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Sanctions against Pakistan

Riyatullah Farooqui

The writer is a senior journalist.

Until the beginning of July this year, no one could have ever imagined that from the 2nd of this month, the United States would begin to suffer the humiliation in Afghanistan. In order to avoid it, talks were held in Doha, and with the help of the conditions imposed in these talks, an attempt was made to ensure that the US did not face any embarrassment.

The most important aspect of these negotiations was that the resulting agreement was not intended only for the US withdrawal. After the evacuation, there was planning for the transfer of power and for the coming months and years. The United States on July 2 evacuated Bagram Airbase.The move was so smooth that it was welcomed by Afghan students.

The misfortune began when Afghan General Assadullah Kohistani revealed on July 6 that the world’s so-called superpower left Bagram Airfield by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander. Neither the Ashraf Ghani government nor the Afghan army chief was notified.

This news was spread like wildfire and thus began the humiliation of America, which is still going on. Whenever the United States faces misery, our desi (local) liberals come to its aid. Officially, the United States had not yet taken a stand, but not only the American or Western media, but the world’s media was interpreting the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as a defeat.

Pakistani social media was the only place on this planet where the indigenous Aristotle philosophies were trying to prove that the United States was not defeated. One of the recipients of the Pride of Performance award said, “It’s just like us who are looking for victory and defeat in it. Otherwise, the United States is leaving Afghanistan because it is in its interest.”

While the recipient was praising the United States, they didn’t even imagined that the day August 15 would repeat the history of Saigon in Kabul. What happened in Kabul that day could have been anything but give credit to his encouragement that his voice had softened but he was still not ready to accept defeat.

Suddenly, the day came when US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley had to appear before the US Senate. At the same time, a bill was introduced in the US Senate by 22 senators, which, if passed, could lead to sanctions against Pakistan. General Mark Milley made it clear in the US Senate that “we had lost in Afghanistan”.

When the American general admitted defeat, then what is left for our desi liberals? But now their statements are even bizarre. For the last two months, they have not considered defeat as defeat. Their latest statement is that Pakistan would now suffer with sanctions after its role in the US defeat. Even those who have a reputation for U-turns have never taken such a big U-turn. The key question is whether sanctions could be imposed on Pakistan by the United States. The ground situation says no.

If anyone remembers, the CIA chief had recently visited Pakistan. According to his supposed conversation with Pakistani officials on the occasion, his first demand was that Pakistan persuades Afghan students to allow drone strikes in Afghanistan. It will also help the students and dispel the impression of American defeat. Pakistan apologized for any assistance in this matter.

The second demand was that the CIA be allowed to set up an office in Quetta. This demand was not met. And it was denied, saying that it could make Pakistan a target of major terrorism. The third demand was to set up a camp for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. And it was strongly insisted on. This request was also rejected.

The fourth demand was that China and Russia be persuaded not to recognize the new Afghan government. And if they accept this government, then Pakistan will remain neutral instead of supporting China and Russia. What is most evident from these four demands is that the United States desperately needs Pakistan in Afghanistan, and without its help, the US can’t get his feet back there.

How can the United States impose sanctions on Pakistan in this tense situation? The bill of US senators can be used for pressure but it cannot fall on Pakistan in the form of a sword. Meanwhile, in the case of Afghanistan, China and Russia are not showing any haste. Both the countries don’t want any US interference in the region. Because, US interference can emerge a new conflict in Afghanistan.

The conflict will only continue with the fact that China and Russia will want the return of the United States but will not allow its supremacy to be established. By not recognizing the Afghan government, they are giving the United States a chance to take the initiative.

The problem for the United States, on the other hand, is that the Doha agreement stipulated that it would remove Ashraf Ghani and pave the way for an interim government. But when Ashraf Ghani refused to resign, the United States, instead of pressuring him, sided with him in violation of the Doha Agreement. President Biden even announced three billion dollars a year in aid for the Afghan army.

In response, Afghan students began to conquer the provinces. And the situation was that within a week, Kabul was in their control. Thus, the United States was out of the picture and lost the role it was supposed to play in Afghanistan even after the withdrawal. Now, with this embarrassment, America does not understand how to restore its old position.

The expectation is that the US will be secretly telling the Afghan students that they are following the Doha agreement. But how is it possible to convince the students of the agreement US has broken? Why would students want to give back America’s lost position?

This is the whole background that makes the situation in Afghanistan look like a stalemate, but it will not last long. Because in that case, Afghanistan could once again be in trouble, which is not in anyone’s interest.