The U.S. Double Gaming
Afghan-Pak relations, especially after the fall of the Taliban regime, twisted to the extent that former president Hamid Karzai, during his thirteen years of his government, was not able to understand the principal interests of Pakistan regarding Afghanistan, and it seems that this inheritance came to the unity government.
The main reason of this complexity of Afghan-Pak relations and misunderstanding of Pakistan’s goals regarding Afghanistan is that the goals of Pakistan and the U.S. regarding Afghanistan are similar in some cases, and some of them are in contrast. On the other hand, similarities in their interests are not only short term goals about the geographic location of Afghanistan, but also long term interests of the U.S. in the region.
Therefore, the U.S. sometimes ignores the interests of Pakistan that are against its own ones tactically, to extents that leaderships like the one of Hamid Karzai, who was in close relationships with the U.S. thirteen years, are uncertain that his relations with the U.S. entered dark stages. The U.S. also skillfully ignored the demands of Afghanistan in the B.S.A. that were against the agreement with Pakistan.
The ground of the game, not the player of the game:
Pakistan could be counted as the opponent of the U.S. in the game and Afghanistan is its ground. There are plenty of examples related to it, but we can mention the compromise of the U.S. politics with the ones of Pakistan, which are against the improvement of the peace process of Afghanistan.
After ten years of war, in 2010, the U.S. concluded that they should have an address for negotiation with the Taliban. Finally there was the opportunity for the Taliban to open their office in Qatar for being in contact with the international community, if there are possibilities provided, so Qatar would be their address for starting the peace negotiation.
Pakistan, which was against the mentioned decision of the U.S., did not want that any improvement should be out of their control, so they arrested Mullah Biradar, who was the second most influential member of the Taliban leadership. Both, the U.S. and the Pakistani forces were involved in the case of arresting him. That time the Afghan government declared that Mullah Biradar was arrested because he was in contact with the Afghan Government and he was the pro peace Talib commander.
If the mentioned declaration of the Afghan Officials was true, we can say that the U.S. also did not want the Pakistan to be magnetized from the negotiation process of the Taliban; therefore, to be against the peace process in Qatar, they arrested Mullah Biradar, who was the founder of the negotiation process.
If the U.S. was supporting the peace process in Afghanistan, it had to support the process of Qatar and suppress the pressures of Pakistan over the process, but it did not do so, instead it left the process alone against the destruction of Pakistan.
So we can see that it is not only the Afghan Government which is uncertain about the policies of the U.S., the Taliban thought at the beginning that the U.S. is pro-peace in Afghanistan, but after their representatives attended the office of Qatar, they learned that they faced the double gaming of the U.S., therefore there was no serious connection taken between the two parties of the negotiation, and now the Taliban have a new precondition for negotiation for the U.S. and it is that the U.S. should release Annas Haqqani before any negotiation with the Taliban, even if the U.S. decides to start negotiation with the Taliban, it will take long time to start the basic obstacles that exist in the process.
How was Latifullah Mahsud kidnapped?
Another sign of the double gaming of the U.S. is visible in the case of Latifullah Mahsud. In October 2013, Latifullah Mahsud, assistant of Hakimullah Mahsud, who was the former leader of Pakistani Taliban, was kidnapped by the U.S. forces in Logar Province, while, after his meeting with the governor of Logar, Arsala Jamal, he was escorted by the officers of the NDS.
The U.S. forces imprisoned him in the part of the Bagram Prison that was controlled by them. The spokesperson of the presidential palace exposed that Latifullah Mahsud was in contact with the NDS earlier, therefore it was clear; even earlier Pakistan claimed that the Pakistani Taliban are in contact with India through Afghanistan.
The Aftermath of the Arrest:
Just a few days after the arrest of Latifullah Mahsud by the U.S. forces, the governor of Logar Arsala Jamal was assassinated in a very sophisticated and organized way of attack on him in a Mosque, on the first day of Eid, and no one and group has taken the responsibility of the assassination. That was the most influential way of expressing its power that Pakistan has done.
One month after the kidnapping of Latifullah Mahsud on first of November 2013, the leader of Pakistani Taliban Hakimullah Mahsud was assassinated by the airstrike of a U.S. drone in Northern Waziristan. There is no doubt that Latifullah Mahsud had the permission of Hakimullah Mahsud to be in contact with the Afghan Government. His assassination may be caused by the information that the U.S. that it gained from Latifullah Mahsud, so the revenge of Pakistan was taken.
There is no doubt that ISI was aware of Latifullah’s trip to Afghanistan, and there is the posibility that the information to ISI was provided by one of the Afghan Officials, and ISI took action with the assistance of CIA to arrest him.
The result of the arrestment of Latifullah was that other leaders of the Pakistani Taliban will even do not attempt of building relationships with the Afghan Government, and if they, even, they were eager for it, they lost their courage to do so, and they concluded that ISI had the enough support of the U.S. and the Afghan Government did not have any authority on its territory.
The arrestment of him was done by the U.S. because the U.S. did not want that Afghanistan will be in a better position against the Pakistan by supporting the Pakistani Taliban.
Result of transferring Latifullah Mahsud to Pakistan:
By submission of Latifullah Mahsud to the Pakistani Government, the U.S. provided the opportunity to the Pakistan to get information from him about the Pakistani Taliban’s leaders that are in contact with the Afghan Government, so the Pakistan will recognize them and then will either arrest them or assassinate them if possible.
According to the Afghan Officials, Latifullah Mahsud was not under their control, and about the submission of him and two other personalities of Taliban by the names of Jafar and Aziz Arafat they investigate for Pakistan. The expression of the Afghan Government that it was not in the process of the submission of those Taliban leaders by the U.S. to Pakistan shows the fact that by signing the B.S.A. between the U.S. and Afghanistan, and the compromise of the U.S. to the national sovereignty and integrity of Afghanistan, the U.S. is not committed to the agreement.