KARACHI: – Agha Masood Hussain, a renowned journalist, book “The Afghan Papers’ was launched at Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) on February 03rd, 2018. Former Sindh governor Kamaluddin Asfar was the chief guest on the occasion.
Author Agha Masood Hussain said the US’ policy was ruining the prospects of peace in Afghanistan. He said that there could be no peace there as long as India continued to play a role in its affairs.
The United States has very slim chances of winning the war in Afghanistan and now the only solution lies in negotiations. The only way out of the mess was that all the regional powers, including China and Iran, be allowed to get together and agreed on a negotiated settlement.
“The book is not against the US or India, but it is a fact that the US is involved in the war so that it can keep selling its lethal weapons to earn money,” he clarified. The US has around 80 military bases in different parts of the world, he pointed out.
Senator Abdul Haseen Khan said Pakistan has been the biggest loser in the Afghan war as the country is taking care of millions of Afghan, both registered and unregistered, for the last many years. There are 3 million Afghans in Pakistan since 1979.
“Whatever’s happening in Afghanistan has consequences in Pakistan,” he said. The senator said this book of Agha Masood clearly described how and why Pakistan’s economy was shattered. The US, he said, had made all efforts to defeat the Taliban but did not succeed.
He concluded his speech by listing three essential points, according to him, for bringing normalcy to the South Asia region. First, the ‘worm’ should be removed from the tree, meaning thereby that the US must be made to quit Afghanistan. Second, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India should sit down together and formulate long-term measures for meaningful cooperation instead of the enervating confrontation, and devise ways and means to eradicate poverty and give their people a viable quality of life. Last, there should be free and fair elections in Afghanistan.
Kamaluddin Asfar quoted a statement of the former chief of the CIA published in the New York Times- January 29th, 2018, saying “The US can’t win a war it doesn’t understand”. History told us that no invader had ever succeeded in Afghanistan, whether it was Alexander, or the British or in the recent past the Soviet Army.
Applauding the efforts of the author in the field of journalism, he said Agha Masood has been publishing a trade magazine called ‘Export Trends’ for the last 33 years. The aim of the magazine is to disseminate information about the export potential of Pakistan in the rest of the world. He was recently awarded a gold medal by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry for his services in the field.
Former Jang editor Mehmood Sham said this book can be very helpful for students of international relations and political science. “Agha Masood Hussain’s book encourages people to think about how Afghanistan will come out of the US war.”
Professor Dr. Tanweer Khalid said the war in Afghanistan had been the longest ever. She blamed this on the lukewarm attitude of Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani.
Dr. Masuma Hasan, chairperson of PIIA asked as to how long we could go on cursing outside powers for the situation without reflecting on where we had erred. She blamed the attitude of the former rulers who were overly flexible towards the US and were hand-in-glove with it in trying to force the USSR out.
She also posed the question as to whether the holding of elections in Afghanistan would be of any use when 40 percent of the area was controlled by the Taliban, who were most opposed to the very thought of elections.
She said that the book contains historic photographs but the author should include the references of the articles in the next edition of this book.