Operation Cyclone's Blowback"
By Mir Hekmatullah Sadat
San Diego, California
September 12, 2001
In 1993, I sent President Clinton a college research paper
entitled the "Afghanistan,
and Terrorism." Again, in 1997 I chose to do my senior thesis on this
topic entitled, "Afghan Jihad Shapes a New Brand of Terrorists."
Later, I tried to publish this paper in the Afghan Mosaic as a shortened essay under the name Nest of Terrorism, however a few apologists on the magazine convinced the editorial board not to
publish the essay (click here to
read some of their comments). I also published a Dari translation of
this article in Dari text papers in Germany.
one who has Afghan parents, both of whom are not only peace-loving Muslims
but also appreciate America, the recent tragedy has
become a very important because Afghans are neither terrorists nor do all
Afghans support the Taliban. My
father being a former diplomat, I have profound interest in Afghanistan's international relations and
The United States' Policy towards Afghanistan. To me it is still a dream, a bad
nightmare because September 11, 2001 is now a catastrophic event in the
course of modern history. On that tragic Tuesday, Americans became victims
to the same fascist force that has repressed Afghans for the last decade.
This repressive regime is one of the reasons why Afghans left their
homeland in search of finding peace in exile.
Although the recent attack was paramount, it was not the first such attack
or its allies by these terrorists. Yet, it is true that most of these
terrorists received their training in Pakistan's
(Inter-Service Intelligence) sponsored camps during the Afghan struggle
against the USSR.
In December of 1979, when the USSR
the world's militants raced to the region. The ISI was designated as the
direct channel for the aid and training of militants. Although the
Afghan groups welcomed support, they did not have the skills, personnel, or
funding to train these militants. Shortly after their arrival, these
foreign militants quickly revealed their extremist ways, which
conflicts with the peaceful Afghan approach towards Islam.
Still, these militants were tolerated because of their connection to
prominent Pakistanis and Arabs who pumped millions of dollars to Afghan
groups. This became most evident when these political fanatic
groups seized Kabul in 1992. In 1993, their regime
offered political asylum to Sheik Abdur Rahman.
Similarly in 1998, their replacement, the Taliban extended asylum to Osama
Brigadier Yousaf, the ISI's officer in charge of training the militants
indicated in his book The Bear Trap
that over 80,000 militants went through Pakistan's training camps between 1984-1987. As the
Red Army withdrew, the military forces under the command of Osama bin Laden
accounted for 20,000 Arab militants. In fact, Camp Zhawar Khili (near
Khost) and the Jalalabad Camp were set up by the ISI.
During the Afghan conflict of the late 1970's and until the withdrawal of
the Red Army, Afghans may have engaged in the conflict because of their
national obligations. However, non-Afghans that joined had
international objectives, an adultered version of "Jihad", and
some had thoughts of training their militants for future reuse. For
President Zia-al-Haq dreamt of creating a militant
green belt across Asia.
The Pakistani connection can be formally traced back to the early 1970's.
Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto started a terrorist training
facility in 1973 for the unsettled issue of Pashtunistan with Afghanistan and Kashmir with India. From
the day, Pakistan was
incepted until the Soviet invasion roughly 33 years-Afghanistan and Pakistan were always on very
unfavorable grounds with each other.
For most of this time, there were no diplomatic ties and constant protests
against each other. Hence, Pakistan's disdain for Zahir
Shah and other Afghans who consider Shah Amanullah Ghazi and
recent times the late President Mohammad Daoud, the ISI-assassinated Dr.
Mohammad Najibullah, or the recently ISI-assassinated Commander Ahmad Shah
Masoud as their ideologues. All these men had truly one thing in
common; they were Afghan nationalists foremost and were despised by the
Pakistani government. Whatever their imperfections, Afghans believe these
men represented national unity, the struggle for
independence, and Afghan patriotic sentiments. Most Afghans believe that
these goals are things Pakistan
never wants because it threatens Pakistan's national interests.
Shah and his supporters tried numerous times to go visit the
Afghans in Pakistan
but were refused visas. His supporters that fled to Pakistan
were told to leaves soon because their safety can not be assured. Zahir Shah activists
such Hakim Katawazi, Bahauddin Majroh, and Abdul Ahad Karzai were
assassinated in Pakistan.
Zia-al-Haq's tenure, the ISI stirred up unrest along the Afghan border. The
ISI openly nurtured terrorist campaigns against Afghanistan since 1973. The aim of Pakistani policy makers was to
revival of nationalism and assure recognition of what Pakistan
had always claimed as its international border, the Durand Line, by
achieving a disunited and decentralized Afghan state. Twenty years later,
policy was successful and Afghanistan
fell to the Taliban, a terrorist regime.
Today, Americans and the ordinary people of Afghanistan are facing the same
awful monster. Whether bin Laden resides in Afghanistan
or elsewhere--- his remaining followers, the Taliban, and other Afghan
political fanatics such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
and Abdul Rasul Sayaf will continue to halt and sabotage any attempts
towards establishing a democratic government in Afghanistan.
These groups are the main factors in Afghanistan's Civil War and
they encourage disintegration because destabilization means one more day
that they are evading a government that will bring them to justice.
A decade ago, President Reagan and world hailed Afghans as brave freedom
fighters against the evil Soviet Empire, but today Afghanistan's
name is being etched as an international sponsor of terrorism.
President Bush summed it up best, "Afghanistan's people have been
brutalized, many are starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to
attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television.
Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be
jailed in Afghanistan
if his beard is not long enough." Afghanistan has been exploited
by neighboring countries, far-reaching drug
dealers, worldwide antique smugglers, ethno-linguistic-religious warlords,
the despicable treatment of Afghans in neighboring refugee camps, and
However, firing more Tomahawk cruise missile will only agitate matters.
Furthermore, Afghans do not need and will not benefit if the world only
condemns the Taliban or other political fanatic groups.
Similarly, it would be foolhardy to expect change to come from within Afghanistan
because Afghans are a people held hostage by current regime. Afghanistan
is suffering from a brain drain phenomenon and no intellectuals remain and
those left behind fear reprisals.
Many attributed the Afghan Diaspora to the abandonment of the Western
countries, especially the United
States, of their Afghan friends. The
world has a responsibility to ensure that a democratically elected
government in Afghanistan
under UN auspices comes to power! The return of the exiled Afghan
intellectuals, bureaucrats, technocrats, and military officers regardless
what their ethnic, religious, regional, or political stance must be secured.
Afghans know that they are not fair-skinned like the Bosnians or rich in
oil like the Kuwaiti, but Afghans must surely have something worthy of
saving by the world community. If the United States of America is the champion and savior of
freedom and democracy, then I plea with President Bush to free the people
and restore humanity! Secretary-General Annan, please convince the United
Nations to send in the blue helmets! Don't let the ISI run the show!