Is India to blame for Af-Pak consequences?
There is comment in the media about India being the cause of the West’s Af-Pak failure. Everytime I read about the West’s interactions with Afghanistan or any of the Asian region, I get a strange feeling.
Before I describe it let me tell that it is a feeling one gets when one sees two different species interacting with one another. In this case it is a species divided by geographical location and perhaps colour and anthropological origins. In reality there shouldn’t be any difference considering that both are homo sapiens. Will come back to it a little later … read on.
The US has been drawn into this war now for almost 70 years. A mistake they have yet to realise.
Seventy year hitch
Seventy years? Yes, that was when the Second World War got over and when the US was riding high on their superior position in getting rid of the axis powers. Britain was economically drained and if it was not for the American war effort much like in the First World War, much of the Anglo-Saxon influenced world would have been German and Japanese. The war was won with the presence of two important entities:the Indian Army and the Royal Navy,(it was more because of the collection of troop ships that operated under the Royal Navy that could ferry troops including the US, around the world).
There is an interesting book called ‘Dust of the Empire’ written by Karl E. Myer which captures the reasons for the US interests in the area, the need to create a Pakistan and the availability of this fine fighting martial race to fight on their side: the Indian Army. A myth created by the West to exploit the people of a region is on its way to complete a full circle and still the message hasn’t gone through.
The creation of Pakistan served several purposes, the chief one was western interests. What has been fed to us through our history books is silent about the real reasons which were drowned into the fundamental idea of ‘freedom’ and ‘independence’. It signalled the end of colonialism blinding the regions from knowing future misery. A colonialism of sorts continued because of the disparity of expectations between the West and East.
The questions to ask are why was there no Hindu Muslim hatred during the Moghul rule, with exceptions during the period of Aurangzeb where there was open conflict against tyranny. How did Hindu and Moslem troops form part of the same battalions in the British India Army?
Hindu-Muslim or India-Pakistan ideas were created for a purpose and no one better than Mahatma Gandhi understood and fought against it. It was he who pleaded to Nehru to give up the prime minister ship to Jinnah. If you focus on this aspect you will find a grand conspiracy behind the creation of Pakistan.
The British hardly had a hold over Afghanistan and found little value, except for the strategic Great Game with Russia. It acted as a buffer state between Great Britain and Russia.
Coming to recent events, I feel the US and the West still haven’t fathomed how the region works and bonds with themselves. The Moghuls and the Britishers in India (not the Home Office in London) learnt this aspect over centuries and knew that they had to gain respect of the people to remain there. They had to acculturate themselves with the local populations and not be in constant war. Merely learning Pashthu or Dari is just a fraction. I am suggesting a Lawrence of Arabia approach rather than leaving it just to the intelligence agencies. Would it have been better for the US to work alongside the friendlier Taliban or the Northern Alliance and prop up a warlord?
Foreigners views of the region
William Dalrymple whose books I have blogged about made interesting reading. For him to say that the India-Pakistan differences lie at the heart of the Af-Pak US ‘lack of success’ seems far fetched. This substantiates the aspect mentioned in the first paragraph that he may have researched historical events well but alas missed the essence of knowing India.
Very few westerners have really assimilated eastern cultures. It happened in the 1700s when you had ‘white nawabs’. Wealthy western traders who emulated eastern culture in spirit and soul. It takes a lot to adapt to eastern thought and culture, which anyone from the west will find difficult because of a lack of will to adapt and their physical features still keeping them aloof venerated as Gods and discarded a such. Thus US and NATO troops in Afghanistan will look and be remembered as unwanted constructs to their history. Alas all the good they have done … will be an abandonment to some dark evil forces.
They tried to get India into the coalition of the willing. Indian and Pakistani armies have served together as UN forces, but will not be seen together in any other situation. The US on the contrary has openly supported Pakistan in all its aggression against India. Patton nagar a graveyard of derelict Pakistani- US supplied tanks brought down by the Indian Army stands testimony to it.
Indo-US amity is in other spheres and when it comes to China.
With the Taliban looming over the horizon, thanks to the US failure to contain them, nothing really changes the threats to India. Afghanistan, for India, will be a friendly country and also an Islamic depth more for Pakistan than for India.
I have a feeling that the Taliban in Afghanistan, even though nurtured by Pakistan will fall out with them. Pakistan has to fear the new Taliban themselves.It might eventually be a Taliban that deals with the supplier and does away with the middleman. Besides, they really are not a homogenous group and how long will it take them to get into internecine wars seeking external aid.
This may just be the beginning of a new war or will there be peace?
What do you think? Comment s’il vous plaît