Saturday, March 28, 2009

Afghanistan: Is Pakistan a victim?

Last Friday I was watching CBC and a former Canadian General (I did not write down his name and could not find it later) was being interviewed. I was stunned at what I heard. The good general said that what people don't know is that Pakistan lost more soldiers than all the NATO soldiers killed put together. I tried for the CBC news and I could not find it on the net but here is what I found out: Up-to-date all NATO forces put together lost 1122 soldiers (details given below per country). According to one estimate Pakistan lost over 3000 soldiers in the conflict by 2006.

To Date:

Total deaths by country

Australia: 10

Canada: 116

Czech Rep.: 3

Denmark: 21

Estonia: 3

Finland: 1

France: 27

Germany: 29

Hungary: 2

Italy: 14

Latvia: 1

Lithuania: 1

Netherlands: 18

Norway: 3

Poland: 9

Portugal: 2

Romania: 9

South Korea: 1

Spain: 25

Sweden: 2

UK: 152

US: 673

Total: 1122

Pakistan by 2006: 3,000

This is frightening. No wonder Musharraf was shown the door. It must be very difficult for Pakistani politicians to convince its population to further sacrifice for a US war. There were millions of Afghanis who took refuge in Pakistan since 1978 when the former-USSR first invaded Afghanistan and then in 2001 when NATO forces came into Afghanistan. These Afghanis, some second generation in Pakistan, have sympathies for the Taliban.

These deaths do not include civilians through direct bombing or killed by suicide bombers in Pakistan. Moreover, thousands upon thousands of Afghani soldiers and civilians were killed in the last 8 years. How dreadful and to what end. The real sad part is that no Afghani or Pakistani was involved in the 9/11 attacks. If only there was someone with brains in the Whitehouse at the time. A lot more could have been achieved through diplomacy and negotiations and there was a good chance that those responsible for 9/11 could have been captured and dealt with. However, cowboy Bush, gun-toting Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted to show their military muscles.

After watching CBC news I can better understand that why Pakistani politicians and military will be hesitant for any more carnage of their people.

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  1. I think what Obama is doing by putting more forces on the ground is to escalate the war initially and put pressure on the insurgents and then bribe people away from Taliban. This is classic stick and carrot policy and how much it will succeed; only time will tell.

    Another very important aspect is the increase in Afghan national army from 80000 to 134000. I believe that this is most important aspect of his speech as a strong central force will definitely have some impact on the overall situation. If the situation in Afghanistan stabilise to the extent that local army takes charge of the situation (even if the Taliban are not totally defeated) and foreign forces leave than situation in Pakistan will cool down as well.

    By Sikander Hayat

  2. Sikander Hayat,

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you’re right and Obama’s plan succeeds and murder and mayhem stops in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I hope US does not leave Afghanistan more corrupt than it found it.

    West has exploited that region and its people for centuries. It is about time to stop and help the people of these countries to have a better life.