This document, dated November 1, 1995, is the unclassified text of a letter from the Government of Pakistan (GOP) regarding the situation in Afghanistan. The only thing redacted was up in the header (?).
SUBJECT: LETTER OF GOP PERMREP TO SYG ON AFGHANISTAN
1. FOLLOWING IS TEXT OF OCTOBER 25 LETTER TO UNSYG FROM GOP PERMREP AHMAD KAMAL:
-- 1. I WOULD LIKE TO DRAW YOUR KIND ATTENTION TO THE LETTER ADDRESSED TO YOU BY THE VICE-MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF AFGHANISTAN ON 12 OCTOBER 1995, ONCE AGAIN ALLEGING PAKISTAN'S SUPPORT TO THE TALIBAN AND ITS INVOLVEMENT IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF AFGHANISTAN (S/1995/866).
-- 2. IT IS, INDEED, IRONIC THAT THE GOVERNMENT IN KABUL, WHICH CONTROLS NO MORE THAN 5 OF THE 32 PROVINCES OF AFGHANISTAN, HAS REPEATEDLY SOUGHT TO BLAME PAKISTAN FOR ITS FAILURE TO RESTORE PEACE AND STABILITY IN AFGHANISTAN. THE AFGHAN ALLEGATIONS REGARDING PAKISTAN'S SUPPORT TO THE TALIBAN AND INTERFERENCE IN AFGHANISTAN'S INTERNAL AFFAIRS ARE BASELESS AND UNWARRANTED. THERE IS STRONG EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE TALIBAN HAD BEEN ABLE TO CAPTURE WESTERN AFGHANISTAN WITHOUT MUCH RESISTANCE. THIS IS CORROBORATED BY THE FACT THAT ONLY 25 TO 30 CASUALTIES WERE REPORTED IN THE FIGHTING FOR THE CONTROL OF HERAT.
It is interesting how the GOP defends itself regarding apparent allegations of its interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs through sponsorship of the Taliban. While pointing out the instability and widespread lawlessness, by drawing attention to lack of the Kabul government's control over Afghan territory and the lack of an effective defense against Taliban advances, it is as if the GOP is simultaneously establishing a case for the very interference it is denying.
-- 3. THE VIRTUAL WALK OVER OF THE TALIBAN OVER LARGE AREAS OF AFGHANISTAN CLEARLY REFLECTS THE GROWING DISENCHANTMENT OF THE AFGHAN PEOPLE WITH THE KABUL REGIME AND ITS DETERMINATION TO RESOLVE POLITICAL DIFFERENCES THROUGH THE USE OF FORCE. GENERAL ISMAIL KHAN, THE FORMER GOVERNOR OF HERAT, IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION HAS CATEGORICALLY DENIED PAKISTAN'S INVOLVEMENT IN HIS DEFEAT AT HERAT. RATHER HE HAS BLAMED THE JUNTA IN KABUL FOR THEIR DICTATORIAL POLICIES WHICH FINALLY LED TO THE DEBACLE AT HERAT.
Reading past the report of Ismail Khan's denial of Pakistani involvement (how would he know if the Pakistanis were supplying and training the Taliban behind the scenes, anyway?), the rise of the Taliban is being justified by pointing to the anarchic conditions in Afghanistan, and to popular discontent with this lawlessness.
While it is true that many Afghans were fed up with the ongoing chaos, this merely explains why many people would initially side with the Taliban who were eliminating the sources of chaos; it does not explain how a well-funded, well-organized, well-behaved army of religious students arose to begin with, and it can only partially explain that army's success.
-- 4. THE RECENT ADVANCE OF THE TALIBAN IN CHARASIAB HAS ALSO BEEN POSSIBLE OWING TO DEFECTIONS OF THE KABUL REGIME'S MILITARY COMMANDERS IN THE AREA. THERE HAS NOT BEEN MUCH FIGHTING AND THE TALIBAN GAINED GROUND PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF DISAFFECTION WHICH HAS BEEN GENERATED AMONGST THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN BY THE IRRATIONAL POLICIES OF THE JUNTA IN KABUL. THIS HAS BEEN WITNESSED AND REPORTED UPON BY THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA PRESENT IN KABUL.
Allegiances in Afghanistan have always been shifty and dynamic.
In that light, it is interesting to consider how unified the Taliban have been. Why?
(One typo was fixed in the next paragraph.)
-- 5. THE CONTINUED INTRANSIGENCE OF PROFESSOR RABBANI AND AHMED SHAD MASOUD TO COOPERATE WITH AMBASSADOR MESTIRI IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS PLAN FOR THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER HAS BEEN THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE CONFLICT AND BLOODSHED IN AFGHANISTAN. PROFESSOR RABBANI HAS TIME AND AGAIN RENEGED ON HIS COMMITMENT TO HAND OVER POWER TO A TRANSITIONAL AUTHORITY IN AFGHANISTAN. IN ITS EFFORT TO DEFEAT MILITARILY ITS OPPONENTS AND TO EXTEND ITS SWAY OVER AFGHANISTAN, THE JUNTA IN KABUL HAS SOUGHT TO RECEIVE MILITARY SUPPLIES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES. THIS CAN ONLY COMPLICATE THE SITUATION AND WOULD FURTHER AGGRAVATE THE MISERIES OF THE AFGHAN PEOPLE, WHO ARE LONGING FOR PEACE TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMELAND.
That is certainly an oversimplistic explanation of what the root cause for the chaos in Afghanistan is. It is also an explanation which again spreads the groundwork for justification of sponsorship of a group that can end the chaos - sponsorship denied in this very same letter.
-- 6. WE WOULD STRONGLY URGE THE REGIME IN KABUL TO DESIST FROM BLAMING PAKISTAN FOR ITS OWN FAILURES. INSTEAD THEY SHOULD COOPERATE WITH AMBASSADOR MESTIRI AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE FOR A PEACEFUL TRANSITION OF POWER IN AFGHANISTAN, BASED ON NATIONAL RECONCILIATION.
-- 7. WE WOULD LIKE TO ONCE AGAIN REAFFIRM THE CONTINUED NEUTRAL STANCE MAINTAINED BY PAKISTAN IN THE INTRA-AFGHAN RIVALRIES. WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ONGOING EFFORTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE FOR PEACE AND CONCILIATION IN AFGHANISTAN. BEING AN IMMEDIATE NEIGHBOUR, PAKISTAN HAS A VESTED INTEREST IN PEACE AND STABILITY IN AFGHANISTAN. WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE AN EARLY RETURN OF NORMALCY TO AFGHANISTAN SO THAT 1.5 MILLION AFGHAN REFUGEES CURRENTLY ON OUR SOIL CAN RETURN TO THEIR HOMELAND IN SAFETY AND HONOUR.
-- 8. I SHOULD BE GRATEFUL IF YOU WOULD HAVE THE TEXT OF THE PRESENT LETTER CIRCULATED AS A DOCUMENT OF THE FIFTIETH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, UNDER AGENDA ITEM 54, AND OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL.
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