Pakistan-Afghanistan: The Conjoined Twins

Have you heard about Allama Iqbal Faculty at Kabul University? Sir Syed Science Faculty Block at Nangarhar University? Liaqat Ali Khan Engineering Faculty at Balkh University? Rehman Baba High School in Kabul? And the sprawling ten-tower Jinnah Hospital Complex in Kabul and the Nishtar Kidney Hospital in Jalalabad?

  • Pakistan will issue 250,000 multiple entry visas to applicants across Afghanistan in 2010
  • 28,000 Afghans have studied in Pakistani schools, colleges and universities in the past 30 years; Islamabad has longstanding policy of educating the children of Afghan refugees
  • About 500,000 Afghan children attend schools in Pakistan
  • The most successful professionals in today’s Afghan society had studied in Pakistan
  • Afghan graduates from Pakistani universities receive higher salaries than graduates from any other country in the region
  • Every single day in 2009, 52,000 Afghans entered Pakistan for business, education and tourism
  • Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara Afghans are as welcome in Pakistan as the Pashtun Afghans
  • Pakistan once hosted 5.5 million Afghans, a majority of them continue to live with their Pakistani cousins
  • When the world abandoned Afghanistan after 1989, it was Pakistanis who supported their Afghan cousins

By AMBASSADOR MOHAMMAD SADIQ
[This is a revised version by the author]

KABUL, Afghanistan—While addressing the media in Islamabad on 11 March 2010, President Hamid Karzai very aptly said Pakistan and Afghanistan were conjoined twins. The remarks were not new but they hit the headlines, showing that nature of relations between the two countries continued to baffle many.

Mark Twain, the great American writer, had famously said Johann Sebastian Bach’s music was better than it sounded. If Twain were around today, he would have pronounced Pak-Afghan relationship ‘better than portrayed.’

Some 52,000 Afghans crossed border with Pakistan everyday in 2009 for business, jobs, medical treatment, education and to visit relatives. This was a significant increase over a year ago when 44,000 Afghans traversed the border daily. More visitors now undertake documented travel between the two countries by obtaining visas or visit permits.

Our Missions in Afghanistan have geared up to issue quarter of a million multiple entry visas to Afghan nationals during 2010. Pakistan issues more visas to Afghans than the rest of the world combined. Pakistan does not charge any visa fee from Afghan passport holders.

Contrary to the craftily promoted perception that Afghans of only one ethnicity are welcomed in Pakistan, one finds people from all over Afghanistan in Pakistani cities. Our consular records show that visas issued to Afghan nationals closely represent the ethnic composition of the population.

Despite occasional ups and downs at certain levels, the overall bilateral relations remained remarkably frequent and cordial. This explains the continued presence of over three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan for last 30 years. At one point, over 5.5 million Afghans were living in Pakistan. 37 percent of the refugees who voluntarily repatriate to Afghanistan are back in Pakistan within weeks.

In last thirty years, Afghans of all ethnicities and of political views had taken refuge in Pakistan: whether it was mass exodus against the Soviet occupation or flight from atrocities of a decade long internecine war. They looked at Pakistan as a place where they could find safety, at least temporarily, for their families.

The world hurriedly left Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal. The unfortunate events of 9/11 have reengaged the world in Afghanistan but still little attention is paid to the honourable return of refugees to their homes. The international community’s attitude towards Afghan refugees is rather callous. Just one example: they were disenfranchised in the last Presidential elections because the international community claimed that it was short of funds!

Due to Pakistan’s longstanding policy on educating Afghan nationals, some 28,000 Afghans had attended Pakistani universities and colleges in last three decades. Today, 6,000 Afghan students are enrolled in Pakistan’s colleges and universities. This represents about 60 percent of all Afghans studying in institutions of higher education abroad. In addition, about half a million Afghan refugee children attend schools in Pakistan.

To facilitate the capacity building efforts of other donors, Pakistan also encourages third party sponsorship of training of Afghan students and officials in its institutions. Under this policy, over five hundred Afghan nationals attended courses in the field of agriculture from a few weeks duration to postgraduate degrees in the AgricultureUniversity of Peshawar alone. Scores were trained in other professions ranging from medicine to civil aviation.

Over the years, Afghan students in Pakistan have mostly been allowed the same opportunities and treatment which are extended to our own nationals. A whole generation of Afghans is thus educated, and now gainfully employed, inside Afghanistan or abroad.

Most successful professionals in today’s Afghan society had studied in Pakistan. They dominate the work place not only in government offices, international organizations and NGOs but also as professionals, businessmen, and skilled and semi-skilled workers.

And more proudly, Afghan graduates from Pakistani universities are paid significantly higher salaries than graduates from any other neighboring country.

Pakistan is further providing 2,000 fully funded graduate and post-graduate scholarships to Afghan students in its institutions of higher learning over the next four years. The placements are being made in ten different fields from medicine to IT to agriculture. The first batch of the students under this programme had already left for Pakistan early this year.

Providing consistent and across the board education and capacity building opportunities is Pakistan’s greatest gift to the people of Afghanistan and it is considered so innate that it is hardly mentioned in any discourse in Kabul.

Another important area where Pakistan has been of unlimited help to the people of Afghanistan is healthcare. Afghans are provided free medical care in Pakistan’s government hospitals, a facility available to our own nationals.

Over 90 percent of Afghans who seek medical treatment abroad visit Pakistan. Most of the Afghan patients opt for free treatment at government or philanthropic healthcare facilities. Moneyed Afghan patients are welcomed by many countries but for their less fortunate compatriots only Pakistan has kept its doors opened.

Just a few examples of the effects of this facility: 40 percent of patients in Peshawar’s major government hospitals and 11 percent patients in tertiary hospitals all over Pakhtunkhwa province are Afghans; over 50 percent patients in major government hospitals in Quetta are Afghan nationals; and two Pakistani philanthropic hospitals perform free eye surgeries on about 30,000 Afghans every year. Read more of this post

Israel Leaves Trail of Lies in Afghanistan

By Gordon Duff

LONDON TIMES RUNS SECOND ISRAELI PROPAGANDA PIECE IN A WEEK

The second time this week, the London Times has run articles submitted by Israeli intelligence, irresponsible, inaccurate and intended to bring chaos.  The first article claimed that US sources had verified Saudi Arabia’s intention to allow Israeli planes to use their territory for an attack on Iran.  The government of Saudi Arabia issued a strong denial in hours.  Today’s Israeli press release, carried as a news article by the London Times is far more sinister but also leaves a trail.  We are putting the London Times in for the Yellow Journalism Award of the Week, something usually reserved for Fox News.

The article itself is what we call a “plant.”  The substance of the times article includes a meeting with an imaginary Taliban commander and a hodge podge of misinformation, outright lies and subterfuge.  What is more important is why the article was written and why such a transparent piece of propaganda is a sign of Israel feeling the upheaval or worldwide scorn after the massacre of human rights activists in the Mediterranean.   The real pressure to cause a rift between NATO and Pakistan, something India and Israel have worked for, has been exacerbated by President Karzai’s attempts to draw close to Pakistan to support his failing regime.  Karzai, educated in India, had, for most of his rule, worked closely with India and, less publicly, Israel, something his people would have hated him even more for, if that were possible.

Continually dogged by accusations of corruption and for surrounding himself with druglords from the minority Northern Alliance, Karzai’s every act has moved Afghanistan into chaos and closer to civil war.  Now that the end is on him and on his friends, India and Israel, he has run to Pakistan for help and Israel has run to the Times to stop him.

The timing of the article, immediately after the Times attempted to divide the Islamic world by claiming Saudi Arabia and Israel were planning an attack on Iran, is, in itself an additional sign of how little the London Times is valued by organizations powerful enough to have it print stories that would humiliate any reputable paper.  It was important for Israel, the close ally of India, to discredit Pakistan and attempt to tie it to the Taliban, an organization that has killed thousands in Pakistan.  No mention is made of these attacks, however.  No mention of Israel and India and their role in arming and training the Taliban as part of a program of surrogate warfare against Pakistan, the world’s only Islamic nuclear state.

The gist of the article is simple:  Pakistan is running the Taliban because Pakistan ran the Taliban during the 1980s, when, frankly, the Taliban didn’t exist.  The article further claims that Pakistan’s ISI, their version of the CIA, is working with President Zardari to organize the Taliban. Read more of this post

Ex-Afghan intelligence chief planted LSE lies, anti-Pakistan propaganda

Amrullah Saleh is an ethnic Tajik from Panjshir. He has been brought up and groomed by the Indian intelligence organisation and he had been involved in anti-Pakhtun activities throughout his career. He throughout had been in league with Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to destabilise Pakistan but has been recently ousted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai due to his dubious role in the affairs of the state.

ISLAMABAD: The former chief of Afghan intelligence gathering outfit Amrullah Saleh has taken up the full-time job to malign Pakistan on one end while providing all sorts of assistance to terrorists to step up activities on the soil of Pakistan on the other.

He throughout had been in league with Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to destabilise Pakistan but has been recently ousted by Afghan President Hamid Karzai due to his dubious role in the affairs of the state. Amrullah has also assumed the task of creating difficulties for the Afghan administration. The story carried by the Sunday Times and so-called report against Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by London School of Economics are the handiwork of Amrullah Saleh.

Well placed diplomatic sources told The News that Amrullah Saleh has threatened his leadership that he would bring the peace fragility back in the region to the previous level since he was refused a free hand to play the Indian game in the region.

Amrullah has been brought up and groomed by the Indian intelligence organisation and he had been involved in anti-Pakhtun activities throughout his career. He was the head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS). He was appointed to the position by President Hamid Karzai in early 2004, succeeding Muhammad Arif Sarwari.

Saleh is an ethnic Tajik from Panjshir, and worked for the Northern Alliance under Ahmad Shah Masood. In 1997 he was appointed to lead the Northern Alliance’s Dushanbe office, where he served as the main conduit linking the CIA to Masood.

With the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States and the beginning of US bombing against the Taliban, Saleh returned to Afghanistan towards the end of October to help lead Northern Alliance intelligence, serving as the special assistant to intelligence chief Muhammad Arif Sarwari. The Northern Alliance subsequently took over Afghanistan’s existing intelligence apparatus. While Sarwari became director, Saleh was appointed to head Department One, whose duties included liaison with foreign military, diplomatic and intelligence organisations.

Sarwari and Saleh reportedly had a falling out over the latter’s enthusiasm for greater reform, leading to Saleh’s assignment to a lesser post in late 2003. Sarwari was removed from his post as leader of the NDS in early 2004 amidst various criticism that he had, amongst other things, abused his powers, worked against the government and that the NDS had committed human rights violations. President Hamid Karzai appointed Amrullah Saleh in his place in February 2004. Saleh resigned from the NDS on June 6, 2010 after a Taliban attack against the national peace jirga held by President Karzai. He was temporarily replaced by Engineer Ibrahim Spinzada. Saleh has been accused of following the footprints of his predecessor. –The News

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After US and India, Karzai Changes His Tone

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‘India is a close friend of Afghanistan, but Pakistan is a twin brother’ – Karzai


Foreword by Ahmed Quraishi: This coming from the same man who spent the past eight years working closely with the Indians and CIA to build BLA and TTP and send terrorists to Pakistan. But thanks to Afghan Taliban, they all had a falling out and everyone wants to save his hind. That’s why all of a sudden US is ready to ditch India to appease Pakistan and Karzai says India is a friend but Pakistan is a ‘brother, a twin’. We Pakistanis are certainly brothers and twins of our cousins the brave Afghans, but certainly not of the snakes planted there by others.

Reuters – Afghanistan does not want a proxy war between Pakistan and India or anybody else fought on its soil, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday during a visit to Pakistan.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan are vying for influence in Afghanistan, complicating U.S.-led efforts to end an intensifying Taliban insurgency and bring stability to Afghanistan more than eight years after the Taliban were ousted.

Karzai said he did not want any country using Afghanistan against another. His visit comes after Pakistan has intensified efforts to fight militancy, winning U.S. praise.

“The bottom line is, Afghanistan does not want any proxy wars on its territory,” Karzai told a news conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

“It does not want a proxy war between India and Pakistan in Afghanistan, it does not want a proxy war between Iran and the United States in Afghanistan,” he said.

India has developed close relations with Karzai’s government while ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been fraught with tension over recent years, mostly over Afghan suspicion Pakistan is quietly helping the Taliban.

Analysts say Pakistan sees the Afghan Taliban as a tool to promote its interests in Afghanistan, where it wants to see a friendly government in power and to limit India’s influence.

While India accuses Pakistan of backing militants who attack its interests in Afghanistan, Pakistan accuses India of using its diplomatic missions in Afghanistan to help separatist militants in its southwestern province of Baluchistan.

“TWINS”

Karzai said India was a very close friend and had given much support but Pakistan was like a brother.

“India is a close friend of Afghanistan but Pakistan is a brother of Afghanistan. Pakistan is a twin brother … we’re conjoined twins, there’s no separation,” he said.
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Muslims Are Their Own Worst Enemy

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Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq

by Paul Craig Roberts:

Muslims are numerous but powerless. Divisions among Muslims, especially between Sunni and Shi’ites, have consigned the Muslim Middle East to almost a century of Western control. Muslims cannot even play together. The Islamic Solidarity Games, a regional version of the Olympics, which were to be held in April in Iran, have been cancelled, because the Iranians and the Arabs cannot agree on whether to call the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf.

Muslim disunity has made it possible for Israel to dispossess the Palestinians, for the U.S. to invade Iraq, and for the U.S. to rule much of the region through puppets. For example, in exchange for faithful service, Egypt receives $1.5 billion a year from Washington, which enables President Mubarak to buy off opposition. The opposition had rather have the money than support the Palestinians. Therefore, Egypt cooperates with Israel and the U.S. in the blockade of Gaza.

Another factor is the willingness of some Muslims to betray their own kind for U.S. dollars. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman, head of the Foundation for Democracy, which describes itself as “a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran.”

By now we all know what that means. It means that the U.S. finances a “velvet” or some “color revolution” in order to install a U.S. puppet.  Just prior to the sudden appearance of a “green revolution” in Tehran primed to protest an election, Timmerman wrote that “the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars during the past decade promoting ‘color’ revolutions in places such as Ukraine and Serbia, training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques. Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds.”  So, according to the neocon Timmerman, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, it was U.S. money that funded Mousavi’s claims that Armadinejad stole the last Iranian election.

During President George W. Bush’s regime it became public knowledge that American money is used to purchase Iranians to work against their own country. The Washington Post, a newspaper sympathetic to the neocon’s goal of American hegemony and war with Iran, reported in 2007 that Bush authorized spending more than $400 million for activities that included “supporting rebel groups opposed to the country’s ruling clerics.”

This makes the U.S. government a “state sponsor of terrorism.” For confirmation, one of the U.S. paid operatives, who conducted terror operations in Iran, has ratted on his terrorist supporters in Washington. Abdulmalek Rigi, leader of the Baloch separatist group responsible for several attacks, was recently arrested by the Iranians. Rigi admitted that the Americans in Washington assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Read his confession here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24868.htm )

Possibly he was tortured into confession. It is the American way. If the “light of the world,” the “indispensable people,” and the “shining city on the hill” tortures people, perhaps the Iranians do as well. Rigi’s younger brother, himself on death row in Iran, has said that the U.S. provided direct funding to the separatist group and even ordered specific terrorist attacks inside Iran (see Antiwar.com, Feb. 23, 2010 and also http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/25/top-jundallah-figure-says-us-ordered-attacks/ and http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24868.htm ).

The U.S. and its NATO puppets have been killing Afghan women, children, and village elders since October 7, 2001, when the U.S. military invasion “Operation Enduring Freedom,” a proper Orwellian title for a self-serving war of aggression, was launched. The U.S. installed puppet president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, is bought and paid for with U.S. dollars.

The money that Washington gives Karzai finances the corruption that supports him. Karzai’s corruption and his treason against the Afghan people encourage the Taliban to keep fighting in order to achieve a government that serves Afghans instead of Washington, D.C.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/24/AR2010022404914.html?wprss=rss_world

Without the puppet Karzai selling out Afghans to Washington, the U.S. would have already been driven out of the country. With Karzai paying Afghans with American money to fight Afghans for the Americans, the war drones on into its ninth year.

Feminists, liberals, and naive American flag-wavers will say that what is written here is utter rot, that Americans are in Afghanistan to bring women’s rights and birth control to Afghan women and to bring freedom, democracy and progress to Afghanistan, even if it means leveling every village, town, and house in the country. We, “the indispensable people,” are only there to do good, because we care so much for the Afghan people who live in a country that most Americans can’t find on a map.
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