soldiers comfort one another along the Pakistan-
Afghan border, June 1. Among many other complaints, Pakistan
recentattacks by heavily-armed Taliban from
across the Afghan border must
have had tacit NATO approval,
or reflect the incompetence of NATO forces.
The Frontier Post,
Is NATO Incompetent, or is it Complicit with Taliban Infiltrators?
their demonstrated timidity and cowardice, it's possible that the occupation armies
in the border regions may have preferred allowing the raiders entry to Pakistan
rather than running the risk of casualties by challenging them. But NATO
complicity in this cannot be ruled out. In fact, it's quite possible."
In strength and in military
style, infiltrators from Afghanistan have struck our territory again. This time,
the attack came in a populated, forested expanse of Bajaur Agency's Mohmand
tehsil. It was a fierce battle in which automatic weapons and rocket-propelled
grenades were used, and which killed at least five, including three women, and
injured eight. Just a few days ago, heavily-armed gunmen from across the border
likewise seized a string of border villages in the Upper Dir district,
which left them depopulated after inflicting a heavy toll of death and injury in
two days of bloody fighting. Then, too, they took several residents hostage and
took them away. These two incursions, occurring within such a short span of
time and involving hundreds of lethally-armed invaders should ring bells in
Islamabad. This is all the more true, as the border regions of Afghanistan's Kunar-Nuristan, from
where these assaults originated, are not only under the supreme control of U.S.-led
NATO forces, but are not part of the upcoming transfer of security responsibilities
to Afghan security forces as occupying troops begin drawing down next month.††
Given all this, these raids are
intriguing phenomena that ought to jolt the "great" minds in
Islamabad. As far as U.S.-led NATO forces along the Afghan border, the fact
that raiders by the hundreds could cross the border carrying heavy weapons
without ever being intercepted unambiguously reflects either incompetence, complicity,
or both. After all, the incompetence of Afghanistan's occupiers stands out as
resoundingly as do their utter spinelessness and lack of fighting spirit, notwithstanding
the tall tales and braggadocio of their commanders and the effusive congratulations
showered on them by their political bosses. They've been there now for almost
ten years. Yet, according to a U.N. survey, over 70 percent of occupied
Afghanistan remains under the sway of Taliban and other insurgent groups that are
expanding their writ to the rest of the country. Even the troop surge failed to
stem the tide of insurgency. Only on the paper of NATO commanders have marvels
been achieved; on the ground, there have been none.
Indeed, the occupying
militaries have been so incompetent and gutless, that for most of the past ten
years, they haven't been fighting, but cunningly whiling away the time by making
a punching bag out of Pakistan. They've been busy papering over their own
infirmities, foibles and failures and quarrelling among themselves over who
should assume the responsibility of actually fighting in this theater of
occupation and war.
Given their demonstrated
timidity and cowardice, it's possible that the occupation armies in the border regions
may have preferred allowing the raiders entry into Pakistan rather than running
the risk of casualties by challenging them. But NATO complicity in this cannot
be ruled out. In fact, it's quite possible.
Let us recall the operation to
pacify the Bajaur Agency, launched by the Pakistan military sometime ago when it
was being rocked by a vicious insurgency. When it was in the works, the
operation was known to the occupation forces. Yet the moment the Pakistan
military mounted the operation, they quite intriguingly and instantly rolled up
all of their border posts. This left the border wide open to infiltrators, who moved
into the agency comfortably and in strength to fight on the side of the local
insurgents and supply them with huge amounts of deadly weapons that flooded in
across the border. So the question of NATO complicity cannot be dismissively
brushed aside. It would be fatally foolish of our Islamabad hierarchy not to
take a penetrating look into the possibility.
Also relevant to this, President
Karzai, when questioned about the episode in Upper Dir at a press conference during
his recent visit to Islamabad, expressed ignorance and promised to investigate.
Whether his ignorance was feigned or not is irrelevant. What matters is the
investigation. Because if these ever-more frequent attacks on Pakistanís populated
border areas by infiltrators from across the Afghan borders is due to occupier
incompetence, it bodes ill and reflects a very worrying situation. And if it is
due to NATO complicity, it spells disaster for Pakistan. Hence, in no event
should the Islamabad hierarchy sleep through these incursions from Afghanistan.
Pakistan must demand answers both from Kabul and the occupiers. It must probe
into this deeply until it knows precisely what's going on and prepare itself for
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