We have all heard the famous saying “ When elephants fight the grass gets trampled”. So is the case of Afghanistan and Pakistan. When the two superpowers, the US and USSR, fought in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the Afghanis suffered terribly and are still suffering till date. The second country to pay the price is Pakistan. Yesterday’s mujahideen have morphed into today’s terrorists. Pakistan prior to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a peaceful and relatively happy country. Whereas today drugs, guns, shootings and suicide attacks are a common occurrence. Because of the security situation local businessmen are moving their factories abroad, what to talk of foreigners coming to invest in Pakistan.

It is a known fact that the late Gen Hamid Gul was angry at the US for walking away once the defeated Soviet Army had left Afghanistan. He must have felt betrayed at this act of the US after the mujahideen and Pakistani nation had given so much to fight the ‘infidels’. And one can well understand his sentiments. However, if I may be excused in saying so, he should have remembered that Pakistan which survives on handouts from the other countries and the international financial institutions, was not in a position to take on the US. Secondly the US Government’s foreign policy has not been very rational, especially under President Bush. Sixteen of the nineteen hijackers in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon were Saudi nationals. Logically the country to be attacked should have been Saudi Arabia. Instead the US attacks Afghanistan, where Mullah Omar preferred to have his country invaded and destroyed rather than make Osama Bin Laden and his team leave Afghanistan.

On a side note I would like to add that my father and Gen Hamid Gul fought together in the Battle of Chawinda during the 1965 War.


Islamabad, August 19.