Kamis, 21 Mei 2015

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani playing into Pakistan Army trap

Maulana Mushy baba (Retired) selling Kargil Digestive Churan

India is planning a tough response to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's latest move for an MOU between the Afghan intelligence service (NDS) and Pakistan's infamous ISI, a step that has already created a furore inside Afghanistan. Sources said while New Delhi may not say anything publicly, it has already conveyed its unhappiness.

The deal has been a bit of a surprise. In fact, Ghani's rival-turned coalition partner, Abdullah Abdullah, too was blindsided by the President's outreach to ISI, which is generally regarded as the puppet-master of the Taliban. He had suggested changes in the MOU, but those were not incorporated in the final draft. Even India was in the dark about the agreement, which was presented post facto to the world. The deal may have been signed when Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif visited Kabul last week.

ormer NDS chief Amrullah Saleh tweeted this week: "Intelligence cooperation with ISI means doubting Pakistani duplicity in terror, dishonoring ANDSF's (Afghan National Defense Security Forces) sacrifices and falling in the trap of deception." Ghani's move has coincided with an unusual spike in Taliban violence particularly over the past few days.

Nobody is quite clear about Ghani's logic or his aims, but Indian sources said the deal may have been inspired by the British, who continue to play a role inside Afghanistan. Security sources said it was opposed by the present head of NDS, Rahmatullah Nabil, but he was overruled. Pakistan has long opposed Nabil's presence in NDS, and sources said in recent months, Ghani has been sensitive to Pakistan's objections.

Yet acknowledging the growing backlash, Ghani on Thursday announced the appointment of Masoom Stanekzai as the new defence minister and issued a strongly worded statement to the International Contact Group (ICG). "We will answer war with war, let there be no ambiguity. On a daily basis, I take stock of our security forces, of their well-being and of their orientation. We did not seek war. The war has been imposed on us. But we will overcome this war, let there be no ambiguity," he said. This does not square up with the new deal with Pakistan, which focuses on intelligence cooperation to combat terrorism. Most Afghans believe and they have evidence corroborated by US sources that show the close relationship between Pakistan's ISI and the Afghan Taliban.

Ghani praised Pakistan, particularly Nawaz Sharif's public criticism of Taliban. "We need to see this translated into a programme of action where sanctuary is denied and material support and others [are denied]. It is an extensive programme and we are in good discussions," he said.

However, in the past week, the discomfort inside Afghanistan against the NDS-ISI MOU has only grown. Ghani has openly tried to involve Pakistan in maintaining peace in Afghanistan, including clubbing some recent instances of violence as the work of the Islamic State.

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