View Full Version : Costs & Benefits of Afghan War for Pakistan

06-08-2010, 01:48 AM
A. Z. Hilali

Contemporary South Asia, (2002) 11(3), 291-310

ABSTRACT: The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 was a major cause of worldwide anxiety and a turning point in international politics. The Soviet expansionism created a challenge to the security of Pakistan, and the country emerged as a 'front-line' state, the major player in the game and the principal channel through which assistance was provided to the Afghan majahideen (holy warriors). This article critically analyses and evaluates how the Afghan War benefited Pakistan's economy and defence, including the death of Pakistan's ethno-nationalist movements. At the same time, the article shows that the Afghan War had grave implications for the internal and external security of Pakistan because of the huge influx of Afghan refugees who not only created political, economic, social environmental and ecological problems, but also posed an alarming threat to Pakistan's security. In many areas of the country, the refugees have destroyed the ecological balance, causing desertification and consequent soil erosion, and promoted drug trafficking, a Kalashnikov culture, sectarianism, and endless law and order problems. The Afghan War also corrupted Pakistani elites.
The US - Pakistan alignment during the Afghan crisis of the 1980s was an excellent example of an opportunistic partnership between two unequal powers. The United States, as a great power with global responsibilities and commitments, took advantage of Pakistan's desperate need for military and economic assistance and its search for powerful friends in order to have access to Pakistani bases and other vital facilities so as to expand the scope of its policy to contain Soviet expansionism. Pakistan, as a weak state with regional interests, seized upon the opportunity offered by the United States' search for anti-communist allies in South Asia to gain economic and military assistance and to strengthen its bargaining position vis-a`-vis India. Nations often join formal and informal alliances with specific objectives, and the primary objectives of almost all participating states are to secure their interests and minimise their liabilities by sharing them with others.[1] Therefore, the initiative for an alliance can come from either a weak state or a great power, depending upon the force of the factors experienced by the states involved. Although, in general, nations join an alliance or alliances for potential gains, costs may also be incurred.[2] Pakistan's policymakers fully calculated the probable gains and most likely losses of its temporary alignment with the United States.
Revival of US - Pakistan relations

Before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Pakistan was relatively isolated internationally and its relations with the United States were at their lowest ebb. The country was not a priority area for the US administration because of its undemocratic system, its violations of human rights, and its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. However, the Afghan crisis dramatically altered the US administration's policy towards Pakistan, and it became a most important country in the changed circumstances. Soviet adventurism in Afghanistan posed a serious challenge to Pakistan's security as one of the most complex and multilayered strategic threats to be faced by any state in the world. From this perspective, Pakistan's external security, its national survival and territorial integrity were unsafe and insecure. The United States, which had followed a low-profile policy towards the region since 1971, overnight changed its policy and began to plan a major role in the area. Thus, the Soviet military invasion proved to be 'good war' and seemed a welcome relief to Pakistan because it brought the West promptly to Pakistan's rescue, with promises of renewed economic and military assistance and a boost to the country's declining prestige. Washington immediately revived its military relationship with Pakistan, and President Jimmy Carter's administration's stand on non-proliferation was set aside as it was argued that America's national interests demanded open support for Islamabad. In 1980, Carter offered a modest, 2-year $400 million package of economic and military assistance but the offer did not satisfy Pakistan. On 17 January 1981, President Zia ul-Haq spoke of a relationship 'not of outright hostility, not of a camp follower, but as partners with equal rights', and peremptorily rejected Carter's offer as insufficient, calling it 'peanuts' and 'not even a drop in the ocean'.[3] He warned: 'You take Pakistan out of the region, and you will find that you have not one inch of soil where America can have influence - right from Turkey down to Vietnam'.[4] However, the situation changed when President Ronald Reagan came to power. Reagan's military and economic offer satisfied Zia's government, and its policy-makers believed in the US administration's determination to give strong support to Pakistan's independence. Subsequently, Pakistan played a key role by providing a haven for Afghan refugees and a channel for aid to the Afghan resistance.[5] Going nuclear
Pakistan's nuclear doctrine has been based on the fairly clear and straightforward goal of forging a credible deterrent to counter the perceived threat from India, defined in terms of Kashmir and the integration of the Pakistani state. In 1976, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto signed an agreement with France to purchase a nuclear reprocessing plant. After the signing of the agreement, both Pakistan and France were subjected to US pressure to cancel the deal. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned Bhutto in August 1976: 'we can destabilise your government and make a horrible example out of you'.[6] In July 1977, Bhutto's democratic government was overthrown by Zia's martial law regime, which continued the nuclear programme. Zia encouraged the country's nuclear scientists to speed up their work. In 1978, Carter took action against Pakistan to neutralise its nuclear programme, and he used pressure on France and Pakistan to cancel the reprocessing plant deal.
However, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Carter administration was prepared to send a team to Islamabad to discuss the emerging security problems in the region. The US also expressed its willingness conditionally to lift its embargo on economic aid to Pakistan. Carter offered to seek legislation allowing him to waive the requirement of the Symington Amendment, which prohibited US assistance to any country found trafficking in nuclear enrichment equipment or technology outside of international safeguards. In 1981, Reagan gave the necessary clearance certificate to Congress about Pakistan's nuclear programme and, in 1982, he asked Congress to waive the Symington Amendment [7] and make an exception regarding Islamabad's nuclear programme so as to allow a military and economic aid package for Pakistan.
In the circumstances, the waiver of the Symington Amendment in favour of Pakistan provided an opportunity to the Zia government for the acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability. Pakistan produced weapons-grade uranium and had achieved its goal - the production of deliverable weapons - by 1986 - 87. [8] Zia's regime was completely successful in its clandestine efforts to secure classified designs of a centrifuge-based uranium enrichment plant and obtain a number of critical sub-systems, components and materials. Zia strongly supported Pakistan's nuclear programme and refused to accept full-scope safeguards: 'We shall eat crumbs but will not allow our national interest to be compromised in any manner what-so-ever'.[9] Later, Zia admitted that 'Pakistan can build a (nuclear) bomb whenever it wishes. Once you have acquired the technology, which Pakistan has, you can do whatever you like'.[10] He deliberately took calculated risks and skilfully exploited the international environment in the wake of the Afghan crisis to enable Pakistan to obtain significant sensitive Western materials and technology from black-market sources for its uranium enrichment plant (Kahuta).
Nuclear ambiguity in South Asia ended when India took the initiative to conduct five nuclear tests on 11 May and 13 May 1998 and, subsequently, Pakistan also conducted nuclear tests in May and June 1998. Nonetheless, Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme, initiated to ensure its survival, deter India's conventional military superiority, and counter more subtle forms of Indian dominance in regional affairs, achieved its goal thanks in large part to US reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Military aid

Pakistan's effort to modernise its armed forces was justified by its defence planners in terms of a need to strengthen defence capabilities in the wake of the Afghanistan crisis, and the country eventually succeeded in obtaining many modern weapon systems from the United States. Zia ul-Haq, who was the architect of the US-Pakistan partnership, explained Pakistan's motives in cooperating with the United States in these words: 'Our main and prime objectives are to keep out the Soviet Union and Afghanistan in the north and to safeguard the safety and security of Pakistan from India in the east'.[11] Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Casey analysed Pakistan's fear of the Indian threat: 'I talked with Zia about the Soviets' threat to Pakistan's northern and southern borders but Zia was ambitious to protect his eastern (neighbouring India) border. He needed practical help and a guarantee against the Indian threat which we provided and used Pakistan as the pipeline for Afghan mujahideen to erode Soviet power'.[12] It was very clear to the United States that Pakistan lacked the requisite capabilities to cope with the perceived Indian threat, the Sovietbacked Afghan threat, or a joint Indo-Soviet-Afghan threat. The capabilities of both India and the Soviet Union were beyond the reach of Pakistan.[13] However, Pakistan's military deficiencies were significantly redressed and Zia's government obtained sophisticated weapons to safeguard its security interests in the light of Indian and Afghan activities. The acquisition of limited sophisticated weapons marginally increased Pakistan's ability to enhance the costs of a potential aggressor.
Beginning in 1982, the United States had provided $7.4 billion [14] economic and military assistance to Pakistan to fund a massive military build-up (see Table 1). The modernisation programme included improved warning and communication systems, anti-tank missiles, ground attack aircraft, tanks, and armoured personnel carriers. Pakistan was also able to buy 40 General Dynamics F-16 Hornet fighter/interceptors, equipped with Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles. [15] The F-16 fighter planes are modern, advanced-generation aircraft equipped with nuclear delivery systems. It was widely believed that the F-16s would provide a credible deterrent and strategic edge to Pakistan in the region. [16] Although, the aircraft were initially to have been equipped with the ALR-46 electronic counter-measure system rather than the more sophisticated ALR-69 version used by NATO, the United States eventually agreed to provide F-16s with the advanced version, as requested by Islamabad.[17] Additionally, Pakistan obtained the AIM-9L version of the Sidewinder missile rather than the AIM-9 version that the United States had originally offered. The Pakistani armed forces also received Harpoon anti-ship missiles, upgraded M-48 tanks, tank recovery vehicles, towed and self-propelled field artillery, a few armed helicopters, and second-hand destroyers. Radar equipment purchased from US companies was used to provide aircraft warning systems on the western border with India. The United States provided equipment for infantry divisions, armoured divisions, an air force squadron, as well as assistance to build new air force bases in NWFP and Baluchistan.[18]
Table 1: US Arms Supply to Pakistan during 1980-87 (
Economic aid

The war in Afghanistan attracted international economic assistance to Zia's government, especially from the United States. By 1985, Pakistan had become the fourth largest recipient of US bilateral military assistance, behind only Israel, Egypt and Turkey. With the approval of the $7.4 billion (1982-90) military and economic aid package (see Table 2), Pakistan emerged as the second largest recipient of US aid, after Israel.[19] The US aid, which averaged more than $600 million per year, materially improved the fighting capabilities of Pakistan's defence forces, contributed to the country's economic growth, and helped bridge a major hard currency deficit.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was the largest single donor to Pakistan (followed by Japan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank) in financing projects and setting the conditions attached to projects. During 1980-88, USAID provided $954.2 million in development aid to Pakistan and $205 million for the development of irrigation, energy, and farm water management projects.[20] The United States also played a role in promoting badly needed credits from the International Monetary Fund and development loans from the World Bank.[21]
Pakhtun nationalism

The paramount objective of Pakistan's policy-makers in supporting the Afghan War was to block the revival of Afghan nationalism and persuade a friendly government in Kabul to recognise the Durand Line as an international border so as to stifle any resurgence of a transborder Pakhtun nationalism. In the first week of December 1979, Afghan President Hafizullah Amin contacted Zia and offered 'Afghanistan's acceptance of the Durand Line as the international frontier in return for an end to Pakistan's support for the regime's enemies'.[22] Amin, however, was executed by the invading Soviet forces on 26 December 1979, after which relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan deteriorated.
Pakhtun nationalism, however, was countered by Afghan Islamists' opposition to the idea of a secular Pakhtunistan, and supported Pakistan's solidarity. The huge influx of Afghan refugees in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan altered the political and socio-economic circumstances of the region, and may have dispelled once and for all the myth of Pakhtunistan.[23] After the fall of Najibullah Almadzai's government and the departure of the Soviets in 1992, the President of Afghanistan, Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, visited Pakistan and declared that 'the Durand Line is the official border between Pakistan and Afghanistan but unofficially there is no border between the two countries'.[24] The Afghan Charge d'Affairs in Pakistan, Karamatullah Mossa Qazi, also said that 'the Pakhtunistan issue would never be raised with Pakistan because nation and country played an important role in the Afghan Jihad'.[25]
The Afghan refugees' burden on Pakistan

For Pakistan, the 10-year war in Afghanistan had painful consequences. Muslim resistance fighters, the mujahideen, set up supply bases inside Pakistan. Inevitably, Afghani refugees fled to Pakistan and the country suffered hundreds of air and ground attacks by the Soviet-Afghan forces on their border areas, as well as almost daily terrorist bombings against civilian targets. The migration of refugees to Pakistan started in the wake of the Saur Revolution in 1978 as a result of repressive reform measures introduced by the communist regime in Kabul. However, the largest influx took place soon after the Soviet invasion in 1979 and Pakistan provided asylum for approximately 307 million refugees; almost one-quarter of the entire Afghan population![26] They were settled in 386 camps, most of them in rural areas of the two Pakistani provinces - the NWFP and Baluchistan - adjoining the border with Afghanistan with which they had cultural, religious and linguistic ties.[27] The presence of such a large number of Afghan refugees generated grave consequences for Pakistan in any number of areas.
Afghan refugees brought with them more than 2.5 million head of livestock (i.e. herds of sheep, goats, camels, cattle and yaks), which had a detrimental effect on the environment because of grazing on the scarce pasture land and fragile soil. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that the Afghans brought with them 45,000 camels and 25,000 donkeys for commercial purposes.[28] The refugees caused some resentment among the local people, particularly in relation to the control and use of grazing fields in NWFP and Baluchistan provinces. Indiscriminate and uncontrolled grazing ruined the sparse grazing grounds and extensively damaged the ecology of the green areas. The influx of Afghan refugees in NWFP and Baluchistan was a cause of serious deforestation in Pakistan's Chitral, Dir and Hazara division, as the refugees sought firewood for cooking and heating.[29] The Afghan refugees had a hand in using the free forest resources of the NWFP-Baluchistan, and virtually changed the landscape of these provinces. The result of the reckless cutting of forests was that land erosion took place upstream in the mountainous areas of Pakistan, causing land slides and large-scale havoc and disruption of communications. [30]
Many skilled and unskilled Afghan refugees managed to secure employment, mainly in agriculture and the construction industry of Pakistan. They were a powerful stimulus to the growth of markets in backward areas of the province and an abundant source of cheap labour in a labour-scarce environment. They secured a reasonable proportion of odd jobs in urban centres where they worked as a vendors, salesmen, waiters, shoeblacks, and construction workers, and so on.[31] In addition, many wealthier Afghan refugees invested capital in different types of commercial pursuits including real estate, transport and commercial properties. The purchase of immovable property and inexpensive small retail shops caused a boom in real estate business, especially in the NWFP, Baluchistan, the urban centres of Punjab and Sindh, and along major highways.[32] The wealthier class of Afghani refugees generated tension with the local business class because rents were pushed beyond the latter's reach.
Table 2: Agreed Schedule of US Economic Assistance (
Refugees were also involved in the transport business of the NWFP and Baluchistan. It was estimated that more than 6000 Afghan vehicles were on 'temporary registration licences' and many without registration were plying the roads.[33] In the NWFP alone, there were over 893 heavy trucks, 55 large buses, 173 minibuses, 152 tractors, 411 cars, cabs, jeeps and pick-ups, and 21 motorcycles or rickshaws; a total of 1705 vehicles registered to refugees [34] (and there were at least as many more vehicles unregistered). It was estimated that 60,000 Afghan refugee families were supported by the motorised transport business in NWFP and in the rest of Pakistan.[35] Again, resentment was created as the local indigenous population perceived themselves at an economical disadvantage.

The Afghan refugees also brought a boom in illegal cross-border trade by Afghan vehicles. Shortages of wheat and rice in the Pakistani market were blamed on the smuggling of these commodities to higher priced markets in Afghanistan, as well as India. [36] The real problem started with Afghan tax-free imports via Pakistan because the trade turned around at the border and returned right back into the country, causing considerable loss in state revenues. There is hardly any major city in the country that does not have a market for selling smuggled foreign goods, ranging from crockery to household appliances, from clothes to petroleum products. Peshawar's Bara Market is full of smuggled items such as air conditioners, refrigerators, television sets and all other types of electrical goods. Tea is also one of the major items being smuggled under the cover of the Afghan transit trade, causing a huge financial loss to the exchequer, estimated in 1993 at Rs 400 million annually.[37] A local tyre manufacturer and a Sony TV assembling factory had to be closed down after going into huge losses. Afghanistan has a population of 13 million with much lower per-capita income than Pakistan and a war-ravaged economy. There was, thus, no sense in import values in 1994 being Rs 0.83 billion for Pakistan and Rs 1.1 billion for Afghanistan in television sets, Rs 0.10 billion for Pakistan and Rs 0.2 billion for Afghanistan in soap and shampoo, and Rs 0.7 billion for Pakistan and Rs 1.4 billion for Afghanistan in art silk fabrics.[38] Smuggling has hurt the government's finances hard in the form of lost revenues (estimated in the late 1990s to be around Rs 4.7 billion annually) that it would have earned in custom duties and other levies had those goods come in through formal channels.[39]
Political, social, and economic costs

Soviet air attacks and terrorist activities

The Soviet Union launched an aggressive armed campaign against a background of adverse reaction to Pakistan cooperation with the Afghans mujahideen. The Soviets claimed that Pakistan had established 30 bases and 50 centres in Pakistan that trained thousands of terrorists for armed insurgency within Afghanistan.[40] In return, the Soviets were determined to discredit the Zia regime and to make Pakistan ungovernable through the exploitation of regional and enthnolinguistic differences in the turbulent provinces of the NWFP and Baluchistan. The Soviets had already carefully cultivated support among the Baluchis to increase their leverage against the regime in Islamabad.[41] The Soviets used Baluch nationalist elements, and some Baluch leaders expressed their desire for Moscow to intervene in their affairs to establish an 'independent Baluchistan'.[42] Pakistan also bore the brunt of frequent cross-border artillery shillings and air attacks; in 1986, the NWFP experienced 143 fatalities in such bombings.[43]
Between 1980 and 1988, there were almost daily air and groundspace violations of Pakistani territory by Soviet and Afghanistani aircraft, including frequent bombings. There were over 200 violations of Pakistani airspace in 1985, and over 700 in 1986.[44] The US Department of State estimated that in the first 10 months of 1987 there were 574 air and 517 artillery attacks on Pakistan from across the Afghan border, and 540 terrorist incidents launched from Afghanistan against targets in Pakistan (see Table 3). According to a US Defence Department report, roughly 90% of the estimated 777 acts of international terrorism committed worldwide in 1987 occurred in Pakistan.[45] By 1988, KGB and KHAD (the main Afghan security service) agents were able to penetrate deep inside Pakistan and carry out attacks on mujahideen sanctuaries and guerrilla bases.[46] Strong circumstantial evidence implicated Moscow-Kabul in the August 1988 assassination of Zia ul-Haq because the Soviets perceived that Zia wanted to affect the Geneva process adversely.[47]
Table 3: Casualties in Pakistan due to Soviet Kabul Air violations & Terrorist Blasts - 1980 to 88 (
The legitimisation of Zia's rule

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan seemed to some in Islamabad to contain a silver lining. General Zia was able to transform his image in the West from a 'bad guy' to a 'good guy,' since Pakistan was a vital bulwark against Soviet expansionism. The Afghan War also enabled Zia to continue martial law and legitimise his military rule because the United States turned a Nelson's eye to human rights violations, allowing the dictatorship to trample the democratic aspirations of the people. Zia was able to suppress opposition parties and postpone elections indefinitely. There were reports that strong contingents of CIA agents were stationed in Pakistan to frustrate the activities of Zia's political opponents.[48] Zia destroyed the national institutions while preserving their image: Zia held absolute power and had no need to bother with appearances, yet he did - not just in his deference to visitors, but also in legal matters. His constitutional amendments sewed up every possible loophole, down to the point where all the actions of the martial law government were not only unchallengeable in any court, but also where all orders made, proceedings taken, acts done or purporting to be made, taken or done by any authority or person would be deemed to have been made, taken or done in good faith and for the purpose intended to be served thereby.[49]
Zia used various methods to attain legitimacy domestically. His regime, through the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), encouraged the rise of ethnic groups and religious parties on sectarian lines and, ultimately, many Sunni and Sha'ia groups emerged that divided society and undermined the raison d'etre of Pakistan. Zia started an Islamisation compaign to legitimise and prolong his own rule. He also used religion as one of the main weapons to pressurise the opposition and to justify the holding of non-party-based elections. Zia used non-ballot techniques and introduced a partyless National Assembly and Senate under the Islamic banner 'Majlis-i-Shura' (Parliament). He used referendums to regularise his government, and played with politicians, offering the prime ministership of the country to various leaders at various times.
Corruption in the distribution of US weapons

The CIA shared responsibility for running the Afghan war with the ISI, and each year (1981-88) the former provided $640 million for Afghan covert operations. However, 'during the Afghan war some Pakistani army officers, civilian and leaders of mujahideen groups were much more concerned with confiscating weapons destined for the resistance as with supplying them to the actual purpose'.[50] For instance, according to one report, in the early 1980s Carter ordered supply of a few weapons for the Afghans. The shipment arrived in the port of Karachi but it was rejected by Pakistani officials because the weapons were not useful for mountain fighting. Many weapons, including machine guns, disappeared and reappeared for sale in the weapons bazaars.[51] In mid-1985, the CIA and US officials accused Peshawar-based Afghan leaders of massive corruption and involvement in the weapons and equipment black market. The CIA complained about the gross mismanagement and corruption in the arms supply to the mujahideen, and indicated that huge amounts of the total arms aid was siphoned off along the way by local administrators, military officials and Afghan mujahideen to parties outside the conflict.[52] In 1987, Newsweek mentioned that Pakistani high officials, both military and civilian, were skimming off 30% or more of covert US aid to the mujahideen,[53] and perhaps as much as 50% of the weaponry was stolen or sold.[54] Fears that aid would fall into unfriendly hands constituted a major part of the reason for the reluctance of both Carter and Reagan to send sophisticated weapons to the rebels.[55]
On 10 April 1988, a huge explosion at the Ojhri camp arms dump in Rawalpindi, reportedly used as a transit centre of US arms for the Afghan mujahideen, brought the reputation of the army to an all-time low. In this camp, almost $100 million worth of rockets and missiles intended for the mujahideen rained down on the twin cities of Ralwalpindi and Islamabad, causing thousands of casualties. Rumours spread that the dump had been blown up deliberately by a conspiracy of senior army officers just before the arrival of a US defence audit team, to cover up the fact that some Stinger missiles had been sold off to Iran and Gulf states.[56] Indeed, US covert arms supplies to the Afghan mujahideen, all of which were distributed through the ISI with no paperwork and thus extraordinarily little accountability, enabled many Pakistani government bureaucrats, army officers and Afghan leaders to gain financial benefits.[57]
The drugs trade

In the late-1980s, the Afghan war led to Pakistan producing around 70% of the world's high-grade heroin,[58] overseen by an estimated 40 drug cartels.[59] The problem started when the CIA encouraged mujahideen groups in poppy cultivation (opium production) to obtain money for arms against the Soviet Union. The drug trade increased the financial potential of the mujahideen, so that during 1983-86 they became self-sufficient establishing strong private armies and buying arms in clandestine markets.[60] It is well known that many mujahideen leaders made vast fortunes. Consequently, they were bound to fight savagely to protect their lucrative turf.
This business also created a powerful arms and drugs mafia in Pakistan, causing the expansion of the heroin and arms trade throughout the country. The mujahideen sold the opium harvest to Pakistani heroin refiners who operated under the protection of (Retd) General Fazal-ul Haq, governor of the NWFP.[61] By 1988, there were an estimated 100-200 heroin refineries in the NWFP province alone.[62] By 1987-88, the drug trade was earning at least $4 billion a year - more foreign exchange than all Pakistan's legal exports combined.[63] In the 1980s, drug addiction was relatively unknown to Pakistanis and the poppy was never cultivated on a very high scale in the country but, between 1982 and 1987, the number of drug addicts increased from 124,000 to 450,000, including 5000 heroin addicts. Today, there are about 3.5 million drug addicts in Pakistan.[64]
A Kalashnikov culture

The 'Kalashnikov culture' flourished when the United States sent huge supplies of AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles [65] through Pakistan to arm the Afghan mujahideen. The Afghan war provided enormous opportunities for business in illegal arms in the NWFP and the culture of the Kalashnikov took firm roots in Pakistan. Darra Adam Khel, a tribal village deep in one of the steep valleys of Pakistan's federally administered areas within NWFP, has thrived as one of the world's largest unofficial arms markets. There are more than 3000 technicians and skilled labour in 2600 arms shops and five gun factories that jointly have the capacity to manufacture about 100 AK-47s per day.[66] This area, dominated by Afridi tribes, developed into a big centre for the manufacture of indigenous weapons.[67] On sale are Chinese and Soviet-made Kalashnikov automatic rifles, hand grenades and antiaircraft guns.[68] This weapons market is full of a variety of arms, from Japanese pen pistols to rapid fire guns and communications equipment, missiles, anti-aircrafts weapons, hand grenades, rocket launchers and anti-tank ammunition.[69]
As the Afghan War wound down in the early 1990s, Pakistan was mired in what one Wall Street Journal article described as 'the worst outbreak of lawlessness in its history', and 'the US, it turns out, inadvertently helped supply the firepower'.[70] The article went on to describe gangs of criminals and terrorists roaming the streets of major Pakistani towns virtually unchecked, fending off police with machine guns, grenade launchers, and other sophisticated armaments procured in the nation's scores of weapons markets. It also offered a slightly more down-to-earth echo of the rationales offered by US government bureaucrats and corporate officials involved in the arms trade: a Pakistani arms dealer proudly displaying his wares explained that 'this is a market, we buy and sell. We do not care who comes as long as he has money ... We are experts in weapons'.[71] The outbreak of violence and corruption in Pakistan was an unintended byproduct of the United States' use of the country for more than a decade as a conduit for an estimated $8.7 billion (1986-90) of weapons aid for Afghan mujahideen: weapons that have now diffused across the border into the hands of militants, criminals, ethnic and sectarian groups, challenging state forces and encouraging secessionist forces within the country.[72]
A gilamjam culture

In mid-1985, the Soviet Union and Kabul both launched psychological warfare against Pakistan to morally destabilise the society. For this purpose, the KGB and KHAD sent hundreds of beautiful young girls of Afghan, Central Asian and Russian origin to corrupt Pakistani society. This flood first entered the NWFP and later extended to the major urban centres of the country, including Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan and Quetta.[73] These prostitute groups selected affluent areas of the major cities for their business. They were accessible to people from all walks of life at cheap prices and working under a well-planned organisation. Most of the prostitutes were connected to the KGB and KHAD agents, and their targets were high government officials and Pakistan army officers.[74] A 'galemjum (prostitute) culture'[75] emerged in Pakistani society, attracting professionals, the local commercial class, and frustrated youth in many urban centres.[76]
Table 4: Religious Teachers & Students - 1980-88 (

Sectarianism is one of the biggest challenges and gravest threats to Pakistan's domestic security. It is an inevitable outcome of Zia's Islamisation programme and the United States' encouragement of religion to stop the flood of communism. During the Afghan War, the United States deliberately promoted religion as a weapon against the Soviet Union and spent million of dollars for the establishment of religious institutions and circulation of Islamic literature.[77] Zia also took advantage of the situation to promote religious institutions (madressaha). The rise of religious influence in Pakistan can easily be understood by the number of established religious institutions. In the 1950s, besides a few Shi'a madressahas, there were 137 traditional Sunni madressahas in Pakistan. By 1971, there were close to 900 madressahas, with about 3000 teachers and more than 30,000 regular students. In the 1980s, the number of madressahas boomed to 45,000-50,000 (see Tables 4 and 5) instead of the 4000 officially registered.[78] Southern Punjab has the highest number of madressahas - around 8000 - and this region has one of the lowest levels of literacy in Pakistan, with a significant percentage of the population living on or below the poverty line.[79] In Punjab alone, 7050 madressahas are imparting military training to their students.[80] The NWFP has around 10,000 religious institutions.[81] Peshawar alone has more than 50 madressahas,[82] and this city is reported to be a hub of sectarian activities.
Ultimately the autonomy of traditional religious institutions and Zia's Islamisation of Pakistani society injected the insidious poisons of religious sectarianism, fanaticism and bigotry into the country, pitting sect against sect and region against region.
Table 5: Religious Institutions in Pakistan: 1980-88 (
In the 1990s, one of the worst hit areas has been Punjab, where more than 2000 persons have been killed and 561 injured in 234 sectarian incidents.[83] The sectarian wave has extended to the Northern Areas, Karachi and the NWFP, where 529 people have been killed and hundreds injured in 864 separate incidents.[84] Bomb attacks on each other's mosques and imambargahs (Shi'a community gathering places) have become common. The tragic reality is that all extremist elements have no will of tolerance and have turned religion into a source of conflict. They are determined to settle their differences through the barrel of a gun.
Economic deficiencies

The Zia regime received huge amounts of foreign economic assistance during the Afghan War, but they spent it on imports of consumer goods rather than on education, health and rural development. From 1973-80, gross national savings in Pakistan averaged only 6.4% of the gross national product, falling to 4.6% for 1980-86.[85] Moreover, gross domestic investment remained only 17.5% of the gross national income.[86] The shortfall had to be met by capital flows from the outside.[87] Pakistan ended the Zia period with a publicly guaranteed long-term debt of over $16 billion, equivalent to nearly one-half of its gross domestic product, and two and one-half times the total value of exports. Reliance on short-term debt increased; in 1987, there was $2.3 billion in outstanding short-term obligations. In the same vain, debt servicing was more than one-sixth the value of exports of goods and services, and average interest carried by outstanding debt increased nearly two-fold, from 2.3 to 5.8% a year.[88] Similarly, there was no significant improvement in social, education and health development; between 1982-88 the share of expenditure on education and health fell from 2.1% of the gross national product to 1.5%.[89] Defence continued to take the lion's share in successive budgets at the expense of expenditure on development. For instance, in June 1988, the government provided Rs 48.31 billion for defence, whereas the total money provided for all development projects was Rs 47.14 billion.[90] With the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan lost its importance in the superpower battle and was to receive severely declining funds for future development.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 had a profound impact on Pakistan's security as the country emerged as a front-line state in the war against communism and found itself uncomfortably placed in a two-front threat scenario such as no other South Asian state has ever experienced. During the Afghan War, the United States provided unequivocal support to Pakistan, which gave it the self-confidence to withstand Soviet pressure. In this regard, Pakistan courageously opposed the Soviet invasion and took a leading part in condemning Soviet aggression in all international and regional forums.
The Afghan War provided political legitimacy to General Zia's military rule, which had been highly unpopular in the country. Moreover, the Afghan war provided a good opportunity for Pakistan to achieve nuclear capability. Pakistan also gained material advantages; it received more than $7.4 billion economic and military assistance from the United States, which materially improved the fighting capabilities of its defence forces, contributed to the country's economic growth and helped bridge a major hard currency deficit. Thus, Pakistan during the Afghan war made some progress in socio-economic areas, much more so in national security and defence.
Despite the benefits, however, the costs of the Afghan War were unbearable. Afghan refugees posed an alarming threat to Pakistan's security. Domestically, the Afghan refugees have not only created political, economic and socio-cultural problems for Pakistan, but they also introduced drugs and a Kalashnikov culture. The Afghan War also allowed ethnic and sectarian warfare and Islamic fundamentalism to tighten their grip on the country. Moreover, the consequences of the Afghan war damaged Pakistan's international image, spreading a narrow and violent version of Islam throughout the region and increasing tensions with its neighbours.
Notes and references

Perviaz Iqbal Cheema, Defence Policy of Pakistan (London: Macmillan, 1995), p 145.
J.W. Burton, International Relations: A General Theory (Cambridage University Press, 1967), p 171.
Ibid, p 46; see also Prithvi Ram Mudiam, India and the Middle East (London: I. B. Tauris, 1994), p 124; and William J. Barnds, 'The United States and South Asia: policy and process', in Stephen P. Cohen (ed), The Security of South Asia: American and Asian Perspectives (Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1987), p 157.
The New York Times, 18 January 1980, p 1.
Richard P. Cronim, The United States, Pakistan and the Soviet Threats to Southern Asia (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, September 1985), pp 2-4.
See Benazir Bhutto, Daughter of the East (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1988), p 86; Christina Lamb, Waiting For Allah, Pakistan's Struggle For Democracy (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1991), pp 38, 82; and Anthony Hyman, M. Ghayur and Nasresh Kaushik, Pakistan: Zia and After (London: Asia Publishing House, 1988), p 23.
Under the Symington Amendment and in order to continue aid, the US President had to certify annually that Pakistan did not possess 'a nuclear explosive device' The Symington and Glenn amendments (section 669 and 670 of the Foreign Assistant Act) forbade US assistance except food aid to countries that pursued nuclear enrichment technology and refused to give assurances that they were not developing nuclear weapons. Under these amendments, not only did the United States cut-off economic and military aid to Pakistan, but even military training grants were also stopped and a number of Pakistani military officers under training in the United States were asked to return to Pakistan without having completed their training programmes. See Keesing's Contemporary Archives, 6 July 1979, p 29701; Keesing's Contemporary Archives, 11 September 1981, p 31074; and Keesing's Contemporary Archives, 17 September 1982, p 31707.
David Albright and Mark Hibbs, 'Pakistan's bomb: out of the closet', Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (July/August 1992), pp 38-43.
The Pakistan Times, 28 July 1979, p 1.
William R. Doerner, 'Knocking at the nuclear door', Time, 30 March 1987, p 42.
Dawn, (Karachi) 23 March 1983.
Peter Schweizer, Victory: The Reagan Administration's Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994), pp 150-153.
Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema, 'The Afghanistan crisis and Pakistan's security dilemma', Asian Survey, Vol XXIII, No 3, 1983, p 240.
Lamb, op cit, Ref 6, p 268.
"US Military Aid to Pakistan," International Herald Tribune, 7 April 1988.
See W. Howard Wriggins, 'Pakistan's search for a foreign policy after the invasion of Afghanistan', Pacific Affairs, Vol 57, No 2, 1984, pp 284-303.
The United States provided the first batch of six F-16s immediately from US and European stocks within 12 months after signing of the acceptance offer between the United States and Pakistan. The remaining 36 were to be delivered at a rate of five per quarter beginning 27 months after the signing of the agreement. See T.V. Paul, 'Influence through arms transfers: lessons from the US-Pakistani relationship', Asian Survey, Vol XXXII, No 12, 1992, p 1086; Robert G. Wirsing, 'The arms race in South Asia: implication for the United States', Asian Survey, Vol 25, No 3, 1985, pp 265-290; and Aid and Proposed Arms Sales of F-16s to Pakistan, Congress, 97th Session, Hearings before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 12-17 November 1981.
Rodney W. Jones, 'The military and security in Pakistan', in Craig Baxter (ed), Zia's Pakistan: Politics and Stability in a Frontline State (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985), p 83.
The post-1987 package comprised $2.28 billion in economic and $1.74 billion in military aid. See G.W. Choudhury, Pakistan: Transition From Military to Civilian Rule (Buckhurst Hill, Essex: Scorpion Publishing Ltd, 1988), p 44; Thomas P. Thornton, 'The new phase in US-Pakistan relations', Summer, Foreign Affairs, Vol 68, No 3, 1989, p 151.
Dilara Choudhury, 'Major powers involvement in South Asia,' BIISS Journal (Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies), Vol 7, No 3, 1986, pp 327-331.
See Hafeez Malik, Soviet-Pakistan Relations and Post Soviet Dynamics (London: Macmillan, 1994), p 264; Raja Anwar, trans from Urdu by Khalid Hasan, The Tragedy of Afghanistan (London: Verso, 1988), p 183; and Abdul Samad Ghaus, The Fall of Afghanistan: An Insider's Account (Washington, DC: Pergamon-Brassey's 1987), pp 109-148.
Grant M. Farr, 'Afghan refugees in Pakistan: definitions, repatriation and ethnicity,' in Ewan W. Anderson and Nancy Hatch Dupree (eds), The Cultural Basis of Afghan Nationalism (New York: Pinter Publishers, 1990), p 141.
The News (Rawalpindi), 28 May 1992.
Dawn, (Karachi) 15 October 1992.
Of the 3.27 million refugees around, 44.99% were children, 29.06% were female and 25.95% were male. See South, October, 1982, p 24; Arabia, October, 1982, pp 27-28; Afghan Refugees in Pakistan (Islamabad: Commissioner Afghan Refugees, 1989), pp 8-13; Zafar Malik, 'Afghan influx may increase', Tribune, 2 May 1980, p 4; Nancy Hatch Dupree, 'The demography of Afghan refugees in Pakistan', in Hafeez Malik (ed), Soviet-American Relations with Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan (New York: St Martin's Press, 1987), pp 366-394; and 'A time of terror', Newsweek, 9 June 1986, pp 8-11.
According to a government report, around two million refugees during 1990-94 had gone back to their homes, leaving 1.7 million Afghan refugees remaining in Pakistan. Former Minister for Kashmir Affairs, Northern Areas and Frontier Regions, Majid Malik told to the Senate on 1 September 1998. See Dawn, 2 September 1998.
Grant M. Farr, 'Afghan refugees in Pakistan: definitions, repatriation and ethnicity', in Anderson and Dupree (eds), op cit, Ref 23, p 139.
See Zafar Samdani, 'The Afghan refugees: the human aspect', Pakistan and Gulf Economist, 9-15 October 1982, pp 24-25; and Said Azhar, 'Afghan refugees in Pakistan: the Pakistani view', in Anderson and Dupree (eds), op cit, Ref 23, p 105.
Zafar Samdani, 'Pakistan's forest resources: hazards of depletion', Dawn, 11-17 June 1994.
Inger W. Boesen, 'Honour in exile: continuity and change among Afghan refugees', in Anderson and Dupree (eds), op cit, Ref 23, p 165.
South, October 1982, p 24.
Ibid, p 166.
Farr, op cit, Ref 23, p 139.
Marcel Ackerman, 'Self-reliance/income generating of Afghan refugees in NWFP', Memo to Chief Police Office (Peshawar: September 1982), pp 18-23.
Marvin G. Weinbaum, 'The impact and legacy of the Afghan refugees in Pakistan', in J. Henry Korsen (ed), Contemporary Problems of Pakistan (Oxford: Westview Press, 1993), p 135.
Sultan Ahmad, 'Rs. 100 bn worth smuggling Subverts the Economy', Dawn, 5 November 1993.
R.M.U. Suleman, 'Problems posed by Afghan transit trade', Dawn, Economic & Business Edition, 18-24 March 1995.
The News, 19 March 1994.
The Times, 5 February 1980, p 1.
Arthur Ross, 'In Afghanistan's shadow', Washington Quarterly, Autumn, 1982.
For a broader discussion of the Baluch movement during 1980-90, see Yosef Bodansky, 'The bear on the chessboard: Soviet military gains in Afghanistan', World Affairs, Winter, 1982-83, pp 293-295.
'Repatriation of Afghan refugees', Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Vol 12, No 1, 1988, pp 20-41.
Joseph J. Collins, 'War in Afghanistan: the strategic-military context', in Anderson and Dupree (eds), op cit, Ref 23, p 185.
International Herald Tribune, 16 December 1987, p 3.
Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo alleged that the Afghan Air Force had intruded into Pakistan air-space on 760 occasions in 1986. See 'Junejo warns of action if DRA violates border', Karachi Domestic Service (7 January 1987), reported in FBIS-SAS-87-005 (8 January 1987), p F1.
Richard Nixon, Seize The Moment: America's Challenge in a One-Superpower World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), p 91.
Bob Woodward, Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-87 (London: Simon and Schuster, 1987), pp 310-311.
Ibid, p 72.
Tara Kaetha, 'The weaponisation of Afghanistan', Strategic Analysis, Vol XIX, No 10-11, 1997, pp 1396-1398.
Edward R. Girardet, Afghanistan: The Soviet War (London: Croom-Helm, 1985), p 67.
The extravagant lifestyles of some of the Peshawar leaders, reminiscent of the Contra leaders in Miami, with their many homes and cars, investments in businesses in Pakistan and abroad, and secret Swiss bank accounts, have disillusioned many commanders.
Newsweek, 23 March 1987, pp 32-33; and Jan Goodwin, Caught in the Crossfire (London: Macdonald, 1987), pp 45-46.
See the discussion in Tim Weiner, Blank Check: Pentagon's Black Budget (New York: Warner Brothers, 1990), pp 152-153.
The Stinger anti-aircraft missile was the key system in this connection. While it was exactly what the Afghan mujahideen needed to counter the Soviets' deadly use of advanced MiGs and Hind helicopter gunships, it was also a fearsome weapon for terrorists. Many within the CIA opposed transfer of Stingers. In fact, a dozen or more did fall into Iranian hands. From 1984 onwards, the Reagan Administration and State Department was pressed hard by Congress and especially by Senator Gordon Humphrey to make good on the administration's professed policy aim of steadily increasing the military, political and diplomatic pressure on the Soviets in Afghanistan. After the conclusion of the 1988 Geneva accords that paved the way for Soviet withdrawal, it was congressional pressure that led the Reagan Administration to abandon its approach of discontinuing aid to the mujahideen as a quid pro quo for Soviet withdrawal in favour of a policy of 'symmetry' that linked the US military aid to the mujahideen groups to comparable Soviet aid for the Kabul regime. See Rosanne Klass, 'Afghanistan: the accords', Foreign Affairs, Vol 66, 1988, pp 929-930, 934-936; and Jay Peterzell, Reagan's Secret Wars, CNSS Report No 108 (Washington, DC: Centre for National Security Studies, 1984), p 12.
Lamb, op cit, Ref 6, pp 42, 223.
Ibid, pp 94, 223.
The Economist, (London) 20 December 1987.
Jonathan Beatty and S.C. Gwynne, The Outlaw Law Bank (New York: Random House, 1993), p 259.
Ikramul Haq, 'Pak-Afghan drug trade in historical perspective', Asian Survey, Vol XXXVI, No 110, 1996, p 954.
Haq, op cit, Ref 60, p 954.
The Washington Post, (13 May 1990); Tara Kartha, "The Diffusion of Light Weapons in Pakistan", Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol 8, No 1 (Spring 1997), p 73; and Sankar Sen, "Heroin Trafficking in the Golden Crescent", The Police Journal, Vol LXV, No 3 (July 1992), pp 251-255.
Melvyn Levitsky, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics, on Drug Trafficking to House Committee (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 8 January 1989), pp 235-456.
See editorial, The Pakistan Times, 6 April 1995; Pakistan Narcotics Control Board, Survey on Drug Abuse in Pakistan (Islamabad: Narcotics Control Board, 1988-89), pp 7-86; and Ikramul Haq, Pakistan From Hash to Heroin (Lahore: Annoor Printer & Publishers, 1991).
The Soviet Mikhail Timofeyvich Kalashnikov designed the AK-47. This gun is a status symbol in Pakistan. During the Afghan war many Russian soldiers and mujahideen sold them to people.
The Guardian, 15 December 2000, p 17. Dara Adamkhel (NWFP) produces original Russian and Chinese-made Kalashnikovs within 20 days. The Soviet-made Kalashnikov costs Rs 30,000 and the Dara Adamkhel-made Pakistani version costs only Rs 10,000. See details in P.L. Bhola, Benazir Bhutto: Opportunities and Challenges (Jaipur: Yuvraj Publishers, 1989), pp 90-99.
Sankar Sen, 'Heroin trafficking in the Golden Crescent', The Police Journal, July 1992, p 254.
Newsweek, 27 March 2000, p 16.
These weapons are cheaper than in the international market, and the trend of sales within Pakistan seems to have tilted towards smaller weapons like pistols and multi-barrel guns for which there is rising demand. See Tara Kartha, 'The diffusion of light weapons in Pakistan', Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol 8, No 1, 1997, p 80; and The Guardian, 15 December 2000, p 17.
John Bussey, 'To the feuds, malaise and guns of Pakistan comes the free market', Wall Street Journal, 31 July 1991.
William D. Hartung, And Weapons For All (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994), p 123.
Herald, September 1992, pp 23-28.
Asia Week, 13 July 1985, pp 9-11.
Galemjam is a Persian word meaning 'Carpetfolding', but in the frontier region people normally use this word for prostitutes. General Abdul Rashid Dostom's forces during the Afghan war, whenever they captured towns, looted and seized valuable material (jewellery, money, food and antiques) and ran away, and people called them Galemjam (to fold or steal things and run).
In Islamabad, the G-9 and G-10 sectors are full of Afghan refugees, and most of the illicit business of Galemjam (prostitution) is run in these areas. BBC - Monitoring. Summary of World Broadcasts Part. 3 Asia-Pacific, Third Series FE/2005, 23 November 1986; and The Muslim, (Islamabad) 13 August 1993.
The Afghan War became a big ideological battle between the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States spent approximately $250 million to established religious institutions inside Afghanistan and Pakistan to counter Communist propaganda. In the same way, Saudi Arabia contributed $140 million to publish Islamic literature and the holy book, the Quran. Kuwait and UEA also provided $80 million to support religious scholars and students. See 'Islam and Afghan War', The New York Times, 28 February 1986; Gordievsky, 'War of ideology', International Security, (Moscow) Vol 5, No 1, 1984, pp 18-34; Pravda, 28 October 1982; and Syed Abbas Hashmi, Islam and Communism (Shirz: Hadir Books, 1984), pp 32-67.
See Jessica Stern, 'Pakistan's Jihad culture', Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2000, p 119.
The Times (London), 17 July 2001.
Dawn (Karachi), 24 September.
The Frontier Post (Peshawar), 5 May 1999.
Dawn (1 January 1998); and Zahid Hussain, 'Pakistan: hostage to the Mullahs,' Newsline (May 1992), pp. 28-32.
Dawn (1 January 1998); and see Zahid Hussain, 'Pakistan: hostage to the Mullahs', Newsline (Karachi), May 1992, pp 28-32.
V. A. Jaffarey, 'Pakistan Economy Under Zia Era,' The Muslim (18 April 1989).
Eqbal Ahmad, 'The conflict within', Dawn, 15 February 1998; Tara Kartha, op cit, Ref 69, p 81; The World Bank, World Development Report 1988 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), p 193.
The World Bank, World Debt Tables: External Debt of Developing Countries, Vol II: Country Tables, 1989 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp 290-293.
Omar Noman, Political Economy of Pakistan (London: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp 35-56.
The Military Balance (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1987-88), pp 78-175.

06-08-2010, 02:19 AM
Manana for the article. I would like to add something that blaming corruption of pakistani elites on Khad and KGB as well as gilamjam culture is a little too much. Heera mandi and other halls of prostitution were all over Subcontinent. In fact historically it is tied to the kaneez culture during the Mughals. Also, it would be nice if Hilali mentioned a few things:

- durand line was not agreed by the taliban (the same group pak isi and army supported), nor by Dr. Najibullah.
- the impact the war had on Afghanistan and FATA in a little more detail.
- Drugs or Kalashnikov culture is not embedded in Afghanistan either. It too, was an outcome of the soviet-Afghan war.

I guess like they say, you sow what you reap.

06-08-2010, 04:59 AM
Thanks Dear for the Article. I always pointed out little by little to what you have above and my main argument was that Pakistan developed because of afgan war.


06-15-2010, 08:16 PM
I never understood how a country can develop from someone elses war, Pakistan is suffering more than its benefiting..
You mean Pakistan should of been Suffering and not benefiting. My Dear Lady Do you have any knowledge of Economics? If not this is not easy to understand, from average people's prospective people assume and believe in what Government says. This is Governments job in making sure people are always in scares. In the mean time rich gets richer and poor poorer. This is a fact. I wish you would been born and seen how Pakistan grew from nothing into a super-power all within less then 15 years foreign Aid. Sure the people are effected by country buildup, one of the example is Cheap labor.

06-15-2010, 08:25 PM
Pakistan is suffering more than its benefiting..

The Pakistani army & government officials have benefited not the average Pakistani citizen.

Master Khan
06-15-2010, 08:25 PM
I never understood how a country can develop from someone elses war, Pakistan is suffering more than its benefiting..
Pashtun are suffering the most in Pakistan:cryy:

06-16-2010, 07:41 AM
I never understood how a country can develop from someone elses war, Pakistan is suffering more than its benefiting..
Just like how Israel is benefiting by oppressing Palestinians, just like how Iran can impose it's influence in Afghanistan since we are in war, and just like how America is benefiting by putting at least half of the world butt-on-butt.

06-20-2010, 12:16 AM
Just like how Israel is benefiting by oppressing Palestinians, just like how Iran can impose it's influence in Afghanistan since we are in war, and just like how America is benefiting by putting at least half of the world butt-on-butt.

America is a super-power. America even has England as its puppet. Look at what Obama made BP pay up. Israel is not benefiting at all. Explain how they are benifiting.

06-20-2010, 08:40 PM
^ The fact they are being protected regarding Gaza even if it's their own fault, I see this as more than just benefiting. And of course, all the hysteria that's being brought up as soon as someone makes even an ordinary comment regarding Jews.