Enemy is an enemy, Afghan policy on Pakistan flawed: Ex-Afghan intel chief


Afghanistan’s policy on Pakistan is “flawed” and it has never taken a strong political stand against Islamabad, former Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh said Wednesday, asserting that “an enemy is an enemy”.

Saleh, during an interaction here, said Afghanistan never tried to increase the “cost of war” for Pakistan and always took a “high moral ground” in the hope that its neighbour would reciprocate, but it did not happen.

Asked to elaborate what he meant by the cost of war, the former chief of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security said, “There is no Afghan dossier on Pakistan in the UN Security Council. We have not presented to the United Nations with a state stamped dossier declaring Pakistan our enemy. We have always tried to leave a few bridges intact and that policy of half-heartedness has not helped us.

“An enemy is an enemy. You can only reach a peace deal with your enemy only if you call him an enemy. But just to break the ice in a meeting and make it cordial, you are calling your enemy, your brother, this is no way you can make peace.”

Conceding that Afghanistan’s policy towards Pakistan had lots of flaws and still does, Saleh said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had stated that Pakistan has “launched an undeclared war against us”, but had not talked about how to fight the undeclared war.

“On that, we are silent. At times, in order to appease Pakistan certain circles within the state structure in Afghanistan have been shy to state India is our military ally. They go at length to explain India is our economic ally, cultural ally, Bollywood ally, but why not our military ally,” said Saleh, who served as the head of the National Directorate of Security from 2004-2010.

He said Afghanistan’s policy on Pakistan has never been persistent.

“When bombs go off, we come out and express our anger that it is Pakistan. The next day we cannot stand against the temptation of an invitation from Islamabad. We never stood against Islamabad politically. We only complained about them which is different. Having a solid political stand is different than complaining,” he said at the interaction at the Indian Council of World Affairs here.

Saleh accused Pakistan of sheltering terrorists and cited the examples of Mullah Mansoor, Osama bin Laden, Haqqanis, Mullah Omar, Taliban’s Quetta shura, as having had taken shelter in Pakistan.

“If this is known, why are we putting our entire force to kill the expendable Taliban, not their strategic centre? So those who say we fought and it didn’t work, we have to have a definition for the fight, where did we fight them. Wherever we fought them, they got defeated. We did not fight them in Pakistan that is where they are alive,” he said.

Saleh lauded India on the stand taken against terrorism, saying the wisdom in Delhi is much greater.

“We cannot produce iPhone, but I have knowledge of who the enemy in this neighbourhood is. In that area we should be the Steve Jobs,” he said.

Talking about a peace conference on Afghanistan that was scheduled to take place in Moscow recently, Saleh said had it gone forward, it would have given recognition to two states in Afghanistan — an Islamic state ruled by President Ghani and an Islamic Emirate led by Taliban.

He also hailed India over its stand on the conference, saying the country took a very principled position to say that it will attend only if Kabul agrees.

“India is becoming a moral compass as far as these issues are concerned,” he said.


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