Here is an informed and balanced opinion from Pakistan, 3 weeks before 9:11:
Actions against the Taliban were well prepared long before 9:11, for instance through the UN system.
-The claims that the Taliban have been fighting against drugs, makes sense, but is contradicted in other articles.
Islamabad, Jamadi-ul-Awwal 23, 1422 AH, Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Spy net around the Taliban
A M (R) Ayaz A Khan
The latest UN Security Council Resolution proposed by Columbia at the behest of United States and Russia to field several United Nations teams of monitors around Afghainstan will in effect create a spy organisation endangering the security not only of the Taliban regime, but of all neighbouring countries. Beleaguered Afghanistan is already politically isolated and economically feebled by the tough sanctions and embargoes on the Taliban government. The Afghan people are paying the price. While massive financial and military assistance, weapons, munitions and warlike equipment is being provided to the National Alliance of Ahmed Shah Masud and other renegades, the noose is being tightened around to Taliban. The discriminatory UN resolution will prolong the war and the agony of the Afghan masses.
The new UN resolution blames the Taliban government of promoting terrorism, maintaining terrorist training camps; aiding drug trade and engaging in arms smuggling which is fuelling the decades old civil war in Chechnya and other Central Asian Republicís. Under the new UNSC resolution Pakistani territory will be used to monitor and enforce the so-called international arms embargo whereby the Taliban regime will be scuttled, and forced into submission. That Pakistan has given all assurances of cooperation to the United Nations and may allow stationing of monitors on its soil for spying on Afghanistan is regrettable. The new UN curbs on Taliban will hurt Pakistan as well, because the composition of the UN observer teams and their advanced technology spying devices will be targeted on Pakistan as much as on the Taliban Afghanistan.
The large UN monitoring team of intelligence experts will consist of mostly American, Russian and Indian intelligence agents (CIA, KGB, RAW). They will be stationed at Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta and elsewhere along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. 1 can state with confidence that the UN monitors will be highly trained intelligence experts, whose spying skills will endanger Pakistanís national security interests. Initially a five member Monitoring Group stationed in New York, will closely oversee enforcement of tough sanctions by fifteen UN intelligence experts in the field in Pakistan. Later on the UN staff will be substantially enlarged. The New York UN monitoring panel has already proposed to send international teams of observers to all the six countries bordering Afghanistan ie China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to spy and help local officials to enforce the embargo against the Taliban government.
Their mission. 1. Keep track of alleged terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, 2. Detect, stop and fight alleged drug trade flowing out of Afghanistan, 3. Check arms smuggling into and out of Afghanistan, 4. Stiffen the UN arms embargo imposed in December last year, 5. And prevent arms smuggling into Central Asian States. The UN Security Council advised by the US Department of State and the CIA believes that the money earned by drug trade by the Taliban regime is sustaining the Afghan civil war. The UN believes that the funds and weapons freely available to the Taliban government is the cause of their refusal for a negotiated dialogue with the Northern Alliance. It has fuelled their determination for a military solution. The US-Russia, Indian and Iranian anti-Taliban front now has full UN backing to weaken and destroy the Taliban movement and bring about capitulation of the Taliban regime. But the Taliban are not going away that easily. Clearly Afghanistan is in for a still bloodier and prolonged civil war.
By giving refuge to Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban have earned US wrath. To Westerners every bearded Muslim is a terrorist. In Taliban Afghanistan all men be they civilians or soldiers carry beards and guns. But that does not mean that they are terrorists. UN monitors are likely to report the movement of armed bearded men .across the border as movement of terrorists. The Iraq like scenario being created here by the UN will cause great deal of suffering in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan Foreign Office must take this development very seriously, and our ambassador at the United Nations be asked to brief the UN Secretary General about Pakistanís security concerns, and inevitable political fallout of placing UN monitors on Pakistani soil.
It is worth mentioning that the internal peace is Afghanistan since 1994 is because Taliban Administration has firmly imposed rule of law. However Talibans rigidity, intolerance and harsh treatment of women and ethnic and religious minorities is totally unjustified, and is the cause of the ongoing civil war. Drug production has been nearlly wiped out and the UN has acknowledged this. The Taliban government should welcome UN observers to help curb drug trade, and clear them of drug trafficking charges. Pakistan based Afghan Defence Council has forcefully rejected the UN decision to deploy its observers on Pak-Afghan border. Joint strategy is being evolved with the Taliban government against the deployment of UN monitors on the Afghan border.
The new UN embargo will benefit the opposition movement of Afghan expatriates who had gathered in London fortnight back to take measures in coordination with Western governments and the Northern Alliance to bring about the down fall of the Taliban regime. The broader consultative conference held in London was backed by several Western governments including US, UK, France, Germany and Italy. Talibanís rival The Northern Alliance and its leader Ahmed Shah Masood has been accorded recognition and legitimacy by the UN , US, Russia, India, Iran and almost all governments of the European Union. The timing of the new UN Sanctions and embargo after the London initiative and the April visit of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masood to Paris, Strasbourg and Brussles on the invitation of the European Parliament is significant. It provides evidence of UN/US collaboration and collusion with anti-Taliban forces and countries. Ahmed Shah Masood had met several European leaders and officials who assured him full support in his fight against the Taliban. The Afghan exiles who met him there are now engaged in forging a broader resistance movement against the Taliban. The intelligence reports of UN monitors will be of great help to them. Ahmed Shah Masood has offered surrendering of arms subject of holding general elections in Afghanistan under the UN and OIC auspicecs. Taliban demand that he should surrender arms unilaterly is illogical. Dialogue with the Northern Alliance is overdue. Pakistan, which is Talibanís only ally should talk to Taliban to consider Ahmed Shah Masoodís offer for dialogue and elections. The new development ie positioning UN monitors is a setback for the Taliban. It does not take much imagination to see that the UN resolution, and embargo, and monitors are part of a wider plan to defame, weaken and destroy the Taliban government, and harm Pakistan. The Taliban fundamentally is a movement of peace under rigid Islamic codes. From 1994 to 1998 it helped bring peace to conflict torn Afghanistan. The Afghan people were sick of the warlords whose infighting and aggrandisement had caused much suffering. The masses joined the Taliban, willingly surrendered their arms, and helped the Taliban to a victory without much fighting. But Talibanís harsh rule has alienated the people. Nature has not helped Taliban either. Unfortunately Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden is the main cause of UN sanctions. He was blamed by Washington for the October 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed about 230 innocent civilians including twelve Americans. The Clinton Administration after thorough investigations claimed proof of the involvement of Mr Laden and his associates in these criminal terrorist bombings. Some of the perpetrators of the bombings were arrested and during trails acknowledged that they were hired by Mr Laden or his agents, and accepted the bombings. For the Afghans Osama Bin Laden is a hero. He fought alongside them during the ten year Jehad to rid Afghanistan of the Red Army of occupation. He
was an American icon, who turned Afghanistan into the graveyard for the Russian Army. But he ended up on the wrong side of the Americans, who have labelled him as the most dangerous terrorist. The Taliban have given him refuge and protection as an honoured guest, and refuse to hand him over to the Americans for trial. The American Administrations, especially the CIA are adamant., and will not rest till they get Osama Bin Laden, and put him on trail for the bombings. So Osama bin Laden is the root cause of the new UN Resolution. It is a US ploy to get Osama Bin Laden. The UN Security Council resolution allows for substantial increase and expansion of the monitors-CIA spies, whose actual placement along Afghanistsn mountainous and porous border is presently unclear. The UN has asked US and Russia to provide experts intelligence agents and technology to detect arms, drug smuggling, identify terrorism emanating from Afghanistan, detect non-existant terrorist training camps, and check drug trafficking.
The Taliban are badly cornered and isolated. They are doubtless to blame. Their fanaticism, bigoted interpretation of religion, intolerance and mad obduracy, and refusal to talk to the opposition for an acceptable political solution, has got them into a nut-cracker situation. Asylum to Osama Bin Laden is the cause of their total isolation and depriviation. Their inability to administer is evidenced by the presence of 2.2 million Afgan refugees in Pakistan, 1.3 million in Iran and over one million internal refugees forced into inhuman refugee camps in Herat and living under open sky in harsh climate.