By Kamran Shafi
When Musharraf made his U-turn on the Taliban upon American ‘urging’ after 9/11, some of us thought he meant it.
And, being the boss of bosses of the establishment of the Land of the Pure, would influence the Pakistani Deep State to change its stance too, and help the rest of the world fight the scourge wholeheartedly. And that the Taliban could do little against the rest of the world if no foreign power helped them.
Consider: the Russians, the Central Asian Republics, China, Iran, all the countries surrounding Afghanistan except for some extremist elements in Central Asia and Pakistan were against the Taliban. They were isolated and could easily have been eliminated.
Little did we know, however, that Musharraf and his junta did not mean what they said; that they were being two-faced; that the Deep State, with his approval, wanted to keep the Afghan Taliban as their proxies in the ongoing Great Game in Afghanistan, and their cousins, the Pakistani version of the bloodthirsty lot, as its ‘strategic assets’ against India.
Whilst we well remember Musharraf’s spin-doctors (aka ‘spin-quacks’) patting themselves on the back and exulting over the honorific bestowed on the dictatorship when it was anointed a ‘non-Nato ally’ of the US, they never really meant it.
While his junta milked the Americans of billions of dollars it allowed the Afghan Taliban to maintain their safe houses and bases inside Pakistani territory where they repaired after effectively targeting our ‘allies’ in Afghanistan and inflicting damage on coalition troops. This was two-facedness of a particularly vicious kind, but one that the Americans naively ignored, as it now turns out, to their cost.
Never mind too, that the Pakistani Taliban would be allowed, indeed helped, towards taking over large swathes of Pakistani territory, particularly Swat, through a mixture of acts of omission and commission of the Deep State to send a signal to the Americans that it was hard put to defend its own country, so what could it do to help in matters Afghan? And to inveigle more monies out of them, a reported $11bn in nine years, much of it unaccounted for to date. …
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