American Resistance To Empire

Erdogan/Putin “Bromance” Over, Turkey Stirs-Up Trouble In Afghanistan

[SEE:  The geopolitical significance of the Russian deployment to Afrin ; Turkey ‘ends’ Euphrates Shield campaign in Syria]

Russia’s backing Taliban demand triggers controversy



[Turkish State News Agency]

Moscow has acknowledged on a number of occasion having contacts with the Taliban in Afghanistan

Russia's backing Taliban demand triggers controversy


By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan

Days before a planned conference on Afghanistan in Moscow, Russia’s top diplomat has stirred a new controversy in an already complex situation by echoing the Taliban’s demand for foreign forces’ exit from the war-riddled country.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Zamir Kabulov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Afghanistan, said the Taliban’s longstanding demand for the exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan is ‘justified’.

The Russian envoy said none of Afghanistan’s neighbor is in support of the foreign military presence in Afghanistan.

He also accused Washington of ‘sabotaging’ Russian efforts to help end the Afghan war by boycotting a Moscow meeting planned for mid-April.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has declined to immediately comment on Kabulov’s remarks.

Helay Irshad, a pro-government member of the parliament, told Anadolu Agency that the Russian envoy’s remarks have actually unveiled Moscow’s true ambitions concerning the Afghan crisis.

“It has now been made very clear that Russia, just like Pakistan and Iran, is against the presence of foreign, particularly American, troops in Afghanistan.

They claim to be supporting the on the same page against the emerging threat of Daesh in Afghanistan, but they are actually against the U.S.,” she said.

Irshad stressed that the Afghan government should not back-track from all international and regional forums such as the planned conference in Moscow to present its case

She urged the government to convince the world that the raging violence in Afghanistan would not remain confined to the geographical limits of this country alone.

In February this year, Afghanistan marked the 28th anniversary of the Red Army’s withdrawal from the country. The former Soviet Union lost some 15,000 soldiers during a 10-year occupation of Afghanistan [1979 -1989].

The U.S. has so far lost 2,393 of its soldiers in Afghanistan since toppling the Taliban regime in 2001 with its ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’.

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Americans were behind the then “rebels” — the Mujahideen — and now Moscow seems to be joining hands with the Taliban against the U.S.

The Russian officials, including Kabulov, have publicly acknowledged having “contacts” with the Taliban.

In January, the Taliban wrote an “open letter” to the U.S. President Donald Trump and warned they would not stop fighting unless all foreign forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

In a clear reference to the recent engagement with the Taliban by Russia, Iran, China and Pakistan, Zabehullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, stressed upon the “legitimacy” of the Taliban.

“It is due to this reason that many countries regionally and globally have arrived at a conclusion that it is this nationally supported political-military power (Islamic Emirate) which they should interact and come to an understanding with as a responsible future entity of this country because the other groups and individuals have risen only through foreign support and do not have any foundations among the people,” he wrote.

Recently, a Russian military delegation visited Pakistan’s restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, which has been seen as an apparent sign of converging geostrategic interests.

Pakistan for long has been considered as a close ally of the Taliban despite being a “frontline ally” of the U.S. against the so-called war on terror.

The Pakistan Army took a Russian military delegation – headed by Deputy Chief of General Staff Colonel General Israkov Sergi Yuryevich – to Miramshah, the administrative headquarters of North Waziristan Agency, and Wanna, the administrative headquarters of South Waziristan Agency.

This is the first time a Russian military delegation was flown to the region.

It is worth noticing the same tribal region between Pakistan and Afghanistan was the epicenter of U.S.-backed “Mujahideen”, who were equipped and trained by Pakistan Army against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

Brig. Mohammad Arif, a former Afghan National Army officer, told Anadolu Agency that the Moscow government has begun a new “gamble”.

“Initially, when the Americans toppled the Taliban, the Russians were of the opinion that the U.S. should only leave the country after removing the threats of terrorism, but now their stance that the foreign troops should leave Afghanistan demonstrates they are confronting the American boots in Afghanistan openly,” he said.

Arif said turning Afghanistan into a battleground for greater power could reverse all the gains in different areas the country has achieved in the relative peace recently.

The Trump administration is yet to announce its strategy on Afghanistan in regard to the number of boots on the ground.

Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of the American-led international military force in Afghanistan, has urged Washington to deploy ‘a few thousand’ more troops in Afghanistan to overcome the “stalemate” in this conflict that has entered 16th year.

Currently, there are some 13,300 foreign troops stationed in Afghanistan, 8,400 of whom are American.

Mass-Murder At Another Pakistani Sufi Shrine, But This Time It Probably Isn’t “Terrorism”

Custodian of shrine confesses to killing 20 disciples in Sargodha


Devastated relatives wait near the shrine (Photo: EPA)


SARGODHA: Abdul Waheed, custodian of a Sufi shrine Ali Muhammad Gujjar Shrine in Chak-95 of Sargodha, has confessed to killing 20 of his devotees on late Saturday night, according to Deputy Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatta.

According to Sargodha Deputy Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatta, “Abdul Waheed and his accomplices first intoxicated the disciples then tortured them with machetes and batons, and killed them. He believes, Abdul Waheed suffers from a ‘critical mental disorder’.

DSP Mianwali’s son is also among those killed.

The custodian claimed that his victims underwent ‘spiritual cleansing’ after they were tortured.

Abdul Waheed’s office card was found from his possession. He works for the Election Commission in Sargodha.

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident.

The incident took place in the premises of Muhammad Ali Gujar Shrine, where the custodian drugged his disciples and then killed them with a club.

There were 15 men and 4 women, while 2 other women were seriously injured and had been shifted to the hospital, said the rescue officials.

The woman reported the incident to the authorities after which heavy contingent of police rushed to the scene and arrested the suspects.

“3 suspects have been arrested from the venue. Drugs were recovered from the trustee’s room in the shrine,” said SP Sargodha, Bilal Iftikhar.

Doctors have found torture marks on the victims’ legs and back. They have said that the people were tortured in intoxicated condition.

After the tragedy, a large number of local people reached the Darbar and indulged in violence breaking whatever came their way. The police had to put in extra efforts to stop the enraged people.

Meanwhile, an Election Commission spokesperson has clarified that Abdul Waheed is not employee of the institutions.

“He retired one year ago,” the spokesperson told media.

Meanwhile, three arrested people have pleaded guilty to the murders. They told police that people were asked to come to shrine through phone calls. “Whoever came, they were killed,” killers told police.

Sources claim the main issue was of the shrine’s seat.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident. He has formed a committee under the regional police officers.

The committee has been told to submit the report within 24 hours.

Moreover, the chief minister has ordered Punjab Auqaf and Religious Affairs Minister Zaeem Qadri to visit the site of the incident.