20 January 2020

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Commentary

Sunday January 19, 2020
Kabul (BNA) John Sopko the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction have accused U.S. officials for lying about Afghanistan war to the public. 
The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction told U.S. congress that U.S. officials have routinely lied to the public during the 18-year war by exaggerating progress reports and inflating statistics to create a false appearance of success.
“There’s an odor of mendacity throughout the Afghanistan issue. . . mendacity and hubris,” John Sopko said in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The problem is there is a disincentive, really, to tell the truth. We have created an incentive to almost require people to lie.”
As an example, Sopko said U.S. officials have lied in the past about the number of Afghan children enrolled in schools — a key marker of progress touted by the Obama administration — even though they “knew the data was bad.” He also said U.S. officials falsely claimed major gains in Afghan life expectancy that were statistically impossible to achieve.
U.S. congress created the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, known as SIGAR, in 2008 to investigate contractual fraud and waste in the war zone.
Since 2001, the United States has spent more than $132 billion to modernize the country—more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to rebuild Europe after World War II.
Meanwhile, people of Afghanistan while accusing U.S. aimless war in Afghanistan said, U.S. presence in a problematic war in Afghanistan, suppressing terrorists is the aim of the war, but until now U.S. fails in this struggle.
U.S. came to Afghanistan to fight against terrorism, but didn’t pay attention on terrorists’ hideouts outside the country, particular in Pakistan.
Beside that with the presence of U.S. in Afghanistan, administrative corruptions and narcotic drug smugglings has reached at the high level in the country.
Political and civil society activists said, until now west and U.S. didn’t perform useful infrastructure projects for reconstruction of Afghanistan.
According to them, U.S. never spent $135 billion in Afghanistan, but U.S. mostly spent the amount on its military troops in the country, salary of a U.S. troop several times is higher than an Afghan soldiers, beside that Afghan National Army and other organs are equipped preliminary, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are forcing with numerous problems in the battlefields.
In fact, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces with high moral and less equipment are fighting against terrorism and extremism across the country.
Political exports said, U.S. has not moved realistically, but consider interests and benefits of its friends and admirers in Afghanistan war.  
U.S. inattention on fighting against terrorists cause that presence of U.S. could be sensitive for some other countries, therefore, now Afghanistan change into battlefield of proxy war among the countries that have problems with U.S. or U.S. have problems with them.
U.S. needs to revise on its strategy against fighting on terrorism and extremism in Afghanistan. 
M.A.Ansari

Saturday January 18, 2020

Kabul (BNA) Mohammad Ashraf Ghani President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan emphasize that talks, direct negotiations between Taliban and Afghanistan government and ceasefire are the main key mechanisms of peace process.
BNA political analyst commenting on the issue writes, President Ghani during meeting with Niels Annen, the German State Minister at the Federal Foreign Office discussed mutual interests, particular Afghanistan peace process the other day.
During the meeting President Ghani called significant peace process led by government of Afghanistan, adding Afghan-led and owned-peace process and peace is the top priority and a milestone of the government and people of Afghanistan, he underlined that dialogue, direct negotiations between government and Taliban and ceasefire are the essential components of peace process.
President Ghani added that Afghan government is working closely with the United States, Germany and other allies to put an end to the four-decade conflict in the country.
During the meeting President Ghani further added that annihilating terrorists safe hideouts, break up Taliban ties with other terrorist groups, fighting against narcotic drug and economic crimes are the other components that paves the way for ensuring peace in Afghanistan, government of Afghanistan is working with the countries in the region to build regional consensus on peace, Ghani added.
Recently, some media reported that Taliban group after several months consultations agreed on seven-day violence reduction in Afghanistan.
Sources said that Taliban political delegations share their decision with American delegations in Doha.
Before that, US delegations asked from Taliban to reduce violence and being prepared for direct negotiations with Afghanistan government.
Already, Taliban leaders called that we are ready to announce long-term ceasefire with US troops in Afghanistan, but the group rejected ceasefire with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, while Afghanistan government emphasize on ceasefire before starting peace talks, but Taliban considers short-term violence reduction.
Presidential spokesperson, Sediq Seddiqi last week tweeted, “A ceasefire is the Afghan government’s plan for beginning peace negotiations, reduction of violence does not have an accurate meaning in legal and military terms, and it is not practical, by ceasefire, we mean a ceasefire like the one established in the country two years ago, during the Eid days--it had a clear definition.”
Taliban group fears from ceasefire announcement, leaders of the group know that by declaring ceasefire the group will lose its power in US peace negotiations in Doha.
Taliban leaders for their political future and benefits are busy on bargaining with US representatives since a year in Qatar.
Afghans have endured four decades of conflicts and burn in external political games, so reduction violence in a week is a surface discussion and dose not respond the current situation.
Afghanistan people completely and permanently want to end war and violence in the country and demanded from parties involved in conflicts that by considering national interests move toward a permanent and comprehensive peace.
Reaching a durable and dignity peace is possible only by announcing ceasefire and trust on each other.
M.A.Ansari
 

Friday January 17, 2020
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan already suffering the tyranny of its geostrategic location generating Major Powers’ conflicting rivalries and if the decades-long disruptive strategies against it by its meddlesome neighbor Pakistan were not enough now stares at a turbulent Islamic neighborhood with implications of pushing distant any chances of peace and stability.
Afghanistan’s neighborhood at the commencement of 2020 comprising Islamic nations of Pakistan, Iran and the Western-most Chinese controlled Muslim majority Xingjian Region find themselves in agitated turbulence induced by a mix of domestic and externally induced factors—all of which impinge one way or the other on peace and stability of Afghanistan.
Pakistan which has been incessantly meddling in Afghanistan for nearly forty years now is today itself in a state of marked internal political and economic turbulence. Pakistan’s provinces bordering Afghanistan have seen continuing incidents of violence against Pakistan Army violent suppression in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunwa. Gilgit-Baltistan regions bordering Afghanistan and Chinese Western Region of Xingjiang are also in ferment demanding self-determination.
Pakistan as pointed out in my earlier writings stands besieged internally and externally affecting its credibility to continue as a viable Nation State. Politically, Pakistan Army-selected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has failed to deliver good governance. Political dynamics within Pakistan in 2020 suggest that people of Pakistan have become resentful against PM Imran Khan failing to deliver on his political promises and that resentment will be exploited by Pakistani Opposition parties. Economically, Pakistan in 2020 continues to exist on economic life-support systems funded by countries like China and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan had to seek billions dollar loans from World Bank to service its external debts.
Such disturbed political and economic conditions provide a ready recipe for Pakistan’s ruling regime propped by Pakistan Army to be easily tempted to divert domestic attention by increased military adventurism against Afghanistan. Moreso, when in 2020 when the restraining hand on Pakistan Army of the United States stands weakened by Pakistan Army’s buoyant dependence on China.
Iran is in a state of ferment in the wake of United States targeted killing of IRGC’s iconic military leader General Solemani commanding the elite Quds Force of the IRGC. It has set in motion increased levels of US-Iran conflict escalation where a small unintended incendiary spark could throw the whole of South West Asia with Iran and Afghanistan as major constituents in unimaginable spiraling of violence and war. Afghanistan sharing long contiguous borders with Iran can hardly escape the adverse effects of conflict and war between United States and Iran.
What adds more disturbing contours for Afghanistan’s stability and security is that with the United States militarily embedded in Afghanistan it would be logical to assume that in the event of United States-Iran conflict escalation the United States would be tempted to use Afghanistan as a springboard for additional flank of military operations against Iran. In such a scenario, would Afghanistan have any alternative option to stop United States use of Afghan territory for military operations against Iran?
Afghanistan’s third neighborhood of Islamic turmoil is the Xingjiang region of China. Xingjian is a Muslim majority region of China where the Uighurs have been waging an independence movement to free themselves from Chinese occupation. In 2020 widespread reports suggest that China has imprisoned nearly a million Uighurs in reorientation camps. This has increased violence to greater levels with possibilities of more violence in response to Chinese latest ethnic and religious repression.
With Pakistan in strategic connivance with China and pushing out Uighur rebels earlier ensconced in Frontier Areas of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, it would be logical for such elements to move into Afghanistan’s remote areas of North East. This would invite Chinese and Pakistan wrath against Afghanistan unwittingly caught in a conflict not of its making.
Afghanistan’s future prospects of peace stability and security primarily hinge on policy acts of commission and omission of   the United States as the global predominant Power and also as the Major Power firmly embedded in Afghanistan militarily for over seventeen years now,
Contextually, for the record it needs to be highlighted that while the United States could not be defeated in Afghanistan by a combination of Pakistan Army’s duplicity with United States and Pakistan Army’s Taliban proxies, it also needs to be highlighted that it was the United Sates own permissive political expediencies in relation to Pakistan Army that led to a military stalemate.
Keeping in mind that Afghanistan has defied all possible solutions for restoration of peace and security mainly due to United States policies being permissive on Pakistan Army’s delinquencies and disruption strategies with end-aim to ensure that any Government in Kabul should be of Pakistan Army’s selection, the United States has no choice but to continue its military embedment in Afghanistan. The alternative easy option is to militarily disengage from Afghanistan and leave it to its fate of repetition of another civil war generated by Pakistan Army.
The United States has to recognize that since Afghanistan’s future is no longer confined to the triangular state of relations between United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan but has become more global in character by renewed interest of Russia and increased interest by China, the United States has to consider strategic perspectives of Afghanistan falling under dominant influence and control of Russia and China and in that eventuality what would be the effect on United States national security interests in Greater South West Asia?
With Afghanistan’s neighborhood of Islamic nations in increased turbulence as per situation obtaining in 2020, the United States has to factor this contextual development also in its analysis on the strategic desirability of abandoning Afghanistan for a second time, yet again.
The United States so far has baulked at disciplining the Pakistan Army for its disruptive strategies on Afghanistan through its military proxy—the Taliban. In utter strategic contradiction, the United States persists in dialogue with the Taliban whose avowed aim is to pressurize the military abandonment of Afghanistan by the United States and re-assuming political power and control in Kabul.
Ironically, the United States policy establishment is oblivious and blind to the prevailing reality which stands pointed in my writings for some time that the United States much favored Non NATO Ally-Pakistan is no longer United States’ Frontline State but has morphed into “China’s Front Line State in South West Asia” and a committed vanguard protector of China’s military aims and objectives in the region
If the above is a correct assessment, and it is very much so, then do any plausible justifications exist for the United States to persist in being mindful of Pakistan Army’s sensitivities over Afghanistan and should the United States persist in its peace dialogues with the Taliban when it is clear to everyone that the Taliban’s stances adhere to the script laid down by Pakistan Army GHQ in Rawalpindi?
Concluding, one cannot but help re-emphasizing ad-nauseum what stands repeated in my writings so far that the United States for its own strategic good and safeguarding of its national security interests in Greater South West Asia should not consider military abandonment of Afghanistan whose security is further complicated in 2020 by a turbulent Islamic neighborhood but that the United States should plan for a Forward Military Presence permanently embedded in Afghanistan on the lines of US Forward Military Presence in Japan and South Korea.
Eurasiareview

Wednesday January 15, 2020
Kabul (BNA) As the winter arrives, the price of liquid gas unprecedentedly increasing day-by-day in capital Kabul city.
BNA analyst commenting on the issue writes, following the snowfalls and cold weather, the price of liquid gas and fuel jumped high within the past couple of weeks in central Kabul.
While residents of Kabul city are facing with numerous problems, the price of liquid gas, fuel and woods unprecedentedly has been increased in the city than past years.
By arriving winter season, for preventing air pollution officials in Afghanistan Environment Protection Authority demanded from Kabul’s resident to replace liquid gas with coal in warm-up their houses.
But, how residents of Kabul city provide liquid gas with high price and observe the demand of Environment Protection Authority?
It is questioned that despite of numerous liquid gas companies why the price of gas massively increased among the private gas sellers and distributors in Kabul city?
People and relevant officials know that winter season is full of challenges and problems and fighting such problems need precondition plans that already must take by relevant organs.
While officials talking about exist of several liquid gas reserves in Kabul city, but why residents are facing with lack of liquid gas and increasing gas price?
Some sellers and contributors of liquid gas in capital Kabul claiming that the main cause of increasing gas price are producers and wholesaler of gas.
Because of free market no government organs has taken responsibility regarding the issue, government officials believe that trade supports in free market.
It has been said, 14 producers and suppliers of oil and liquid gas companies exist in Kabul that determine the price of gas and oil among themselves.
Recently, Afghanistan Oil and Gas Enterprise Department has active dozens of branches for supplying liquid gas in Kabul city by half price considering the market, but the number of branches are less and cannot meet the needs of a city with several millions population.
There is need to increase the number of gas suppliers branches in Kabul city. 
This a fact that we fight against seasonal cases, officials and relevant organs by predicating future should act responsibly, if do not eliminate we should minimize the challenges and problems in the future.
M.A.Ansari

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