Pakistan and the "War on Terror" | Middle East Policy Council
Barnett Rubin on the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and the Rise of the Taliban of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations and is now With typical paranoia, the Soviets overestimated what the US was doing, just as The Pakistan government and military (not necessarily in that order; they. But U.S. covert military operations inside Pakistan along the Afghan border led to U.S. sanctions and a strain in ties, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in Pakistan's government supported the rise of a group known as the Taliban. The USSR entered neighboring Afghanistan in , attempting to of rebels, pouring in from Iran, Pakistan, China, and the United States.
Pakistan has also been vitally concerned with the preservation of its territorial integrity.
The country is an agglomeration of ethnicities with little in common except an adherence to Islam. In the early s, the conflict between what were then the two parts of the country — West and East Pakistan — was essentially over which ethnicity would predominate. Indian intervention in that war allowed East Pakistan to secede and become Bangladesh.
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
But one group has been predominant in the Pakistani military and security services, and hence in the government, ever since independence: Kashmir provides a rallying point for all Pakistanis, who believe that the Muslims there should also be able to live in overwhelmingly Muslim Pakistan.
Kashmir, however, has also posed a problem for the Pakistani government and military. Pakistan has neither been able to seize it from India nor to persuade India to give it up. Doing so would not only be hugely unpopular inside Pakistan; it might also encourage other ethnicities Pushtuns, Sindis and Balochis to push for secession from the Punjabi-dominated state. During the period of their Cold War alliance, the differing American and Pakistani priorities were evident: The height of Pakistani-American cooperation occurred during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, when the United States, Pakistan and many others backed the Afghan mujahideen, who were resisting the Soviets.
Even then, however, Pakistan favored the Islamist Afghan mujahideen groups over the more nationalist ones. Islamabad seemed to think that it would have more influence over the former. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan inAmerican concern about that country and South Asia in general diminished. Pakistan, however, remained focused on its rivalry with India.
Afghanistan–Pakistan relations - Wikipedia
During the s, then, Pakistan supported the rise of the Taliban, for several reasons: With Pakistani help, the Taliban was able to seize control of most of Afghanistan in The Taliban, though, proved to be an extremely difficult ally for Pakistan, providing safe-haven to several radical Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda.
By the time of the Indian independence movementprominent Pashtun nationalists such as Abdul Ghaffar Khan advocated unity with the nearly formed Dominion of Indiaand not a united Afghanistan — highlighting the extent to which infrastructure and instability began to erode the Pashtun self-identification with Afghanistan. By the time of Pakistan independence movementpopular opinion among Pashtuns was in support of joining the Dominion of Pakistan. The Afghan government has not formally accepted the Durand Line as the international border between the two states, claiming that the Durand Line Agreement has been void in the past.
Pakistan feels that the border issue had been resolved before its birth in It also fears a revolt from the warring tribes which could eventually bring the state down as it happened when Ahmad Shah Durrani unified the Pashtuns and toppled the Mughal Empire of India. This unmanagable border has always served as the main trade route between Afghanistan and the South Asiaespecially for supplies into Afghanistan.
Secondly, it politically and financially backed secessionist politicians in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the s. Afghanistan's policies placed a severe strain upon Pakistan—Afghan relations in the s, up until the s, when the movement[ which? The Pashtun assimilation into the Pakistani state followed years of rising Pashtun influence in Pakistani politics and the nation's bureaucracy, culminating in Ayub KhanYahya KhanIshaq Khan — all Pashtuns, attaining leadership of Pakistan.
The largest nationalist party of the time, the Awami National Party ANPdropped its secessionist agenda and embraced the Pakistani state, leaving only a small Pakhtunkhwa Millat Party to champion the cause of independence in relation to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Despite the weaknesses of the early secessionist movement, this period in history continues to negatively influence Pakistani-Afghan relations in the 21st century, in addition to the province's politics.
War in Afghanistan —presentAfghans in Pakistanand Afghanistan—Pakistan skirmishes George Crile III and Charlie Wilson Texas politician with an unnamed political personality in the background person wearing the aviator glasses looking at the photo camera. They were the main players in Operation Cyclonethe code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm and finance the multi-national mujahideen during the Soviet—Afghan Warto Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan began deteriorating in the s after Pakistan supported rebels such as Gulbuddin HekmatyarAhmad Shah Massoud Haqqanisand others against the governments of Afghanistan.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in Decemberthe United States joined Pakistan to counter Soviet influence and advance its own interests in the region.
In turn, AfghanIndian and Soviet intelligence agencies played their role by supporting al-Zulfikar — a Pakistani leftist terrorist group responsible for the March hijacking of a Pakistan International Airlines PIA plane. Its goal was to overthrow the military regime that ousted Bhutto. Pakistan became a major training ground for roughlyforeign mujahideen fighters who began crossing into Afghanistan on a daily basis to wage war against the communist Afghanistan and the Soviet forces.
The mujahideen included not only locals but also Arabs and others from over 40 different Islamic nations. Many of these foreign fighters married local women and decided to stay in Pakistan, among them were radical Muslims such those of Saudi-led Al-Qaeda and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as well as prisoners from Arab countries. There were no regular schools provided for the refugees but only madrasas in which students were trained to become members of the Taliban movement. The Taliban claimed that they wanted to clean Afghanistan from the warlords and criminals.
According to Pakistan and Afghanistan expert Ahmed Rashid"between andan estimated 80, toPakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan" keeping the Taliban regime in power.
However, the relations began to decline when the Taliban refused to endorse the Durand Line despite pressure from Islamabad, arguing that there shall be no borders among Muslims. InAfghan President Hamid Karzai warned that " Iran and Pakistan and others are not fooling anyone" when it comes to interfering in his country.