Afghanistan; Where Dreams Turned into Disasters
By: Noman Ahmad
Afghanistan is a country that has always been in war and Afghans are a nation that has always been facing
invasions, external pressure and internal disorder. This nation is made up of more than a dozen ethnic
groups with Pashtun a major portion (50%) and Tajiks second (25%).
Muslims came to this region in eight and ninth century. Before them this region has been ruled by different
Persian, Greek, Sassasian and Central Asian empires. Mongolian invaded in 1200s and rule there till 1500s.
After that it became a battle field of the Mughals of northern India and the Safavids of Iran.
In 1747, Afghans could free themselves and remained free for 200 years, but then British Empire and
Russians started their game of power in this region. British invade this country twice. First time they did
concurred major cities, but then they lost all of their 15000 troops. Second time they succeed to form a
puppet government and kept their control on foreign affairs.
Afghanistan remained under British influence till 1919, when Afghans signed a treaty of friendship with
Russian. Britain accepted independence of Afghanistan after some fight. In 1950s, USSR
started its excessive aid for Afghanistan. The Soviets built roads, irrigation and even some oil pipelines. It was
not the love of USSR for Afghans, but that was a step to follow their dream; the dream of getting an access
to Arabian Sea. They wanted to get access to world market through Arabian Sea for their very low priced
products. In the return of this help of USSR, Afghanistan started creating trouble in Pakistan. In 1973, the
king was overthrown and Daoud seized power with the help of an underground party named the Peoples
Democratic Party of Afghanistan – a pro-Moscow communist party. That was another step of USSR in
persuading their dream of Arabian
Sea. Pakistan and United States didn’t like this increasing influence of USSR in Afghanistan and they
boosted up their support to Islamic minded tribal leaders for their resistance against communist minded
government of Afghanistan. At last USSR lost its patience and invaded Afghanistan in 1979. A communist
country has occupied a Muslim country, so Jihad was declared by some of the tribes and American came
to help with their latest weapons and billions of dollars. Training camps were setup in Pakistan. CIA and
Pakistani military gave training to orphans and children of poor people. Extremist minded Muslims were
collected from all over the Muslim world. Osama bin Laden was one of them. He was one of the CIA’s most
important operatives in its proxy war against communism. Americans supplied latest weapons including
antitank and anti-aircraft missiles. Millions of Afghans died by starvation and by Russian bombardment,
and millions more took refugee in Pakistan and in Iran.
After loosing 15000 soldiers and billions of dollars, Russians left Afghanistan in 1989. Afghans defeated a
supper power. One year later, Russia disintegrated. Their dream of reaching Arabian Sea turned into
disaster. When Russian left, American also lost their interest in the region. For them, mission was over,
but Afghans had a new issue; who should rule the country, so they started fighting with one another.
At last Taliban took over the control of the country.
After mysterious disaster of 9/11, American came back with heavy bombardment. Northern Alliance took
over Kabul with the help of Allied forces. Death toll of allied forces, until January, 2010: Afghan troops 8,587, Americans 986, UK 257,
Canadians 139 and Others 251. Estimated death tool of Afghan civilians is 14,697. American dream of
exploring oil and gas of Central Asian States is still unfulfilled. According to reports, Central Asia
(Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Georgia) contain twenty billion barrels of undeveloped
oil reserves and 6.6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas.
War is still on with no sign of ending.