Afghanistan commonly called the graveyard of invaders is the champion of Guerrilla war. Many known and unknown invaders that were considered the strongest of the time invaded Afghanistan but failed at the end to occupy the land. It does not mean that the invaders were harmed more than Afghanis, but the reason was that Afghanis did not get tired of wars. Afghanistan is the home of many ethnic groups dominated by Pashtoons, who live mostly in South East of the country, where ISAF forces are facing much resistance and the above mentioned characteristic of Afghanistan is mainly due to Pashtoons.
Pashtoons live on both sides of Durandline (the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan) and their society is one of the most orthodox, traditional and underdeveloped. The Pashtoons society is resistance to any change and much Nostalgic. This society has rejected many struggles for modernization. It is dominated by religious orthodoxy and it has defeated any movement for development. I will mention just few examples here from the last century. King Amanullah was a great reformer in History of Afghanistan and he wanted to equip the Afghans with modern education and he wanted to remove all the old cultural hurdles in educating people. Britain’s defeated him with the help of religious orthodoxy and they invited one fake Peer (Saint) from Syria, called Shami Peer (Saint of Syria). He preached the masses that King Amanullah has changed the religion, so he was announced as non-Muslim and was driven away from the Royal Palace of Kabul. Another struggle by Abdul Ghaffar Khan commonly called Bacha Khan, of Peshawar valley (The big city in North West of Pakistan) to educate the masses by organizing his Free Schools, where he taught non-violence and upraised the masses socially. But his movement failed due to Britain’s propaganda against his friendship with Gandhi and Hindus, so he was stopped by both Government Machinery and religious orthodoxy. I have come across a Book, entitled, Bacha Khan and his Faith, where he has been mentioned non-Muslim, although he was a firm Muslim but with enlightened mentality (A Candaian Film maker McLoahn, has released a film entitled, Bacha Khan. The frontier Gandhi: A torch for peace, describing his life story and his struggle for peace). His end was also a failure in hands of religious orthodoxy although government machinery was unable to do the job alone. After this the Saur revolution in Afghanistan was also a struggle for modernization, as it was led by communist leaders like Noor Muhammad Tarakai, Babrak Karmal, Hafeezullah Ameen, and Dr Najibullah and all of them were in favour of moderanization. This struggle was defeated by Religious orthodoxy of USA and Pakistan backed Afghan religious leaders (Some of them a part of present Afghan government and some of them are fighting against ISAF). In Pakistan, The Awami national Party (ANP) and Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP), the two secular parties are struggling hard against the religious forces in Pashtoon belt on eastern side of the Durand line. In parliamentary election 2002 these two parties were badly defeated by religious parties’ coalition. I described all this, just to remind the international community that if they will not use, Diamond cuts diamond, policy in Afghanistan and in the north west of Pakistan, failure is their destiny. They should encourage the peaceful and moderate religious leaders in order to bring these orthodox on the table and then slowly into the mainstream.
There are other factors involved in the resistance which defeated Alexander, Changez Khan, Halakoo Khan, Gorgin Khan, Zaheeruddin Babar, Aurangzeb Alamgeer (Mughal Kings), Britain and Russians. As I mentioned Pashtoons live under their own code of life called Pashtoonwali, best described by Ghani Khan, in his book, The Pathan. Pashtoonwlai has some basic codes, including revenge, Hijab (Veil) for women, respect for elders, love with mother land and hospitality etc. All these above invaders killed Pashtoons without discrimination, which lead the public to take revenge, and what better way to take revenge is to join the resisting forces. The resisting force became stronger and at the end defeat was the destiny of the invaders. The second mistake which all the invaders did, was the violation of Hijab of the women, which the Pashtoons do not do due to their religious connection, but due to their own code of honour. The veiling in shuttle cork is no way the Islamic Hijab, but Pashtoons observe this strictly due to their own code of life. Violation of it is considered a great insult of the individual, family, tribes and then at the national level. All the invaders violated it and they paid for it in form of failure and strengthening of resisting forces. I mean by the above examples that any one that violated rules of Pashtoonwali on land of Pashtoons paid a big price for it.
I described all the historical facts and nature of Pashtoon society, because Obama’s administration has decided to send 17,000 more troops and perhaps this number will increase to 30,000. The increase, in troops will never solve this problem, as Afghanistan has completely different cultural infrastructure than anywhere else. I can say, before invading some region, one has to know the Psychology of the people and then to decide how to deal with them? I don’t say that USA and NATO forces are weaker than Afghan resisting forces, mainly Taliban. They are well equipped but lack determination and public support. Recently about 50 Afghan Parliamentarians opposed the allocation of new troops in Afghanistan and most of them are Pashtoons, which shows the lack of public support for USA and NATO forces. A Few months ago, one German expert said, that Taliban has 25-30 % public support which is beyond my imagination but facts cannot be changed by wishes. This is also the reason, why Pakistani army on eastern side of Durand line failed to bring peace by force. At last they came to peace agreement with these orthodox forces in the hand of some peaceful and moderate religious local leaders. Same process can be practiced in other areas of Pakistan and also in Afghanistan for the long lasting peace.