The passports of members of 22 such families have been impounded and President Bhutto has demanded that holdings of foreign currency abroad be returned to Pakistan. He has threatened those who do not bring back their holdings with penalties, Including imprisonment. Last night the Government announced it had placed two scions of these families?
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Pakistani business executives did not seem especially disturbed by the new measures. One businessman said:. As for the antimonopoly, fair trade and protection of labor provisions, such laws have been on the books here since at least My personal hope is that Mr. Bhutto intends to do something about enforcing. The Einince Minister, Dr. Hasan,said that in the case of the businesses being nationalized, the, Government was not actually taking over corporate shares but was merejy replacing management.
Employes will be kept on, he said. My personal hope is that Mr. Bhutto intends to do something about enforcing. The Einince Minister, Dr.
Hasan,said that in the case of the businesses being nationalized, the, Government was not actually taking over corporate shares but was merejy replacing management. Employes will be kept on, he said. The companies affected, he added, may later be handed over :to pro,yincial governments. The moderate nature of the nationalization announced to. He seems to have gone to great pains to convince his countrymen that he will not use his position to protect his economic status. He replaced. Bhutto said he would serve without salary. Yesterday, he ordered that all top members of the Government, including himself, make public declarations of their financial wealth.
But that was in the s. The world totally changed for the Afghan refugees in the s and especially by end—s. Even Pakistan became lukewarm towards them and wished the remaining Afghans go back at the earliest. Islamabad, moreover, took rather harsh measures to discourage the incoming Afghans and in November , it officially closed its border with Afghanistan. Between October and May , the government reportedly forcibly returned some 7, Afghans and the Pakistani media and government officials began projecting the Afghans as outsiders, security risk, burden on economy and as a sort of people responsible for the brutalization and criminalization of Pakistani society.
Consequently, repatriation process was accelerated and preventive measures were taken to discourage and beat back the coming or intending waves of the Afghans from across the Pak - Afghan border These Afghans became victims of politics of dispossession.
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There was little concern for them in Pakistan or elsewhere and little eagerness to look at the issue in the background of the lingering Afghan tragedy. Over the years since the Saur Revolution of April and specially since the Soviet military intervention in December , the whole Afghan nation was systematically destroyed and millions of Afghan men, women, and children were condemned to live in wilderness as internally displaced persons IDPs or as refugees. Clearly many actors and interest groups are responsible for this Afghan tragedy. To begin with, the history of Afghanistan is full of stories of wars and invasions during different historical periods.
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Place intrigues and ferocious struggle for power and throne are the distinguishing feature of Afghan history. It was in the year , when the first unified Afghan state was established by Ahmed Khan Durrani and the tradition of succession through violence was very faithfully continued. Worse still, the country suffered foreign interventions for centuries. Afghanistan, for example, was occupied by the British in the 19th century and almost for a century, the Afghan people fought against the British.
In August , it achieved full political independence from the British. During , King Amanullah ruled over the country, but he was forced to abdicate in January when Kabul fell to forces led by Bacha-i-Saqao, a Tajik brigand. Nadir declared himself King of Afghanistan. However, only four years later, he was assassinated. Zahir reigned from to Daoud himself was removed from power on 27 April , when Noor Muhammed Taraki staged a bloody coup.
Daoud and most of his family members were killed. Taraki was killed. But then the Soviet troops entered Afghanistan in late December and Amin was killed. Then Babrak Karmal, an exiled leftist leader staying in Czechoslovakia, was called back and installed in power as new Prime Minister of Afghanistan. Soon began the armed and organized resistance movement of the Islamic fighters—the Mujahideens.
By , the Afghan resistance forces captured Kabul and removed Najibullah from power. What followed was a fierce and bloody struggle among the Afghan warlords for rule over Kabul, a struggle abruptly brought to an end by the capture of the city of Kandhar in and the capture of Kabul in by the Taliban.
Mostly educated at the religious schools in Pakistan and belonging to rural Pashtun background, the Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Omar, sought to impose an extreme interpretation of Islam, committed massive human rights violations, brutally dealt with the minority populations and provided sanctuary to Usama Bin Laden, a Saudi national who had fought with the Afghans against the Soviets, and provided a base for his and other terrorist organizations.
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And now on the seat of power is the former Afghan refugee in Pakistan, Hamid Karzai, in power mainly because of the patronage of the United States, and attempts are claimed to be afoot to put Afghanistan on democratic, constitutional tracks. One may add here that the Afghan rulers and specially king Zahir Shah, who reigned and ruled with full authority for forty years to , were mostly concerned in consolidating their own authority and had little concern to strengthen the institutions of governance in Afghanistan.
They had little respect for constitutional and democratic governance and did little to bring Afghanistan out of its decadent and primitive tribal hold. Again, instead of promoting inter-tribal harmony and co-operation, they thrived on tribal rivalries and enmities. Likewise, the progressive leadership that came to power in got bogged down because of internal feuds and the Afghan war lords wasted the opportunity of introducing good governance after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan.
They opted to fight against one another and fought terribly bloody uncivil wars.
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When the Taliban came to power, they got carried away by their myopic vision of governance and let loose a reign of terror in the name of Islam in the length and breadth of Afghanistan. It is rather too early to speculate upon the future of Post-Taliban, American guided and tutored Afghanistan. Then the Afghan people could be saved from the war of destruction and political and ethnic violence.
Likewise, the forced migration of the Afghans could have been controlled and restrained if the major international actors had worked to serve the cause of peace in Afghanistan and in the region rather than to serve their own petty power political interests. But this was not to be. The Afghan crisis was viewed as an opportunity by the United States to avenge the Vietnam disaster and to push the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam. The US came rushing not to end the conflict but to further fuel it.
It provided weapons to the Mujahdins and invested billions of dollars to ensure that a bloody war took place against the progressive and secular Afghans and Soviet troops. It also provided weapons and dollars to Pakistan to carry on its cold war mission in Afghanistan.
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Impatient to prove its credentials as a super power and intoxicated with the arrogance of power, the Soviet Union also did little to diminish the intensity of this protracting conflict. Instead, by sending troops to Kabul in December , it sent a clear message to the world that Afghanistan was in its zone of influence and eventually it would be Sovietized, come what may.
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Afghanistan, therefore, became a battleground where a deadly war was fuelled by both the US and Soviet Union. It was a kind of a war which ultimately destroyed the Afghan state, the Afghan nation, Afghan culture and Afghan future for a long time to come and forced millions of Afghans to run for refuge to neighbourig Pakistan and Iran Besides the Super powers, major regional actors including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan had their own interest in the Afghan crisis.
Alarmed by the events like the abolishment of monarchy in and seizure of power by the communists in , the Saudi ruling elite was determined to fail the new government in Kabul. The prospect of a revolutionary Middle East seeking inspiration and support from revolutionary Afghanistan was too scaring. Further, their policy against the Kabul regime and against Soviet presence in Afghanistan ensured active American support for the survival of Saudi monarchy and for their continued possession of oil wealth.
As such, the Saudis pumped in billions of dollars in the name of jihad and wholeheartedly supported militant Islam. In their calculation of power, influence and interest, the Saudis worked hard to serve the American agenda in the region. They had little interest in the quick return of peace and normalcy to Afghanistan and for the early return of the Afghan refugees to their country.
The case of Pakistan was slightly different. But little evidence, if any, is available to suggest that Pakistan seriously endeavored to promote regional peace by adopting a policy of non-intervention in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, providing confidence to the regimes in Kabul that Islamabad was not interested in their overthrow and favouring circumstances for the early return of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Indeed, Pakistan was not in a hurry for peace in Afghanistan and the military Government of General Zia-ul-Haq, which had come to power by overthrowing the elected and popular Pakistani Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on 5 July , had good reasons for adopting such an approach.
He had not only toppled Bhutto but had also hanged him. His was, moreover, very harsh, authoritarian, fascistic rule and the political, democratic forces in the country were opposed to his use and abuse of Islam to stay in power and consolidate his power base. Being afraid of a popular resistance movement against his regime, Zia was desperate for an outlet, for an engaging crisis which could divert the attention of the Pakistani people. The international media widely treated him as an usurper, a military dictator and a fanatic Muslim and the Western governments were, in particular, reluctant to legitimize his military take-over.
The imposition of certain economic and military sanctions had further worsened the situation and the neighbouring, democratic India was having all the recipies for its anti-Pakistan propaganda feasts. Under the circumstances, the Afghan crisis came as a blessing and Zia seized the opportunity with both hands.
There was an instant launching of the propaganda campaign against the progressive government in Kabul, against the Godless society in the Soviet Union, against threats to Islam, against threats to Pakistan, the Gulf and beyond, against capitalism and against vital Western interests in the region. It got focused on dangers emanating from Afghanistan and Soviet Union and the rest was forgotten. Soon the military, strategic and ideological consequences of the regime change in Kabul in and after emerged as the most engaging themes in the national political discourse in Pakistan.
The West had more important things to bother about. An important goal was to keep the Soviet Union engaged in Afghanistan, push it deep into the quagmire and avenge Vietnam. For this war game, the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq was seen to be superbly suited. After all, a military dictator with no popular political base could be more reliable than possibly a reluctant democratic ruler answerable to diverse constituencies.
Young people from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and also from several other Muslim states including Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, were encouraged to join the holy war against the infidels in Kabul. They were also given military training and dollars and the ground was prepared for a long war with the Soviet Union and the communist regime in Afghanistan.
Both USA and Pakistan had their own agenda and neither was thinking about the sufferings of the Afghan people and Afghan refugees in case the conflict protracted. In fact, Pakistan needed more and more Afghan refugees to justify its direct and indirect involvement in the conflict and to buttress its claim that it was driven into Afghanistan because of ideological and humanitarian concerns.
Subsequently all serious attempts for the return of peace to Afghanistan were successfully aborted. True that the prospects for peace had brightened up by early when the last Soviet soldier had left Afghanistan and, once again, when the cold war finally came to an end after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. But, by this time, the Afghan warlords and their Jihadi forces, most of whom were nourished, nurtured, trained and pampered by the American CIA, Pakistani ISI and Saudi Petrodollars, had developed a vested interest in warfighting.