death - 13

Major General Retd. Naseerullah Babar

Maulana Fazl ur Rehman [JUI-F]

The Taliban
American Backed Chief Martial Law Administrator Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf [1999-2008]

Benazir Bhutto

As per a news article [appeared today in the The News International the link is at the end]

"She has successfully conveyed to the Western governments and the public that she was ready to work with Musharraf in the fight against terrorists who were bent upon converting Pakistan into a Taliban society.“My party would not have allowed the Taliban to become such a huge force that they would need to sign a peace treaty,” she said." [1].

But history tells us something else on PPP-Taliban Axis particularly in reference to that Cuththroat in PPP Major General Retd. Naseerullah Babar and Taliban. Even the interview of Nawaz Sharif given to ARYONE AND LATER GEO was better than the bunkum of Benazir Bhutto at least we know for shure that where Nawaz Sharif


"The policy for the support of the Taliban was apparently conceived by Gen. (retd) Naseerullah Babar, the Interior Minister during the PPP regime and had the support of the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) led by Maulana Fazalur-Rehamn which controlled the bulk of those Deeni Madressahs in the NWFP and Baluchistan.The transporters, drug mafias, other extremist Sunni organisations like the Sipah-i-Sahaba,(SSP) Lashka-e-Jhangvi,(LJ), Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-Mohammadi, (TNSM) also supported the policy. The Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and the foreign office were apparently divided and were late converts to the policy. Gen. (retd) Naseerullah Babar was the in-charge of the Afghan policy during former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhuttto's rule (1971-77) and had masterminded the arming of the Afghan opposition led by Hikmatyar and Ahmed Shah Masood against Sardar Daud's regime (1973-1978). With Benazir Bhutto in power in 1993, he was entrusted with the task of reopening the route to Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan. He negotiated with the Afghan warlords to open the Quetta-Chaman-Kandahar-Herat route to Turkmenistan. The Pakistani convoy was stopped by the warlords in September 1994, which was freed by the Talibans. Many observers believe that Pakistan, having seen the potential of the nascent movement of the Taliban, began to support the movement which paved the way for their swift victories in Afghanistan.

The Deeni Madressahs led by the JUI (F) provided the manpower. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, a close ally of the PPP who had been made the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs, also played a key role in garnering the support for the Taliban in the corridors of power. Various Pakistani governmental organisations like the PTCL, Railway, PIA and Ministry of Communications provided the infrastructural assistance to the Taliban. The ISI began to provide military supplies, logistical support, technical know how and the extensive knowledge of the Afghan situation.Apparently, the ISI and the foreign office were reluctant to support the Taliban in the beginning because of their potential implications for the broad-based political settlement in Afghanistan, however, fastly changing ground realities in the favour of Taliban forced them to shift their policies and throw their weight in the favour of the Taliban.

Gen. (Retd.) Naseerullah Babar and the military officers in ISI were motivated by the Pushtun ethnicity and viewed Talibans as the “Pushtun proxies” They wanted to revive the Pushtun fortunes in Afghanistan. It was first time that Kabul was being controlled by the Tajiks and it was painful for the Pushtuns to see Kabul under their control. The JUI (F) the JUI (S) and other extremist Sunni organisations like SSP, LJ,TNSM viewed Taliban's victories as the Deobandi's revolution and expected the same kind of revolution in Pakistan.The transporters' lobbies in Pakistan considered Taliban as a god-given saviour who were instrumental in removing the barriers on the roads in Afghanistan. They were sick of paying to the multitudes of Afghan warlords, who had virtually paralysed their business. The drug dealers also saw their vested interest in supporting the Taliban as they only demanded the tax on their product and had little qualm about the international concerns regarding drug controls.Consequences of the PolicyApparently, the policy of support for the Taliban appeared well suited for Pakistan's strategic, economic and political interests. The Talibans were controlling more than 90 per cent of Afghanistan and had pushed their rivals, Northern Alliance, to the wall.

They had been recognised by Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. and were in the process of negotiating their recognition with the United States. However, there were serious long-term negative consequences of this policy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, the regional countries and the rest of the world, which had not been properly thought through while formulating the policy.The policy of support for the Taliban alienated other Afghan ethnic groups to the degree where the goal of a broad-based government became impossible to achieve. The very nature of the Taliban regime and their policies created severe problems for Pakistan as its polity, economy, and foreign policy began to be affected by the Taliban policies. The non-compromising attitude of the Taliban regime created difficulties for Pakistan with the United States and Saudi Arabia, eventually leading them to turn against Taliban. The ideology of Taliban alarmed Iran, Russia, Central Asian republics who began to support anti-Taliban forces actively.

First important lesson is that if the pros and cons of significant decisions are not thought through, the country has to suffer the consequences of the policy. Contrary to the widely held perception about the dominant role of the ISI in the making of the Afghan policy, the policy of the support of the Taliban was in fact conceived by Gen. (Retd.) Naseerullah Babar, the Interior Minister during the PPP regime (1993-1996). The Taliban policy was a civilian initiative possibly against the wishes of the ISI and the foreign office who wanted to continue the policy of seeking a broad-based settlement. However, the Pushtun element within the PPP, and later the military was able to push their way through to top echelon of power and succeeded in making it a Pakistan's policy with disastrous consequences for Afghanistan and Pakistan and the regional countries. It is surprising that the decision-makers overlooked the nature of Taliban's ideology, their social base, their implications for the Afghan society and their possible impact for Pakistan. Taliban's extremely narrow vision of Islam put them in clash with all the non-Pushtun minorities of the Afghan society pushing them into the arms of the foreign powers, stirred the wave of Talibanisation in the NWFP and Blauchistan leading to increasing conflict and violence in the Pakistani society and sent shockwaves in the regional countries, Iran, China, Russia and Central Asia republics.Secondly, their appeared a lack of coordination at the decision-making level among the different bodies. Interior Ministry, Parliamentary Committee, the Political Parties and Different lobbies had their own agenda. The ISI and the Foreign Office had their own policies. The ISI remained divided and continued backing both Hikmatyar and Taliban till the fall of Kabul in 1996. [2]


Sources and References.

1- I want a deal with Musharraf: Benazir [1]

By Rauf Klasra

Monday, April 16, 2007, Rabi-ul-Awal 27, 1428 A.H.

2- Development of Pakistan's Foreign Policy:Case Study No.3 Case Study on Pakistan's Recognition of Taliban [2]

3- The Taliban, the US and the resources of Central Asia By Peter Symonds 24 October 2001 [2]

4- Afghanistan — not so great games [2]

Columnist Hamid Hussain does a detailed analysis of the present situation

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