New book says Pak played key role in fanning Afghan insurgency campaign

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Washington, July 24 : A US-based defence-related research set up has revealed in a book that Pakistan played an important role in the insurgency campaign in Afghanistan, despite its governmental stance of support for US and coalition forces.

The Pashtun areas of Pakistan provided safe havens for insurgent troops, and considerable scope for cross-border traffic and smuggling activities, said one of the chapters in a new book 'Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare' released here by the Centre for Naval Analysis (CAN).

Pakistan sent thousands of troops into the region to wage a campaign against "Taliban" forces and heavy but inconclusive fighting ensued, Marston said and added that the campaign was a drain on the Pakistan Army's resources and was highly unpopular with the Pakistani public.

Most of the insurgents in Afghanistan did not belong to the Taliban, but were those who feel spurred to fighting by broken promises, lack of a stable government, blood feuds and economic considerations, The News quoted Marston as saying in a chapter on Afghanistan in the book.

According to Daniel Marston, the Pashtun insurgents have been members of a group recently displaced from a position of political power and dominance within its own society.

According to him, the main focus of the Taliban was more 'political and economic than ideological', and all three insurgent groups in the period from 2001 to 2007 relied upon the vast Pashtun belt of the Pakistani FATA for troops, supplies and support. He wrote in the chapter that the reality of the Pashtun belt was its long history of resistance to government control and its close relationships with Pashtun tribes on the Afghan side of the border.

Marston further wrote that carrying out a successful counterinsurgency campaign takes a substantial amount of money, and even more importantly, a substantial amount of political will, which may include the undertaking that such a campaign could last for decades, and that casualties are inevitable in providing security and holding cleared areas.

ANI

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