Mahmoud Sabit at PostGlobal

Mahmoud Sabit

Cairo, Egypt

Mahmoud Sabit is a historian and an authority on Egypt’s 19th century political reforms. Sabit also works as a writer and producer of historical documentaries. Close.

Mahmoud Sabit

Cairo, Egypt

Mahmoud Sabit is a historian and an authority on Egypt’s 19th century political reforms. more »

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Deploy "Infinite Money" and Dialogue

Cairo, Egypt - Following the election of President Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun, the Afghan political leadership faced a daunting challenge: To reconstruct infrastructure and develop an effective security force with international assistance while avoiding the perception that they, the new...

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Deploy "Infinite Money" and Dialogue

Mr.Mahmoud Sabit.s" Deploy Infinite Money and
Dialogue' is a scholarly analysis and as such it hardly needs any addition.However,things have changed since then.The Afghan President Karzai is hurling threats to invade Pakistan chasing the terrorists he believes are infilterating from tribal areas on the border between the two contries.Instead of attending to deteriorating law and order ,rampant corruption ,killing of innocent people in rural areas etc he has found it convenient to put the blame on Pakistan for his country’s internal problems. It is an attempt to divert attention from failure of the government to enforce law and order in the country. Karzai Government being weak has failed to control the security situation in Afghanistan. Attacks on the Afghan and Coalition Forces , suicide bombings and road side explosions are every day affairs. The writ of the government does not go beyond Kabul and the rest of the country is under the control of warlords .The ineffectiveness of its security forces is such that Karzai’s own security is in the hands of foreigners who are spending billions of dollars to quell insurgency in Afghanistan ever since they landed in the country.

Being an American installed ruler Karzai has been so much loyal to the USA that he practically did nothing even when innocent women and children were killed by the Coalition Forces in various incidents. The Afghan government is widely criticized by the people of Afghanistan for the last six years because the bombing of innocent people by Afghan and NATO forces has created resentment, especially among the rural Afghans who are the victim. The government instead of improving its own security apparatus is busy finding outside causes of its failure.
The relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been plagued by mistrust and misgivings. After independence Pakistan treated Afghanistan as a brotherly Muslim neighbor which had historic links with Muslims of India. But Afghanistan was the only country which had opposed Pakistan’s entry into UN in 1947.Since then there have been brief interludes of what is called normalization of relations. Throughout King Zahir Shah’s rule, the longest in Afghanistan’s history, his policy was based on antagonism. Partly the reason for this attitude was cry for acceptance of the Durand Line and partly the growing Soviet influence in Afghanistan. Soviet Union never had friendly relations with Pakistan because of Pakistan’s tilt towards the USA .After Zahir Shah’s abdication from the throne, the subsequent rulers towed the Soviet Union’s perception about Pakistan. Every Pakistani government, civil or military since independence, made consistent efforts to maintain friendly and brotherly ties with this Muslim land locked neighboring country. It played its role in the development of Afghanistan and provided safe passage for its trade with the rest of world.

Apart from the presence of Western forces, the Indian factor in Afghanistan has its own agenda detrimental to the interests of Pakistan. Pakistanis say that anti-Pakistan activities are planned and encouraged by the Indian consulates and RAW’s apparatus in Afghanistan. India and Pakistan, the two neighbors, miles away from normalization of relations, have been trading accusations in the blame game ever since independence but now Afghanistan which has large coalition force on its soil , has warned to invade Pakistan is a serious development in Pak-Afghan relations. Pakistan and Afghanistan have to realize that anything beyond normalcy of relations would be harmful for both of them. Pakistan should stop entertaining the idea of behaving like an elder brother .Days of supporting the Taleban government against the Northern are gone .Nothing short of mutual respect for each others sovereignty would help improve the ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Sooner than later parleys, at the highest level, between the two countries would help remove misconceptions which have led the situation to warning of invasion.
Ayaz Ahmed Pirzada,
Columnist/former diplomat/editor-in-chief of news agency,NNI


The strength of the Taleban can be explained by the following development:

During the Taleban rule of Afghanistan, warlords (Dostum, Rabbani, Hekmatyar, Sayyaf, Massoud / Fahim, etc.) fled the country for Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey.

We have to admit that the Taleban were something like a central government from 1996 until 2001. Their aim was the establishment of a theocracy.
The Kandahar leadership of the Taleban must be brought to justice because they as a central government harboured individuals like ibn Laden and other terrorists and accepted a state within a state. This act of harbouring bin Laden for the sake of the common Afghan people is an act of treason.
This is a very serious charge against the Taleban which must be pursued.

On the other hand, we must not forget that those warlords from the Norhtern Alliance and others showed their commitment to democracy during 1992 and 1996.
They are responsible for systematic lootings, rape, torture, murder and ethnic cleansing (see Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International). [It should not be understood that the Taleban have not taken part in crimes against humanity]

The same criminals who fled to neighbouring countries when the Taleban took over Kabul in 1996, have been brought back by the US government in order to fight the Taleban.

The formation of an alliance between the USA and the Northern Alliance to fight the Taleban serves the short term interests of the Pentagon, but why is Karzai not doing anything against this coalition.

It is true that everytime Karzai is in Washington, he raises exactly that issue,
but the Bush administration underlines that as long as the Taleban are not defeated, the Bush administration can not afford more possible enemies in Afghanistan, if the Northern Alliance is deprived of power.

Why do we find so much instability in Afghanistan ?

It is not true that the south and the east of the country is in chaos, but the rest finds itself in heaven. Especially in the north of the country there is no justice system, the security forces are in the hand of the Norhtern Alliance who at the same time are responsible for the opium trade to Central Asia, Russia and to Iran.

The analysis of Mahmoud Sabit is very one dimensional. In order to explain the strength of the Taleban, one has to outline the weaknesses and failures of the Afghan government and the Bush administration.
The Taleban strenght has nothing to do with a new renaissance of Islamists.


Afghanistan's biggest problems are:

- warlords (Northern Allinace & individual Pashtuns)

- lack of reform in administration, judiciary, police / security foreces

- international trade of opium

I hold the opinion that it is time to replace Karzai. He is too soft towards drugs and warlords, especially the Northern Alliance and individuals from the Pashtun areas. Afghanistan needs a president who finds himself in a healthy distance to the USA while at the same time reforming the country towards a real democracy.

Chris Diver:

Mahmoud Sabit,

From your telling account above of the growing effectiveness of the Taliban I come away with the impression that the solution that you outline for the facilitation of the Karzai government is unlikely to succeed.

I am not saying this to sound defeatist but to suggest that the Islamist movements in Afghanistan, Iran-Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank-Gaza are the new political bedrock of the Middle East which Israel and the United States can not control through the methods they have used in the past. I feel we need to look deeply into the implications of this entirely new reality. The Americans havn't faced this reality. They believe in a military solution in Iraq. The Israelis think that there could have been a military solution in Lebanon if only the IDF had done its job right.

I believe that the Islamic movement is finally ending European colonialism, today represented particularly by the U.S. and Israel, and that the qustion is will these two countries see that this is the case and work for a just solution or will they go on believing that their military power will permanently allow them to do anything they want (although the facts everywhere show that this solution has already failed for both countries).

For the first time the deepest institutional assumptions of the U.S. and Israel MUST CHANGE. They have never been faced with such a situation before. The question is WILL they change their assumptions, or will they cling to the past -- all to human a tendency. If they cling to the past both countries will, I believe, increasingly loose their military and political authority, a process which I believe has already begun. (I am not suggesting that Israel will be removed from the map of the Middle East). Will this increasing loss of control, with the increasing fear that the Israelis will necessarily feel, result in their choosing the ultimate military "solution"?

Chris Diver

Srikanth Raghunathan, Washington, D. C., USA:


You said it aptly! History teaches us NOT WHAT to do, but WHAT NOT to do. Also, one who ignores history is doomed to repeat it. That is why I keep harping on uniform global and economic policies. Thanks for your contribution to this column.


I understand that this is your opinion, but I don't agree. Paying corrupt politicians will not prevent them from being corrupt. Look at the NATO forces: They're not in it for the money. They do the right thing no matter what the salary is. And consider the reconstruction process: Does NATO gain anything from building roads and schools? Not really. Years from not, NATO will leave and the Afghans will have these new tools. Years from now, Afghanistan's economy may not depend on opium. Perhaps the population will elect a new leader and another and break free from the Taliban. Peace. Limited corruption. A well trained Afghan army. It's possible if you want it.

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