The centrist Pakistan DAWN daily cites prominently governor Aurakzai of the Pakistan North West Territories as saying that British (and NATO) efforts in Afghanistan (Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan), are hopeless and dangerous.
Aurakzai confirms, that the afghan insurgency is not primarily a Taliban war, bur a traditional Pashtun guerrilla war of defense against intruders. Every day, NATO troops continue to fight their lonely battle in the region, the Taliban will regain more influence and power over the resistance movements.
And Mr. Aurakzai is in an excellent position to know about the issue. The Pashtuns have their bases in his territory. Their training camps, their hospitals etc., are located in the unruly tribal zones in Pakistan.
Britain will never win in Afghanistan: Aurakzai -DAWN - Top Stories; November 27, 2006
By M. Ziauddin
LONDON, Nov 26: The British will never win in Afghanistan by military means and should open negotiations with the Taliban, the Sunday Times has quoted NWFP Governor Lt-Gen (retd) Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai as saying.The Americans left a poisonous present to NATO, this year, when they transferred the commando over the Southern Afghanistan operations to the NATO-countries that had been begging for an adult role in the "war on terrorism".
In an interview given to Sunday Times reporter Christina Lamb, the governor said: 'Bring 50,000 more troops and fight for 10 to 15 years more and you won't resolve it. The British with their history in Afghanistan should have known that better than anyone else.'
He said Nato was ignoring the realities on the ground. The reason Taliban numbers had swelled was because moderates were joining the militants, he added.
'It is no longer an insurgency but a war of Pashtun resistance exactly on the model of the first Anglo-Afghan war,' he said.
'Then too (in 1839-42) initially there were celebrations. The British built their cantonment and brought their wives and sweethearts from Delhi and didn’t realise that in the meantime the Afghans were getting organised to rise up. This is exactly what Afghans are doing today and what they did against the Soviets,' said Mr Aurakzai.
'The British should have known better. No country in the world has a better understanding of the Afghan psyche, and very little has changed there in the past couple of centuries," he added.
Rather than fighting, he said, the only answer was to talk to the Taliban.
Over the past few months, he has negotiated a series of peace deals in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
"This is the only way forward," he said, adding: "There will be no military solution, there has to be a political solution. How many more lives have to be lost before people realise it’s time for dialogue?"
According to the Sunday Times, Nato commanders have questioned Pakistan’s commitment to the war on terror, claiming it is providing a safe haven and training for Taliban. Aurakzai dismissed the criticism.
"We are doing far more than the whole coalition put together," he said.
Pakistan had 80,000 troops in border areas, more than twice as many as Nato, and had lost about 750 soldiers, more than the entire coalition, he added.
"It pains me to hear people accusing us of allowing border crossing," he said.
"We're physically manning the border; our troops are sitting there on the zero line ... Damn it, you also have a responsibility. Go sit on the border, fight like soldiers instead of sitting in your bases.
"The Americans say they can see even a goat on a hillside with their electronic surveillance, so why don’t they tell us where crossings are taking place and we will plug those gaps and kill those people?
"Either they (Nato) are trying to hide their own weaknesses by levelling allegations at Pakistan or they are refusing to admit the facts."
Has NATO even a policy, a strategy, an objective over there?
it is al about power relations within the NATO-alliance.
The leading idea seems to be, that, in doing dutifully their job, the aloofness of the US will subside, everybody wake up out of an ugly dream and NATO will be again as it was in 1988.
The most probable outcome, however, will be that the allies will have to take the blame of defeat and act as scapegoats for the failures of the Bush administration in the eyes of the American public opinion.
Why should our soldiers die for this accumulation of stupidity and selfishness?