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Closing or opening of Pandora's box?... By Javed

07 February, 2014

After having a bloody war for more than a decade in Afghanistan, it is widely realized that USA has achieved nothing in its war against terror except the self-proclaimed killing of Osama Bin Laden and some chiefs of various militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On the other hand US has spent more than $650 billion dollars on this 'war against terrorism' in Afghanistan. The country has lost almost 4000 soldiers and thousands have been wounded physically or are going through psychological traumas. Somehow, the realization of how useless this war was forced the Obama administration to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Therefore, NATO countries ultimately had a chance to express even their own voices to remove themselves from the battlefield of Afghanistan.

Due to its strategic importance, the land routes of the country would be used during the shifting of heavy weapons and war equipments used in Afghanistan against militants and terrorist groups after the NATO forces leave Afghanistan. If NATO countries opt for shifting their bulk equipment via the land routs of Pakistan, they yet have to decide and define their policy in this regard. E.U is determined to provide almost one billion Euros for the development of Afghanistan but none has declared the details which these funds would be used for. The New York Times has already published their investigated report regarding the unbearable corruption in Afghanistan. In brief, not even a single step has been defined by E.U in this regard so far.

Afghanistan's president's looming decision on BSA (Bilateral Security Agreement) is another confused subject that yet requires much more international attention. Most scholars believe that the BSA will finally be signed by Afghan president post elections, but US has already warned that if BSA is not signed, it will have to withdraw all NATO troops, which again can be dangerous for the sovereignty of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well.

Afghanistan is the only country that produces a large quantity of poppy crop. The total volume of the illegal trade of poppy is more than a trillion per annum. Despite expending billions of dollars, USA has failed to stop poppy cultivation. For militants in Afghanistan, the illegal trade of poppy is the only source of income. Their illicit trade around the globe has not only made millions of people addict of poppy but it also helps them in purchasing weapons to fight the international troops. Either the policy for stopping poppy has failed or its implementation require a proper review.

JAVED ALI KALHORO
Islamabad

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