Our present leadership considers it inconvenient to remove the blinkers of subservience and see the current occupation of Afghanistan by NATO for what it is. Otherwise, instead of announcing the opening of the disrupted route for NATO supplies, the government would be bracing up to close the other supply route as well. At the root of this suicidal subservience are essentially two perceptions; that we cannot survive without the economic aid doled out by the US and its NATO allies, and that we are too weak to stand up to the military might at their disposal. The problem is that the more we act in line with these flawed perceptions, the more we make them real. Experts might disagree, and bring forth various arguments within the established global framework of power to convince us that a NATO withdrawal would create a dangerous vacuum, but it is clear that for peace and stability in our region, that is exactly what is required. Under the garb of eliminating the sanctuaries of terrorism, the occupying forces have put into place a well-orchestrated multi-faceted mec-hanism to destabilise Afghanistan and its neighbours in order to fashion the region in a manner that suits them. Their plans are geared towards controlling the resources, economy and governments of the region and all this talk about protecting their homelands, human rights, democracy and the western value system is hogwash. It is true that there is a problem of militant extremism that was actually manufactured and nurtured by the interests of the same democracy and freedom loving 'free world that has now decided to fight it with all its might. The armed militias and the barbaric ideology that inspires them needs to be countered, but surely there are better ways to do it. Foreign occupation and bombing of innocent civilians is certainly not the answer. In fact, these factors lead to creating further confusion and chaos, and stre-ngthen the forces that NATO is ostensibly here to eliminate. Other than creating a moral justification for the extremists, the NATO occupation has physically contributed to the arming of militants. It has been reported that the occupying forces have been paying millions of dollars to warlords and other non-state actors in Afghanistan for the safe passage of their supplies, and that these millions were used to buy weapons by them. The role of the US-led alliance and the imperialistic world order it seeks to impose on the rest of us are no secrets. They have been at it for decades with numerous dubious trophies on display. Then there is the recent example of Iraq that should have served as an eye-opener for the seemingly impotent non-NATO international community. But, by and large, what we see are hypnotised rats following a pied piper to their deaths. Those that resist the hypnotic magic spell and have the courage to call a spade a spade, like Venezuela and Iran, are openly conspired against, destabilised and sanctioned, while the rest watch in silence. Surely, if we are to fashion a better world than the one we inhabit, this spell must be broken. Extensive analysis about the pros and cons and in-depth discussion of the nitty gritty is usually used as a tool by the more powerful to promote their perceptions by obfuscating issues and distracting from the crux of the matter. So is the case of peace in Afghanistan and the world in general. You dont have to be a part of a prestigious think tank to understand how the goal of peace could never be achieved through a large deployment of heavily armed foreign troops in a country and by pumping in billions of dollars and containers upon containers of sophisticated weapons, quite a bit of it in a non-transparent manner. In fact, if you are a part of a think tank, it would be harder for you to understand something as simple as that. For experts and scholars must exhibit their knowledge and their in-depth understanding; their facts must be up to date, their information authentic and the framework of their analysis grounded in established and recognised non-radical theories. Their toothless pontification on important issues must not talk about the emperor without clothes and the noises they make must never upset the stable applecart, the stable illusion of dissent and free thought that their powerful financers hide behind. They dare not challenge the questionable basic assumptions on whose pillars the entire misleading discourse is dished out because that would leave no place for them on the think-tank table. The experts are, therefore, unlikely to understand and discuss the basic flaw in NATOs occupation of Afghanistan. It is too simple and it favours the weaker party, two sins that experts must not commit. The experts would like us to disregard the history of tyranny and exploitation committed by the very powers that have taken upon themselves the task of stabilising Afghanistan and purging it of militant extremism, as if it was just an isolated case. They would like us to ignore the fact that 10 years of occupation has only led to creating more instability and violence. They would like us to forget about the millions of innocents massacred and mai-med by the occupying forces. The experts would like to engage in hair-splitting debates about power and interests and never come to the point: to turn the page in Afghanistan, the occupying forces must leave and they must take their nefarious objectives in the region with them. Peace in Afghanistan and the region would only be possible when the real stakeholders, the countries that border Afghanistan, take charge of the situation and join hands to come up with a joint strategy to normalise things in the country that has been the battleground for global players for too long. They will have to give more importance to the Afghan people and their interests, rather than what they hope to gain out of the settlement that comes about due to their initiative. Even for neighbours that might be a difficult task. It would be foolish to expect that far-away nations with a long history of duplicity and exploitation would play a positive role through their heavy presence of heavily armed troops. The army of experts loaded with their complex tools of analysis might argue for the NATO occupation to continue. But clearly and simply, it is high time the NATO troops went home with whatever burden they are carrying this time. The writer is a freelance columnist.