USA unnecessarily sacrificing troops in Afghanistan when can easily be pulled-out with help / assistance of India through mini-SAARC. By Hem Raj Jain

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One can understand that the earlier US Administrations did not make proper & adequate efforts to pull out US-troops from Afghanistan but when Prez Trump also (who came in White House on explicit promise that he will do so) is clearly not serious about it, then it raises serious questions. Like any other genuine military, every person in US military also joins it by keeping USA before his life hence when any military person looses his / her life or is injured it is no doubt a matter of grief but it is certainly not like when it happens so to a civilian. But in case of US Military the situation is different. Since World War II (when UN was launched with its office on its soil) the USA has taken the responsibility of managing global order (which it did satisfactorily at least to the extent that it has been able to avoid World War III, so far).

 But the USA should understand that it has a population of merely ~ 330 million amidst the world population of ~ 7.6 billion which is merely ~ 4.34 % of world population. Hence the USA can not afford to sacrifice its military persons (in a spendthrift manner), especially when there is an alternative. Therefore, the recent loss of lives of 2 US soldiers and wounding of 6 others (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/02/11/trump-attends-dignified-transfer-soldiers-killed-afghanistan/4721525002/ ) is inexplicable and unjustified. If the USA is really interested in pulling-out its Military from Afghanistan, then Prez Trump should immediately do the following: -

 (1)- First and foremost the USA should understand that merely military and economic power will not solve the problems in Afghanistan unless political power is also used and which can easily be done by taking the help / assistance of India, which has immense goodwill in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is already a member of SAARC but the SAARC is not going to materialize any time soon. Whereas “United States of mini-SAARC” can easily & promptly be realized by making India, Afghanistan and united-J&K its members (some other willing countries of SAARC can also join it if they want, otherwise doesn’t matter for the time being).

 (2)- India is an over-smart country and will not take this responsibility that easily. For this to happen, the USA should constrain India & Pakistan (directly or through UN) to carry out plebiscite in united - J&K in order to solve chronic & gory Kashmir problem. This plebiscite is the mandate of not merely the UN Resolution 1948-49 but also and more importantly of the ‘Instrument of Accession’ (IoA). In this October 1947 IoA of J&K to India it is clearly mentioned by Governor General of India that - “[it is my Government’s wish that, as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir, and her soil cleared of the invader, the question of the State’s Accession should be settled by a reference to the people. Yours Sincerely Sd/- Mountbatten of Burma]”

 (3)-  In this plebiscite the USA can rest assured that (by ensuring free and fair election campaign with the presence of international media & human rights NGOs) the majority of the people of united J&K shall vote for independence of United-J&K. It is for the simple reason that these people of united J&K have realized that they have no future whatsoever in the communally poisoned Pakistan (since its inception in 1947) and communally poisoned India (mildly so since 1947 but much more so since present regime of BJP / Hindutva forces since 2014). These people of united-J&K (especially in Pakistan side of it) are not saying so openly due to fear of Pakistan government including of its military and militant Jihadis. These people of united-J&K (on both sides of LoC) further know that if USA sponsored & supported plebiscite and mini-SAARC take place then independent united – J&K has all the bright future.

(4)- Once mini-SAARC comes into existence the poison & madness of communalism which is presently inflicting nuclear India & Pakistan, will automatically die-down. Moreover, this mini-SAARC will also motivate Pakistan to join it, sooner than later, because it will be very difficult for Pakistan to resist the pressure from its other provinces (like Balochistan, KPK, Sindh and some parts of even Punjab, in that order) to join this mini-SAARC.

 (5)- The USA will have to insist that this “United States of mini-SAARC” should be on the basis of Secularism, Democracy, Republic and Federalism [where only the martial subjects (like defense, foreign affairs, currency, communication /  national transport and human rights) shall be with Centre and all the civil subjects including natural resources shall be with the States, the members of this mini-SAARC] otherwise it shall have unfortunate future (of dismemberment) as Bangladesh had with Pakistan.

 Therefore, in the interest of pulling-out US-troops from Afghanistan, instead of giving lip service of mediation (for Kashmir solution) between India and Pakistan, Prez Trump should immediately start working for “United States of mini-SAARC” in which (to start with) at least India, Afghanistan and independent United – J&K shall be the members.

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