Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lieven: Pakistan and Taliban

In his narration of events in Afghanistan, Lieven mentions the Taliban and the Northern Alliance; he fails to mention Pakistan's support of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. 
Wiki: From 1992 to 1996 the warring factions destroyed most of Kabul and killed thousands of people, most of them civilians during the Afghan civil war. All the different parties participated in the destruction, but Hekmatyar's group was responsible for most of the damage, because of his practice of deliberately targeting civilian areas.[29] Hekmatyar is thought to have bombarded Kabul in retaliation for what he considered its inhabitants' collaboration with the Soviets, and out of religious conviction. He once told a New York Times journalist that Afghanistan "already had one and a half million martyrs. We are ready to offer as many to establish a true Islamic Republic."[30] His attacks also had a political objective: to undermine the Rabbani government by proving that Rabbani and Massoud were unable to protect the population.
The above was during the period that Pakistan backed Hekmatyar [especially see document 29 ** (PDF)].

Incidentally, it is worth pointing out that even entirely secular members of the Pakistani establishment do not see the Afghan Taleban as morally worse than the Taleban's old enemies in the Afghan Northern Alliance leaders, with whom the West has in effect been allied since 2001.  Their atrocities and rapes in the 1990s helped cement Pathan support for the Taleban.
(Summary of document 29:
This summary details recent events in Afghanistan and the role of Pakistan in supporting the Taliban movement. It describes how Pakistan preferred to groom incompetent commanders such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar for leadership positions in Afghanistan who would then be reliant upon Pakistan. The failure of supporting Hekmatyar, which "effectively saw the lebanonization of Afghanistan," caused the Pakistanis to introduce the Taliban. The account notes that "Pakistan has lost every war it has ever fought." The cable also notes that "it must be a deeply troubling period for General (Musharraf) in Pakistan, who is asked to help hunt down the culprits that he helped to establish," and ends with a summary of the al-Qaeda agenda, the Pakistani agenda, and the death of Ahmad Shah Masoud in the context of the downing of the twin towers.

No comments:

Post a Comment