Pakistan Again Betrays Afghans and the World


Not a single item or transport vehicle sent by the American government or NATO was allowed to travel from the ports in the South of the country to reach Kabul without demands of hefty sums of money (NATO Transit Tax) that would amount to billions of dollars, writes Amjad Ayub Mirza

Finally, US troops handed over the control of Bagram America military base to Afghan authorities on July 2.

A massive US air force cargo aircraft took off carrying the last remaining troops at the base. For the Afghans, Bagram was a symbol of America’s commitment and resolve to bring peace to the war- torn country. The compound itself spoke volumes about American’s dedication to the cause of establishing peace in a country. Bagram had a 50-bed hospital and a state-of-the-art trauma bay, a dental clinic and three operation theatres. It had two runways, one 3.6 km long, wrote BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet, that was built only recently to facilitate the landing of large cargo and bomber aircrafts.

US troops had moved into Bagram base in December 2001 less than three months after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York. The objective was simple. To remove the Government of the Taliban {1996-2001} which was harbouring terrorist master-mind Osama Bin Laden responsible for the attack on New York’s landmark buildings that housed the World Trade Centre that was second home to thousands who worked there. When American troops set their foot on Afghanistan, they had just one mission– to eliminate the Taliban regime. That objective was achieved with lightning speed.

Only then the true nature of the Taliban regime was revealed. A horrified world community was able to witness the atrocities that the Taliban medievalists had inflicted upon women, children and anyone who disagreed with the extremist Jihadi doctrine of the Taliban.

Democracy was established and guarded by American and NATO troops. Women were liberated from the yolk of primitive bondage. Thousands of girl schools that were destroyed by the Taliban were now made operational, while clinics, maternity hospitals, parks, community centres, universities colleges now began to produce a generation of free Afghans that would carry forward the baton of peace and progress.

Meanwhile, a rogue ruling elite and its military generals in neighbouring Pakistan were busy siphoning off the US aid and NATO’s material goods and equipment that passed through Pakistan and was destined for Afghanistan.

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Ruled by the religious right-wing military generals for 35 years of its 70 odd years of creation, Pakistan saw the American resolve to rebuild Afghanistan as an opportunity to enrich its army generals and middlemen. Not a single item or transport vehicle sent by the American government or NATO was allowed to travel from the ports in the South of the country to reach Kabul without demands of hefty sums of money (NATO Transit Tax) that would amount to billions of dollars
Over the past decade, only Pakistan has received US $ 7.7 billion through USAID alone!

Similarly, between 2002 and 2013 Pakistan received US $ 26 billion in economic and military aid and sales of military equipment. In 2002, the US gave Pakistan over $14 billion in aid to combat terrorism which was part of the total help of $ 33 billion that Pakistan received.

In return Pakistan offered sanctuary to Taliban leaders who escaped from Afghanistan. In southern Balochistan, Pakistani ISI orchestrated the formation of a quasi-government in exile of the Taliban and named it the Quetta Shura (2001). It was headed by Mullah Omer. Lately, US president Joe Biden announced that the last of the remaining US troops shall be brought home no later than September 11 this fall.

The US request for using Pakistan’s airspace to target Taliban in case they become a threat to Afghan democracy was rudely declined. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, even said that if Taliban take over the country, he will not interfere.

The Pakistan army created the Taliban as a proxy. Pupils from Islamic seminaries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and southern Punjab were transformed into foot soldiers for fighting against the advancing armies of non-Pashtun Northern Alliance. The purpose? To gain strategic depth against India. By refusing Pakistan air space to the Americans to target the Taliban, and aligning with China against the US, Pakistan is playing an opportunistic but dangerous diplomatic game in the region that could cost Islamabad dearly. The Americans lost just under 4000 fine young men along with thousands of brave Afghans who fought the Taliban. It is the sacrifices made by those martyred fine young Americans and Afghans that Pakistan has betrayed. As a matter of fact, Pakistan has betrayed the people of Afghanistan and the democratic world again.

(Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir. He currently lives in exile in the UK. This content is being carried under an arrangement with

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