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Pakistan and the cold war

_NOBODY_

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Kabul's ethno supremacist elite has been exporting terrorism to Pakistan ~ 1960s. They see support to ethnofascist insurgency in Pakistan as an extension of their state policy, designed to change Afghanistan's land locked status by taking over KP, FATA & Balochistan.The uber nationalists in Afghanistan consider the export of terrorism their right because they neither have the capability nor the resources to take over an small piece of Pakistan's territory, let alone take over 2 provinces. In contrast, Pakistan has only grown bigger and stronger.

From the very beginning the Kabuli nationalist elite sought to destabilise the new born Pakistan, starting with voting against Pakistan at the UN in 1948. They continued efforts to destabilise Pakistan internally, including the assassination of PM Liaqat Ali Khan by an Afghan fascist who is celebrated by Kabuli elite as a hero. The efforts to destabilise Pakistan continued in the 1960s when Afghanistan supported tribal militia invaded Bajur and other parts of FATA claiming to "liberate" the region from Pakistan. However the invasion was defeated by FATA tribes backed by PAF.

Into the 70s, Communist Afghan nationalists came to power and cultivated a partnership with India and USSR, assuming Pakistan had been weakened by 71 war, and offered India to attack Pakistan from two sides and balkanize it. The plot was supported by the USSR, which was driven by the desire to have Soviet controlled ports at the Arabian Sea. Since Pakistan was a signatory to SEATO & CENTO, the USSR could not have attacked Pakistan directly, out of fear of Western involvement in such a war, the Soviets preferred a cheaper, covert and tested approach, that had already succeeded in Bangladesh.

The Afghan nationalists couldn't believe their ears when their secured Soviet support for this plan, and Afghan officials in New Delhi were found regularly gloating in parties over drinks along with their Indian partners who were recently emboldened by their victory in Bangladesh but little did they know that their every move, was being watched and reported back to Pakistan. By 1977, officials in Pakistan were convinced that the India, Afghanistan & the USSR 'troika' had approved plans to invade Pakistan from 2 fronts: a proxy war of terrorism against Pakistan from Afghanistan to be waged by KHAAD and KGB through its proxy terrorist forces like BLA and Pashtunistan Liberation Front, while 2nd conventional front was to be opened by India at the International border where 'demoralised' Pakistani Military was seen as an easy picking by Indian Military & Govt. This situation was communicated to the United States but as expected, mixed signals were sent to Pakistan by Washington. So by 1977, Pakistan understood that it was stuck between a rock and hard place and it would have to fight such a war on its own. It is in this context that Pakistan first forecasted the Soviet military build up in Afghanistan. By 1977, a 3 front counter strategy was devised by Pakistan to tackle the impending peril. Abandoned by the USA and its allies, and stuck between nuclear armed India and the Red Army, it must have been a desperate time for the Pakistani leadership.

Pakistan Implemented a 3 front counter strategy that consisted of the following vectors:

1: Strategic Depth Policy, focused on supporting organic tribal rebellion in
Afghanistan against Godless communist elite & their Soviet backers, the movement was collectively known as Mujahideen.
2: Forward Internal Defense policy focused on supporting dissenting Sikhs who were seeking independence for Punjab from India.
3: Intensified buildup of Pakistan's then top secret Project-706 focusing on developing strategic nuclear deterrence, designed to thwart India aggression.

Pakistan also launched a preemptive Counterinsurgency operation in the late 70s to dismantle sleeper cells and militant infrastructure built in Balochistan by KGB/KHAAD for future use.

Collectively Pakistan sought to achieve following goals:

1: Build nuclear deterrence, to avoid war.
2: Uproot the hostile communist regime in Kabul through a systematic regime change strategy.
3: Open a new front against India in addition to Kashmir to divide the strength of Indian Military and to keep them busy at home and to deny them the opportunity to mobilize against Pakistan.
4: Intensified diplomatic efforts to muster Western support against a possible mobilisation in Afghanistan by the Red Army.

By 1979, Pakistan was fully prepared to deal with the situation when the 40th Army of the Soviet Red Army as predicted by the Intelligence agencies, mobilised to Afghanistan. Communist Afghan regime gleed in joy, Red Army troops were welcomed by cheering crowds and rose petals, the Afghan Nationalists finally had the support they needed to achieve ''Loy Afghanistan'' - but the celebrations would be short lived.

The United States Govt having dismissed Pakistan's concerns. earlier, was all of sudden prompted into action by the mobilisation of USSR 40th Army in Afghanistan for its own Geo-strategic reasons. Pakistan agreed to start the Counter offensive with USA's support, which later became known as ''Operation Cyclone". In reality, it was a continuation of Pakistan's existing operations in Afghanistan against Soviet Union's puppet regime in Kabul. The Operation Cyclone brought much needed financial, material and intelligence support from the United States and the Afghan Jihad formally kicked off in Afghanistan.

On the other hand Pakistan continued to support Sikh separatists in Punjab, that over the next few years kept India very busy and very scared at home, as in 1984, it committed a massacre of Sikhs in the Golden Temple, known as Operation Blue Star, followed by the assassination of Indian PM Indira Gandhi, Who was also responsible for invading East Pakistan. Two birds had been killed with one stone. While India wrestled its own Sikh population at home and Mujahideen brought USSR & their communist allies to their knees in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Pakistan began conducting successful simulated cold tests of Project-706. The "Islamic Bomb", as the West calls it, was born in 1986. Now Pakistan had a long Sword to threaten India with and did so just in time. As the Soviets intensified its murderous war of collective punishment against Afghan people. The remaining public support for the puppet communist regime collapsed. Millions of Afghans fled to Pakistan, many of them settled their families in refugee camps in Pakistan, joined training camps and joined the Jihad against the USSR. The Afghan communist regime responded by bombing refugee camps in Pakistan by aircraft supplied by their Soviet handlers. After a few such incidents, PAF started shooting down Afghan and Soviet intruders. After losing dozens of aircraft to PAF, they stopped the raids.

Desperate and out of options, the Soviets Asked Rajiv Gandhi to kick start the mobilization plan to exert pressure on Pakistan. The plan became known as the "Operation Brasstacks". The Indian Military mobilized at the International border with Pakistan and dug in. Pakistan was well prepared for this scenario and immediately took measures. By this time, in 1987, Pakistan had nuclear weapons and President Zia ul Haq, decided to deliver the ominous news to Indian counterpart by visiting India to watch a game of cricket. He threatened to nuke New Delhi on Rajiv Gandhi's face if he didn't de-mobilize his forces, he complied.


This marked a victory for Pakistan as Soviet pressure strategy had failed. India decided to withdraw hundreds of thousands of deployed and dug in troops from Pakistan's Eastern border, thus delivering a decisive blow to the Soviet two front strategy against Pakistan. This spared more resources to deal with the Soviet threat. No longer concerned by an Indian invasion, a nuclear armed Pakistan intensified war against the USSR and its communist puppet regime in 1987. Pakistani Special Forces led strikes against Soviet forces, they cut supply routes, closed Salang pass and implemented a full chokehold on Kabul, where Soviet forces struggled to supply their troops and their ever more demanding communist allies. They resorted to airlifting supplies to Kabul and other cities under occupation. In came the Stingers from the United States and Soviets started to lose Hundreds of helicopters and aircraft, that all but sealed the outcome of the War. By 1988 it was clear to both the USSR and Communist regime that they had been defeated and that is exactly what happened in 1989, after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the withdrawal deal. Pakistan won the second front victory in 1989 when the Commander of the Soviet 40th Army Colonel-General Boris Goromov quietly walked across the "friendship bridge" into the Soviet Union with his head hung low. He would become the last Red Army General to see major combat as just a few years later, the Red Army would stand disbanded as the USSR empire came crashing down upon its own weight. It would also lead to the independence of several Muslim countries in Central Asia and would end Soviet occupation of Europe, especially Germany.

Today, Pakistan has emerged, after much chaos, as a regional power, with India neutralized and the USSR along with its communist Afghan regime buried on the other side of the Amu, Pakistan no longer faces a 2 front War scenario. After much soul searching Russia cultivated a friendship with Pakistan. China started CPEC with Pakistan and India despite its hues and cry, has not been able to balkanize Pakistan.

Although challenges remain, the Afghan regime led by small, vision less men like Ashraf Ghani and Amrullah Saleh continue to seek hostility with Pakistan through terrorism and subversion but what they do not understand is that they are just pawns of a much larger game. They lie to the Afghan people that Pakistan wants to "swallow" Afghanistan. Their propaganda will be just as insignificant as their place in history. Pakistan stood firmly with the people of Afghanistan. Pakistan supported them in thick and thin and helped them in their wars of liberation. Today Pakistan stands firmly with Afghan tribes and their real representatives to build a better and shared future for both peoples for shared goals of peace and prosperity.

The End

Written by Shahid Raza.


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Goenitz

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Extremely well knitted events with the timeline. the authros could have added that Both Zahir Shah and Daud, and later just daud, granted refugee to the separatists in Afghanistan and invaded parachinar. They also facilitated the red movements in Pakistan, and BLA/BFA are the reminiscence in some sense of those 'revolutionary' parties.

I guess Pak did extremely well in such a hostile environment.
 

niaz

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Afghanistan under King Zahir Shah supported separatist movements. This in addition to providing safe haven to Pashtun, Sindhi & Baluch separatist leaders; Pashtunistan stamps were also issued, The last one I think in 1969. Stamp Collecting was one of my hobbies from child hood, I have the 4 stamps in my collection. There could more but I am not aware of it.

Despite the fact that I never liked him, I don't think that you could qualify leaders such as Bacha Khan as terrorist.


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VCheng

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Today, Pakistan has emerged, after much chaos, as a regional power, with India neutralized and the USSR along with its communist Afghan regime buried on the other side of the Amu, Pakistan no longer faces a 2 front War scenario. After much soul searching Russia cultivated a friendship with Pakistan. China started CPEC with Pakistan and India despite its hues and cry, has not been able to balkanize Pakistan.
All that hope is great, but please keep in mind that Pakistan's economy and governance remain on life support, India's economy continues to grow, and the two-front war scenario is only just beginning. CPEC remains a pie in the sky, and the process of Balkanization has more internal factors encouraging it than anything external. Pakistan has a rough decade or two ahead of it, at least.
 

nahtanbob

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All that hope is great, but please keep in mind that Pakistan's economy and governance remain on life support, India's economy continues to grow, and the two-front war scenario is only just beginning. CPEC remains a pie in the sky, and the process of Balkanization has more internal factors encouraging it than anything external. Pakistan has a rough decade or two ahead of it, at least.
For any hope Pakistan needs to control its population growth rate and to live within its means.
 

Vapour

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Let's give it another tilt. India has emerged as a disruptor of regional security and a spoiler of regional peace. Thus, in the coming decades, it may be expected for China and Pakistan to play a more proactive role in keeping India in check and not just through overt, conventional methods but also other domains such as economy, media and politics.
 

nahtanbob

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Many here would contend that an increasing population is a valuable resource just waiting to be developed to yield huge huge demographic dividends.
That assumes the population is well educated. The economy and infrastructure is scalable to handle the growing population
 

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