IPRI’s report reveals where the US went wrong in Afghanistan after 9/11
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America’s longest war, the two-decade-long dispute in Afghanistan that started after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, killed tens of thousands of people, dogged four U.S. presidents, and eventually proved unwinnable despite its staggering cost in blood and treasure.
In the latest episode of IPRI’s explain abbreviation Special Afghan Transmission, the former DG ISI Gen (R), Ehsan ul Haq, explained how Pakistan, since the very beginning, has urged the U.S. to take the diplomatic route in Afghanistan and look for a political solution instead of a military solution.
He said, “We are in the age of narratology. So the narrative of the double game was the U.S. mechanism for seeking Pakistan’s support in a coercive manner.”
Ehsan ul Haq further went on to say that when 9/11 happened, Pakistan’s first reaction was that it was something wrong, and it will create complications for the country. However, there was also an opportunity for Pakistan to align itself with the international community on this problem.
“The first interaction between President Musharraf at that time and President Bush was towards the end of October 2001. One of the first things that Pakistan told the U.S. was that there is no military solution in Afghanistan.”
While talking about what mistakes the U.S. made during that time, the former DG ISI said, “America was wrong right from the outset. First, they sought a military solution, and then they made a mistake by picking and choosing those who were aligned with the U.S. before 911.
“Next the U.S. went wrong during 2003 to 2005 when they were on the ascendant, and they were dominating the military situation in Pakistan that was the time to seek an inclusive political solution again, but they failed. It was the time when Taliban were also seeking the solution.”
Pakistan’s commitment to peace in Afghanistan
Speaking about Pakistan’s role in the matter, Ehsan-ul Haq said, “Pakistan has played a very positive role. We were absolutely committed to being a part of the international consensus on Afghanistan post 9/11. Pakistan was absolutely committed per the U.N. Security Council Resolutions to support the struggle against violent extremism and terrorism.”
The former Dg concluded, “Pakistan was very sincere in supporting the international commitments in Afghanistan. And it is indeed a cruel joke to accuse Pakistan of a double game.”
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