“60% to 80% people, according to WHO in 2012, are suffering from psychological problems, after 9/11 and if the trend continues, the mental illness by itself will pose a serious danger to the regional peace is Asia, said Aqeel Yousafzai, a well-known writer and analyst at a seminar on “Afghanistan after 2014 and Withdrawal Implications for Pakistan” held at Research Library Peshawar. He said, “Afghanistan shouldn’t be compared to another country like India, Iran or Pakistan, but different decades of Afghanistan be compared like 80s, 90s and 2000s, of which the Afghanistan of late 20th Century was far better than the Afghanistan of 21st Century”. “This reflects the effectiveness of the US/NATO forces and policies in Afghanistan”, he added. “Al-Qaeda and Daaish, as reported by some quarters, are busy in devising a strategy of coming-back to Afghanistan if US/NATO forces really withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014-16”, he disclosed. “The war in Afghanistan is mainly supported by multi-national companies, 73% of which are from the USA, and who are not in a mood to continue the war and proxy-wars in Afghanistan anymore”, Mr. Yousafzai stated. “Saudi Arabia and Iran on one side, and China and the USA on another side, are engaged in proxy wars in our region, especially FATA, KPK and Baluchistan where they find palatable fodder for war and insurgencies”, the speaker commented. “ It is now time that Pashtoon leaders and scholars should rise to the occasion, join hands and talk directly to the powerful stakeholders for safety in the area, as the so-called political Pashtoon leadership has badly failed to address the problems of Pashtoons and Afghans”, he suggested. “War is a tool for the US dominance and national unity and that’s why war is a permanent determinant of the US foreign policy and we have to understand this mindset of the US, more particularly of the Pentagon, if we have to understand the future of US-Afghan War (2001-2014). The US keeps on shifting from one battle-field to another as US-oscillation from Iraq to Afghanistan and back to Iraq and Syria and so on”, he added. “China has been approached by the present government of Afghanistan to exert its influence on Pakistan for stability in Afghanistan, and that’s the reason we see a visible tilt in Pakistan’s real policy-makers in this context. China’s economic interest in Afghanistan and Chinese sensitivities on Sinkyang might tempt China to play a greater role in Afghanistan”, the speaker stated. “The direct causalities of war in Afghanistan and Iraq are far lesser than the casualties of the indirect (proxy) war in Pakistan. The proxy-wars have created serious political schisms and intellectual furrows in the political and academic circles of Pakistan”, he said. “Another implication for Pakistan is that suicide attacks are greater and more dangerous in Pakistan than Afghanistan. More than two thousands of tribal elders in FATA have succumbed to militant attacks which has destroyed the socio-political life of FATA. The deaths of Peace Volunteers in Swat are far higher than any other disaster in Swat in the recent months”, he said. “Pointing to Pakistan as a main irritant and cause of Afghan debacle is not a realistic approach and all stakeholders have their role in the present mess in Afghanistan. The recent shift in this policy of blame-game by the present Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is a good initiative and will bring fruits soon”, he hoped.
Founder of the Library, Fasihuddin (PSP) introduced the topic and said that, “the best thing in the western world is that they do de-briefing after all kinds of operations, and they learn lessons from their actions, and presently, the US is carrying out its de-briefing sessions and we should meticulously study this phenomenon”. He quoted from various US think-tanks and other reports that “the anti-Pakistan writings are coming to no end in the west which is not good for a friendly relationship and trust-building between the western and Pakistani communities”.
Ex-Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Qibla Ayaz said that “Pashtoons have been deliberately plunged into the radical salafi thoughts and that is the worst victimization of the Pashtoons to charge them from their centuries old Hanafi school of thought”. He objected to the recent speeches of Dr. Ashraf Ghani in which he has declared the war on terror as more of a Pakistani issue than a war in Afghanistan. He said, “we hope Dr. Ashraf Ghani will concentrate on peace efforts in the region, and talk to the true Pashtoon leadership and tribal representatives instead of a few Pashtoon political figures who have greatly disappointed the Pashtoon nation. He should lead the Afghans of both countries towards peace and pessimism, as instability in Afghanistan has serious implications for Pakistan, especially for FATA and Pashtoons”, he said to the audience. He suggested that Afghan students by given open admissions and we should remove all kinds of restrictions in this context. Renowned scholar and expert on Afghan Affairs, Mr. Juma Khan Sufi, who was the Chief Guest, said that, “time has come that Pashtoons should critically analyze themselves for their own hard times and they should now stop attributing their ills to others through presumed conspiracy theories. We are not a realistic nation. Who brought the Soviets to Afghanistan? Who are Taliban by majority? Who gave spaces to Al-Qaeda and Daish? We are responsible for this, and we should come out of this state of mind by complaining against others”, he said. “Self-accountability by Pashtoons can only save them from this complaining-malaize which is embedded in its nature since centuries. Only after our self-assessment, we can determine the implications of wars on our life”, he said. “Unfortunately, the Pasthoon’s history is only a history of kings and rulers, and we have no social history at all. Due to our internal weaknesses, we have no say in the political decisions about this region. First we have to build our nation and rise to a status and then we will have a stake in the affairs of our fate. Our backwardness, like Somalia and Yemen, has paved the way for external interference. Pashtoon must come out of tunnel vision and should now think out-of-box, without which they will be interfered regularly”, Mr. Sufi analyzed the issue in light of Pashtoon history and culture.
Chairman World Pashtoon Conference and veteran scholar Mr. Saleem Raz concluded the session and stated that “the war in Afghanistan is not close to its end as this war of resources will have a long way down till the US finds another fertile land of resources and battle-field for testing their weapons. However, it is we who provide the raw-material for war and terrorism in joining one group or the other. The Communist revolution in Afghanistan was at appropriate time and people were not ready and educated for women emancipation, economic equality and land distribution. Similarly, the present tribal society of Afghanistan, and which is already war-torn for more than three decades, is not prepared to accept, digest and carry on the modern democratic system and norms of market economy and capitalism. This will also be a failure”, he said. The session was conducted by Prof. Ishaq Wardag and followed by brain-storming session and Q and A.