Saturday, April 19, 2014


Gandhara

Ex-Spy Chief: Pakistan Sees Afghanistan As 'Sub-Nation'

Amrullah Saleh also accused Islamabad of taking money in exchange for its recent release of dozens of Taliban prisoners in its custody.
Amrullah Saleh also accused Islamabad of taking money in exchange for its recent release of dozens of Taliban prisoners in its custody.
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Afghanistan's ex-spy chief has risked sparking another war of words by making a series of allegations against Pakistan.

Amrullah Saleh, former director of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), on March 12 accused Pakistan of treating Afghanistan as a "sub-nation."

"Pakistan has monopolized the right to have all sorts of foreign relations itself and when it comes to Afghanistan, they want to create limitations for us; treating us not as a nation, but as a sub-nation, as to whom we should talk to or who should be our allies," Saleh said.

Speaking on the television program "Sarhad Ke Us Paar," co-hosted by Pakistan's Express News TV and Afghanistan's Tolo News TV, Saleh also accused Islamabad of taking money in exchange for its recent release of dozens of Taliban prisoners in its custody. He said Pakistan had even offered to mediate between the Afghan government and the Taliban leadership "for the right price."

"Pakistan is no longer denying to having harbored the Taliban leadership, and its government is now putting a high price tag on the Taliban and saying if you pay the price we are going to push these guys for reconciliation and we know what the price tag is," he said.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has vehemently rejected Saleh's allegations, insisting that it did not take money from Kabul or offer to be a mediator.

"Pakistan encourages an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue and is committed to it," a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told Express News.

Saleh, who was head of the NDS between 2004 and 2010, resigned after an attack on a high-profile peace conference. He was a close associate of former anti-Taliban Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Masud and served as his liaison with the CIA in the late 1990s.

On the program, he also accused Pakistan of trying to dominate Afghanistan through proxies, a reference to the Taliban and other militant groups fighting against Kabul. He said that despite Islamabad's pledges to support the peace process with the Taliban, Pakistan did not want a functioning state in Afghanistan.

"The best way for us to make progress is for [Pakistan] to respect Afghanistan as a dignified nation, not as your backyard," Saleh said. "For as long as you're trying to dominate us through proxies it will backfire because we have gained massive soft power and Afghans are ready to stand up and rise as a nation."

Saleh also suggested that if Pakistan continued its policies toward Afghanistan there could be a possibility of war between the two neighbors.

"When Pakistan gives itself the right to fragment my nation along ethnic lines and harbor antistate elements on the soil of Pakistan to hurt us as a nation, there may come a time when we won't be possessing the policy of coming to you softly and begging you to have mercy on us. As a sovereign country, Afghanistan also has the right to reciprocate," Saleh warned.

His comments come after another Afghan ex-spy chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, on March 3 accused Pakistan's notorious intelligence service, Inter-Service Intelligence agency (ISI), of covertly supporting the Taliban and other extremist groups working against the government in Afghanistan.

In an unprecedented step, Nabil called for the United Nations to place the ISI on its global list of terrorist groups. "A terrorist is blacklisted, but the person who provides them with safe havens is not blacklisted," Nabil said.

Nabil, who is deputy chairman of Afghanistan's National Security Council, also said Pakistan should not be allowed to participate in negotiations to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban.

Afghanistan's current spy chief, Asadullah Khalid, is still recovering in a U.S. hospital after he survived a suicide attack on December 6, 2012. The assailant reportedly pretended to be a "messenger of peace from the Taliban" before detonating explosives at a government guesthouse used by the NDS.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the time said the assassination plot "came from Pakistan." Karzai said that although the Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack, he believed it originated in the Pakistani city of Quetta, where the Taliban's leadership is believed to be based.

Although Karzai never implicated Islamabad, Pakistan did issue a strong rejection that it was involved.

Recent accusations of Pakistani meddling in Afghanistan have struck a chord with ordinary Afghans, many of whom harbor resentment towards their eastern neighbor and accuse it of orchestrating the violence in the country.

-- Frud Bezhan
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: climp jones from: Hotel Cha Cha
March 13, 2013 19:38
this should come as no surprise seeing how Pakistan treats its own people as sub human
In Response

by: m khan from: peshawer
March 16, 2013 04:13
this should come with no surprise seeing the defeat of foreign troops and their poppets like karzai and mr saleh, and to those paid terrorists who involved in killing of pakistani ppl .what else they can say now.

by: Tolo news from: kabul
March 14, 2013 09:06
This is not fair to only mention the name of Express TV in your report. It was a joint TV program including TOLO TV in Kabul and Express TV in Islamabad. TOLO hosted Saleh and Atmar in the show. So,please take this into consideration and give credit to both.
In Response

by: RFE/RL Editors
March 14, 2013 10:18
Thank you for bringing this to our attention, but we hadn't seen any reference to this in reports of the debate or on the video posted on the web.
In Response

by: Tolo news from: kabul
March 14, 2013 12:42
Here is the link: http://www.tolonews.com/en/programmes
In the first show of a series of Afghanistan-Pakistan debates, On Soy-e Marz, or, Across the Border, TOLOnews and Pakistan's Express TV jointly discuss how the two countries can move forward in fight against terrorism, with panelists in Kabul and Islamabad studios.
In Response

by: Tolo news from: kabul
March 14, 2013 15:21
Thank you very much for your consideration.

by: Marcus A
March 14, 2013 10:18
The guy, like their president, is a delusional moron. In Salehs case he was the aide of a bloodthirsty warlord whose militia oversaw the massacre of Hazaras so he isn't in a position to be chastising anyone.

If it isn't the US its Pakistan or Iran.

These guys are all the same and this whole mess is nothing but one big propaganda war for them. He wants foreign troops spending billions forever propping up their incompetent government of kleptomaniacs who have done nothing to combat the drug trade they supposedly blame for financing the insurgency all the while guys like him don't want to hold peace talks whether its out of sheer malice or some other nefarious reason.

NATO needs to leave Afghanistan and these guys need to learn to reconcile with the opposition or don't expect a dime in assistance.

by: pakistani342 from: Atlanta, GA
March 14, 2013 16:17
It is imperative that the Pakistani people watch this program and listen very carefully to Mr. Amrullah Saleh. They, should not only parse his words but pay attention to his menacing tone and tenor.

Further they should listen to his message in a context that has the following salient points:
a. Mr. Amrullah Saleh is an intelligent man of the world and represents the Afghan intelligentsia and elite
b. the Pakistani people have sheltered millions of the Afghans (at one point 40% of their population) in their home for 30 years.
c. Afghan actors bear the lion share of the responsibility of for the Afghan condition (inviting the USSR to invade, civil war, etc.)

The sooner the Pakistani people realize that the Afghans are no friends of theirs the better for them.

The Pakistani people need to have an honest dialog at the national level to consider the question of untangling themselves from Afghans and Afghanistan. We should ask the questions:
1. Are the few dollars we get for giving them access to our ports worth it?
2. Why are we keeping a hostile population (the Afghan refugees) in our bosom?
3. Why do we spend our precious educational resources on Afghans (they study in our medical school, universities, etc.)
In Response

by: Latif from: Ghazni
March 19, 2013 08:20
Buddy, always talk refugees, it's not like any Afghan on either side accept the border. Those refugees take Peshawar as Afghanistan since it's all Afghan people there.
In Response

by: pakistani342
March 19, 2013 12:51
Tomorrow you'll be saying that you didn't accept my car belongs to me too: that it now belongs to you.

The 3 million or so Afghan refugees are not from the areas that International Law and Conventions recognizes as part of Pakistan.

Plus out of these 3 million: 350,000 live in Karachi (also a part of Afghanistan?) and a similar number live in Lahore (also a part of Afghanistan?) and a larger number live in Quetta (also a part of Afghanistan?).

You must know that the people most averse to the presence of the Afghan refugees are the inhabitants of KPK, not Sindhis or Punjabis or Baluch.

If this is the position of an educated Afghan (which if you are) the chances Pakistanis have of resolving their issues with Afghans is low.

Further do the schools they study in, the hospitals they use, the universities they study belong to them too?

To add insult to injury, not one word of kindness from his excellency the Amrullah of Saleh for hosting his people for 30 years.

Oh why should we be surprised: I gather that it seems that Afghans seem to think they're doing the West a favor by letting the West rebuild their country.

Ungrateful people! Get out of Pakistan.

by: abu from: Kabul
March 14, 2013 20:17
Who is guilty? I believe Saleh and his jihadi colleagues regardless of their faction or ethnic group and regardless of where they got support from, Iran, Pakistan or the west. If they had allowed the USSR, there would be no Pakistan and even no Iran, and we would see terrorism only in Hollywood movies. Pakistan must thank people like Saleh, because they have served the country more than they have served Afghanistan.

by: sam from: us
March 15, 2013 00:40
There is an interesting article at International Policy Digest about how Karzai’s policies are not only alienating the coalition forces, but also undermining the nation’s chance at a stable future:

http://www.internationalpolicydigest.org/2013/03/14/hamid-karzai-champion-of-alienation/

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
March 15, 2013 09:19
Talking about AFGHANISTAN, German media is reporting that the Supreme Commander the US forces in this country General Dunford had to "adopt additional protective measures" - for the US soliders that he is in charge of. This is due to the fact that Karzai made some remarks that make the US commender concerned that "attacks against the US troops stationed in the country will further increase".
In othere words, these guys claim to have come to Afghanistan with the purpose of "protecting the population" of the country, whereas in fact the US troops there are so helpless that they have to invent new measures to protect themselves :-)).
Source: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/afghanistan-us-general-alarmiert-truppen-nach-karzai-aeusserungen-a-889005.html

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Gandhara is a blog dedicated to Afghanistan and Pakistan written by RFE/RL journalists from Radio Mashaal (Pakistan), Radio Azadi (Afghanistan), our Central Newsroom, and other services. Here, our people on the ground will provide context, analysis, and some opinions on news from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. Send comments or questions to gandhara [at] rferl.org.