Sunday, May 6, 2018

Rising Afghan Violence; Hazara Killings; Safdar's Anti-Ahmedi Move

Why is the violence in Afghanistan intensifying? Why has US-NATO coalition dropped more bombs in Afghanistan in Jan-March 2018 quarter than in any other 3 month period in the last 15 years? Is it in response to the Taliban annual spring offensive? Or the Daish (ISIS) contributing to more killings? Is the Trump administration too busy with the military option and paying too little attention to any diplomatic initiatives to end the war in Afghanistan? Will the appointment of Michael Pompeo as US secretary of state make a difference?

Terrorism Toll in Pakistan. Source:
Why are the Hazara killings continuing in Quetta? What can the Pakistani state and the military do to provide relief to the Hazara community? Beyond the the focus on security, what else can and should be done to reduce ethnic and sectarian hatred in Pakistani society in general? What kind of social and educational initiatives are needed to quell such violence? What role must the politicians play to appeal to the better angels of human nature?

 What does Captain Safdar, son-in-law of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, hope to achieve by pushing a bill in the Pakistan National Assembly to drop the name of renowned Pakistani Nobel Laureate Dr. Abdus Salam from the National Center of Physics at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU)) in Islamabad? Is this cynical move timed to coincide with the upcoming election to win votes for his father-in-law's PMLN party? Why do politicians pander to the worst instincts of the people to win votes? Why is this happening in this day and age in many countries including India, European Union and the United States? Is this the ugly underbelly of modern democracy?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with analysts Ali Hasan Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (

Related Links:


South Asia Investor Review

Trump's Afghanistan Policy

Security Situation in Pakistan

Mariam Nawaz and Capt Safdar's Support of TLYR  Dharna

Viewpoint From Overseas Youtube Channel

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

PakAlumni Worldwide


Riaz Haq said...

Are the #Afghan #Taliban unbeatable? #US #NATO #Pakistan #India

Unbeatable: Social Resources, Military Adaptation, and the Afghan Taliban
How have the Taliban come back so successfully after virtual defeat following the 9/11 attacks? Its resiliency stems from two factors: its social resources and its ability to adapt militarily.
Theo FarrellMay 08, 2018
Insurgencies are famously difficult to defeat, yet the Afghan Taliban have proven especially so. Accounts of Taliban resilience have focused on both the deficiencies of Western efforts and the Afghan state and on Pakistani support for the Taliban. These accounts fail, however, to reveal the full picture of how the Taliban have been able to survive. Drawing on original field research, this article explores how the Taliban’s success has been shaped by factors internal to the insurgency, namely, the social resources that sustain it and the group’s ability to adapt militarily.

The fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was swift and brutal. Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States went to war against al-Qaeda and its Taliban hosts in Afghanistan. Taliban forces were obliterated in a lightning war prosecuted by American special operations forces and their Afghan allies, supported by an armada of warplanes. U.S. air forces did most of the killing. The U.S. Air Force and Navy dropped 18,000 bombs in the air campaign, 10,000 of which were precision munitions. The exact number of Taliban fighters killed is unknown, but according to one estimate the death toll was 8,000 to 12,000.1 By early 2002, the Taliban emirate had ceased to exist as a physical entity, and its leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, had fled to Pakistan.

Within five years, however, the Taliban had regrouped and returned in large numbers to southern and eastern Afghanistan. In the decade that followed, the new Afghan state and its Western backers were unable to stop a Taliban insurgency from steadily gaining more ground across the country. In 2016, the Taliban seized Kunduz city in northern Afghanistan for a second time, having done so the year before as well.2 The Taliban had also come close to capturing the provincial capitals of Helmand and Uruzgan in the south and Farah in the west. In May 2016, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan command reported that only 65 percent of the country’s 407 districts were under government control.3 This highlights the question of how the Taliban was able to come back so successfully from utter defeat.

Between 2001 and 2016, the United States spent around $800 billion on war in Afghanistan. The international community spent an additional £240 billion building up Afghan security forces. In 2010, at the height of the international military effort in Afghanistan, just over 100,000 U.S. troops and around 40,000 troops from fifty other nations were deployed there. Despite all this military might and international largesse, the Taliban were not defeated. How can this be explained? To date, studies on the war have mostly focused on deficiencies in the international military effort and problems with the Afghan state. Lack of success in defeating the Taliban has been blamed on the failings of Western leadership and strategy, on the hubris and incoherence of the international effort, and on flaws in counterinsurgency tactics and operations.4 Equally important has been the scale of corruption in Afghanistan, fueled by the massive influx of international aid, which has undermined both the legitimacy and the effectiveness of the Afghan government and security forces.5

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Protests Over Acquitted Christian Woman #AsiaBibi Fizzle Out. Tehreek-e-Labbaik #TLP, which petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse its Oct. 31 acquittal of Bibi, had called for new rallies after the top court this week threw out its petition.

Pakistani police have fired tear gas and wielded batons to disperse a rally by Islamic radicals in the southern port city of Karachi against the acquittal of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

But despite the Karachi violence, nationwide rallies the extremists had called for on Friday against Aasia Bibi's freedom mostly fizzled.

Bibi had spent eight years on death row on charges of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, which petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse its Oct. 31 acquittal of Bibi, had called for new rallies after the top court this week threw out its petition.

It had also urged businesses and transport operators to strike but the call was ignored.

There were scatterings of small rallies against Bibi in northwestern Pakistan and the capital, Islamabad.