Why Afghan NDS Arrested Afghan Journalist Sherzad

By Sajjad Shaukat

An Afghan journalist named Muslim Sherzad has been arrested by Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) for his alleged negative remarks contrary to Afghanistan government’s official stance. According to Afghan media, the journalist during telephonic conversation in a talk show on September 9, 2019 telecast on Pakistan’s Aaj News TV with Muniza Jehangir, stated: “Afghanistan is not an independent country at present and is an occupied state”. He also justified ongoing armed resistance of Taliban and said: “Afghanistan in collaboration with India is promoting militancy in Pakistan…Afghan security forces are unprofessional and involved in crimes against humanity”.

According to Afghan National Security Council spokesman Kabir Haqmal the said “journalist has been repeatedly warned for his negative stance of propagating positive approach about Taliban and Pakistan. His statement in Pakistani media is against the interest of Afghanistan and is also contradictory to the principles of journalism”.

Sherzad is a Tajik journalist who hails from Kabul. He is quite influential and son-in-law of Ustad Atta Mohammad Noor, Ex-governor of Balkh province.

In fact, since the occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO forces, the country has become center of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which are in connivance to obtain the covert designs of the their countries and some Western countries against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. Under the cover of fighting terrorism, these foreign agencies which are also in collaboration with the NDS and are supporting the militants of ISIS (Daesh) Afghanistan-based Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including their linked outfits which have been conducting terror-assaults in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the secret strategy of the US-led countries—double game of America. These terrorist groups have also been destabilising Tibetan regions of China and Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan through subversive activities.

In the recent past, the US, India and puppet rulers of Afghanistan shifted the blame game of terror attacks in Afghanistan towards Pakistan. America’s main purpose was not only to pacify their people to divert attention from NATO’s defeatism in Afghanistan and stiff resistance of Taliban against the occupying forces and to justify the prolonged war in Afghanistan, but also to fulfill the secret strategic designs against Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran.

Since Pakistan joined the US war on terror, the country had become special arena of this different war and faced terror-activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, ruthless beheadings of the innocent people, assaults on security personnel and prominent religious figures. Besides blowing children schools and attacking the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, the terrorists, particularly of the Afghan-based Indian-backed TTP also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums, temples, churches and disgraced dead bodies.

In this regard, addressing the ceremony in connection with Pakistan’s Defence Day in Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on September 6, 2018: “Foes of Pakistan had imposed terrorism on us, but we very successfully and valiantly fought this menace…our houses, schools, worship places and leaders were attacked in order to weaken us…over 70,000 Pakistanis were either martyred or injured in the war on terror”.

It is also of particular attention that armed forces of Pakistan have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad which had also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan province. And Pakistan’s primarily intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. But, in the recent past and during the election-campaign of 2019, blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country and failed attempt at the Chinese Consulate in Karachi showed that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage especially to weaken Pakistan and to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative or BRI. Washington and New Delhi have already opposed this project.

With the covert assistance of Afghanistan, especially India has also activated her proxies, including “Pashtoon Tahfuz Movement (PTM) with new offensives to create disturbance and law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and that of Baluchistan. Apart from other similar regions of the country, some terror attacks in these provinces are part of nefarious designs against Pakistan.

Particularly, India and Afghan government which want to prolong the stay of NATO forces in Afghanistan are also playing double game with America. New Delhi knows that after the withdrawal of the NATO forces, Taliban will eliminate the secret network of RAW, the NDS and Mossad in that lawless country. Therefore, these intelligence agencies are particularly using the terrorists of TTP and ISIS in wakening Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Regarding Indian activities in Afghanistan the then NATO commander, Gen. McChrystal had pointed out: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”

It is mentionable that security situation in Afghanistan is well beyond the control of Afghan security forces and the National Unity Government of that country. For all its failure, New Delhi and Kabul has been blaming Pakistan in accordance with their collective agenda which also includes Israel.

Similarly, while taking note of Indian role in Afghanistan, US Republican Senator John McCain had reminded the Obama administration that encouraging India to take a more active role in Afghanistan, while simultaneously criticising Pakistan could be a recipe for disaster.

Now, in backdrop of Afghan Taliban’s successes in maximizing the physical occupation of the country and recent political/diplomatic gains and the US-led prolonged war forced America to have a deal with the Taliban. As RAW and Mossad are in collusion, therefore, it can be predicted that Afghanistan in particular and Pakistan in general will witness a surge in the activities of out-laws, terrorists and the Indian proxies.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has played a key role in the peace talks which started between the US negotiators and the Taliban in the Doha-the capital of Qatar on February 25, this year, and was making progress. In the recent past, America’s special representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and American top officials admitted Islamabad’s positive role in getting the Afghan Taliban to the table for direct talks with the US officials and members of the Afghan government.

Notably, during three-day visit to the US, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan met American President Donald Trump on July 22, 2019. Talking about the Afghan peace process, Trump said that the US appreciates Pakistan’s help in its efforts for bringing peace to Afghanistan. President Trump recognised that he is working with Pakistan to find a way out of the war in Afghanistan by elaborating that America “is seeking help from Pakistan to extricate the US from the long war in Afghanistan…the previous administrations got entangled in”. Trump added: “He has been withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan”.

But, the President Trump had suddenly cancelled the US talks with Taliban on September 9, 2019. He also cancelled secret Camp David meetings with the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, and Taliban leaders, following a car bomb attack in Kabul on September 5, this year, which killed 12 people, including a US soldier. And he said negotiations with the Taliban, which appeared to have been close to a deal, were at an end.

During his visit to the New York City in relation to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan met the President Trump on September 23, this year. Prime Minister Imran pressed Donald Trump to restart dialogue with Afghanistan’s Taliban. He stated at the start of the meeting that “stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan.”

In response, President Trump did not ask PM Imran not to help in restarting America’s talks with the Taliban. It shows that although Trump has cancelled the US dialogue with the Taliban, yet he can again begin the same, as he is unpredictable. Now; President Trump has become lenient towards Pakistan. Instead of blaming Islamabad for cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan and emphasizing to ‘do more’ against terrorism, he is asking for its assistance to ‘help more’ to pull out the US-led NATO forces from that war-torn country.

Nonetheless, arrest of the Afghan journalist Sherzad by the NDS indicates that this Afghan intelligence agency is new connivance with Indian RAW to continue blame game against Pakistan and to weaken the latter through propaganda and terror attacks.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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