Part-2/5: Who Made Afghanistan A Bleeding Wound
……..Hundreds of thousands of tons of arms and ammunition were distributed among Mujahidden, several billion dollars were spent on this immense logistic excercise and ISI teams regularly entered Afghnistan alongside the Mujahideen.
The task of ISI was to keep the Afghan Parties stocked with supplies , and deliver it to hundreds of commanders , scattered all over Afghanistan, to fight effectively.
There were also Pakistan ISI officers who had been arrested for accepting bribes from Mujahideen Commanders in exchange for the issue of extra weapons well above their allocation.
But at the same time, ISI also did not want to a unified force of all the seven Parties, so ISI was creating differences among them. And these parties were made so much against each other that they did not want even to sit in one room with each other when there would be meeting with ISI personels. And ISI would conduct meetings with them separtely.
The commanders were scattered in Afghanistan. And every one wanted the weapons, money , training etc but we told them that “you will have to join any one of the seven Prites and ISI will give you money weapons and training otherewise not.” So we compelled them to join any one of the seven party which were completely under ISI control. ( Brig. Yousaf).
And thus due to Pakistan enmity to Afghanistan, Afghans were killing Afghans and destroy their own country Afghansitan and Pakistan was collecting money from the world on the name of Jihad . Pakaistan became Pakistan due to Afghanistan wars on the name of Jihad.
I(Brig.Yousaf) was to have many meetings with Party Leaders during any time with ISI, discussing logistics, training and coordinating operation but I did most of my nuts and bolts business with memebers of their military committees.
Couresy of the CIA and their spy satellites over Afghanistan , operation room walls of Afghan Bureau were covered with excellent large -scale maps. They showed a rash of red symbols and Pins. These portrayed the known locations of dozens of different formations and units , both ground and air in Afghanistan.
I (Brig.Yousaf) find it hard to believe that the Soviet High Command was not putting powerful pressure on their political leaders to allow them to strike at Pakistan. After all , the American had expanded the Vietnam war into Laos and Combodia which had been used as secure bases by the Viet Cong. However, the War with the Soviets would have been the end of Pakistan , I had to keep constantly in mind during those years. But the Soviet never felt that they were fighting for any pariticular cause. They fought just to stay alive and they killed to keep from getting killed.
But unfortunately the same scenario exists today when USA and its allies invaded Afghanistan. They invaded Afghanistan because 9/11 had been planned by the Al-Qaeda harbored by Taliban. Al Qaeda training camps were in Afghanistan. But USA and its allies knew that the militants are trained in the training camps provided by Pakistan. So the insurgency in Afghanistan was harbored by Pakistan, then why USA and its Allies did not invade and bomb Pakistan?
As a result Afghan people now think that helping and ignoring Pakistan’s insurgency in Afghanistan, USA and its allies did not want to win the war against the insurgency in Afghanistan but leave Afghanistan as a bleeding wound. After all USA has replaced the British Empire who had made Afghanistan a bleeding wound before 1947 directly and after 1947 indirectly through its illegal child “Pakistan”.
The guerrillas( Mujahideen) could obtain reinforcements , supplies and sanctuary across the borders in Pakistan organized by Afghan Bureau.
No army and even a guerrilla one, can fight a prolonged campaign without bases with lines of communication leading from then to the troops in the field. And Pakistan provided all these facilities becuase Pakistan Knew that the longer an army’s line of communication, the weaker the force in the field.
Our plans envisaged concentrating attacks on Kabul which DG ISI saw as the centre of gravity of the Afghan regime and army.
Many American officials appeared to regard it as God-given opportuniy to kill Soviets , without any US lives being endangered. (Brig. Yousuf)
American aircrafts usually arrived at around 9.00 PM or just before dawn. I (Brig.Yousuf) and General akhtar along with local CIA staff would be waiting at chaklala Airbase for huge black C-141 Starlifter. In order to distract attention it was normal practice on these occassions for the Ambassador to arrange a diplomatic dinner at the Embassy. The aircraft had flown non-stop from Washington. On the ground ISI would provide an armed outer perimeter guard and the US crew member was always on board on a 24-hour basis.
William Casey, director of National Security committe (NSC),chairman of US intelligence board and director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was arriving on of his annual two-day visits to Pakistan for discussions with DG ISI and myself on the situation of Afghanistan.(Brig.Yousaf).
like other CIA officers , Mr.Casey regarded Afghanistan as the place where America could be avenged for its defeat in Vietnam but unfortunately on the cost of 2 millions afghan lives and complete destruction of Afghanistan.
Ronald Reagan with Afghanistan Mujahideen
These gentlemen(Afghan Mujahideen) are moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.( Ronald Reagan 1985)
The people we are fighting today in Afghanistan , we funded them 20 years ago ( Hillary Clinton).
Casey always flew out Islambad , as he had arrived at night. He was on his way to Saudi Arabia to meet his opposite number , Prince Turkie , for discussions on that government’s financila contribution to the Jehad for the coming year.
The funds were transferred by CIA to special accounts in Pakistan under the control of ISI. Without money nothing moves, particularly in Pakistan. This was the responsibility of DG ISI and his director of Administration to distribute all these funds which was 80 percent used in Pakistan and 20 percent was spent on the Jihad in Afghanistan.
Some of CIA/Saudi Arabian funds were spent outside , buying arms and ammunition. in 1983 approximately 10,000 tons weapons were received, rising to 65,000 tons in 1987. The type of weapons purchased ranged from small arms through to anti-tank and anti-aircraft (AA) roecket launchers and guns, all of it handled by 200 men from the Ministry of Defence Constabulary (MODC) with four fork lift trucks , wokring seven days a week, month after month.
The great bulk of weapons came from China , Egypt and later on from Isreal. The CIA would arrange and pay shipment to Karachi, notifying us of arrived dates. Once the vessel docked , the ISI took over storage and distribution. On occasion arms would be flown to Islamabad from Chinese , American , Saudi Arabia or PAF ( Pakistan Air Force) planned.
As usual Pakistan army was also making money in the supply of ammunition. A Pakistani arms merchent ( on the front) pulled a once-in-a-lifetime deal with the buyer. He persuaded the CIA to purchase 30 million rounds of 303 rifle through his overseas office , without revealing the true source of the ammunition. At about 50 cents a round . Unknown to the CIA , the ammunition came from old stocks of the Pakistan Army which no longer used this weapon. A ship was duly loaded , sailed out from Karachi for a few days , turned around , and we were nofitifed by CIA that our ammunition had arrived. This ammunition was from Pakistan Ordinance Factory ( POF).
Once the headlines in the Washington Post of 8 May , 1987 revealed the truth that AFGHAN REBEL AID ENRICHES GENERALS.
Corruption is a way of life in Pakistan.
Turkey was also selling their outdated weapons which were withdrawn from the Turkish army 30 years before, and their manufacturing date was 1940-1942.As in these deals Pakistan Army had also been involved , so Pakistan got from Turkey 60,000 rifles , 8,000 light machine guns , 10,000 pistols and over 100 million rounds of ammunition.
A US Congressman had a lot of gain if the sale went a head. So many CIA officials connected with the arms procurement progragme.(Brig.Yousaf).
Switzerland also got its share to sell its 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns.
Every country was beneficiary from the war in Afghanistan and Afghanistan was being destroyed. Millions of Afghan weare killed, 5 millions were internally displaced and five millions became refugees in Pakistan and Iran. Yes Afghanistan was destroyed and the game of destruction of Afghanistan is continued till to date.
Brigadier Yousaf writes in his book ,” Once a CIA expert came to me . He was of the opinon that Mujahideen sympathizers, working at workshops or airports should be given this contaminent to mix the fuel in vehicle or aircraft tanks. I explained to him that it would not kill so many people”
Just imagine this evil ( Brig. Yousaf) says that it will not kill so many people. As always Pakistan has a great thurst for the more blood of Afghans.
CIA wanted to interfer in the allocation of weapons , accusation of corruption and pressing to take over both the training of the Mujahideen and to advise on operation. CIA was anxious to set up their own organizations office at Rawalpindi , but they were never permitted to do so by the government of Pakistan.
To sum up: the CIA’s tasks in Afghanistan were to purchase arms and equipment and arrange their transportation to Pakistan; provide funds for purchase of vehicles and transportation inside Pakistan and Afghanistan ; train Pakistani instructors on new weapons or equipment; provide satellite photographs and maps for operational planning; provide radio equipment and training , and advise on technical matters when so requested. The entire planning of the war , all types of training of the Mujahideen and the allocation and distribution of arms , money and supplies were the sole responsibilities of the ISI , and Afghan Bureau office in particular. (Brig.Yousuf).
As soon as the arms arrived in Pakistan , the CIA’s responsibility ended. From then on it was ISI pipeline , its organization, that moved , allocated and distributed every bullet that the CIA procured.
Arms and ammunition is useless sitting at a depot. it needs to be in the hands of the user, so Afghan Bureau kept the flow moving towards Afghanistan. At least 80 per cent of all arms and ammunition used in Afghanistan passed through Afghan Bureau warehouse in Ojhri , yet the secret was kept. (Brig.Yousuf).
The CIA placed funds each month in the ISI controlled bank account.
Brigadier Afzal Janjua with Haqqani
ISI were sending Pakistani military personnel into Afghanistan from 1981. I (Brig.Yousaf) know because it was part of my job to select the individuals and brief them as to their task. Their mission was to accompany Mujahiddeen on special operations, they acted as advisers , assissting the commander in carrying out his task. They were at their peak in 1984 , when no less than eleven such team operated , seven against Kabul , two against Bagram airfield and two around the Jalalabad. All these Pakistanis were in the staff of ISI. Officers and NCO’s( non-commissioned officers) were posted to ISI from all branches of the Pakistan Army. Normally a team would consist of an officer ( usually a major) , a JCO and an NCO , one of whom had to be a Pushto speaker.
These officers and NCOs had to live and fight as the Mujahideen. During the Jehad in Afghanistan these officers performed admirably , nothing ever went seriously wrong and no body was captured or killed. These men were great credit to Pakistan army. They each received awards.
ISI had seven camps for training the Muhideen, four near Peshawar and three around quetta. ISI had trained 80,000 Mujahideen in Pakistan and many thousands more had done so in Afghanistan. The completely secrecy was the name of the game. Nobody outside of the Afghan Bureau knew about what is going on there.
In the eyes of its people and the world, Kabul was very important. All roads in Afghanistan eventually lead to Kabul.
D.G ISI , General Akhter Abdul Reham said . “Kabul is the key. KABUL MUST BURN.”
Brigadier Yousuf further writes:
ISI strategy had three features: First , there was a concerted effort to coordinate attacks aimed at cutting Kabul from supplies or facilities coming from outside the city. This involved ambushes on convoyes on roads leading to Kabul, the mining of dams and provided its water, or cutting its power lines.
Second was sabotage and assassination from within. The targets were Soviets , government officials and their facilities in Kabul.These attacks could range from a knife between the shoulder blades of Soviet soldier shopping in the bazaar , placing of breifcase bomb in a senior official’s office, placing bomb under the dining-room table of Kabul University in late 1983.
ISI made numerous attempts to kill Dr.Najibullah , both when he was head of KHAD and after he became the President. ( Brig. Yousaf).
The third way of hitting Kabul was by stand-off long-range rocket attacks.Tens of thousands of rockets have fallen on the city and its environments during the war. However a lot of innocent civilian caualities were taking place but if ISI had ceased to attack Kabul because of the possibility of hitting civilians it would have pulled the carpet from under fundamental strategy. ( Brig. Yousaf)
For two hours from 9.00 pm the sky over Kabul was normally the backdrop for a spectacular firework display, with dozens of rockets roaring through the darkness.
Gerneral Akhtar had an obsession with Kabul. He was adamant that attacks on Kabul should have priority over all others. Keeping the pressure on the capital was fundamental theme of ISI strategy.
Because of its importance the majority of the Pakistani teams of Advisers were used against Kabul. General Akhtar instructed to step up the pressure on the city in 1984 , so of the eleven teams sent in that year severn were used against Kabul. The Targets were Kabul airfield, Darulaman Palace, Kharga garrison , the Soviet Embassy , Microrayan, Rishkoor garrison and Chihilasatoon. Each team also had alternative targets.
In less than half an hour, all sixty rockets had gone and the Rishkoor complex was burning brightly. Like the other Pakistani teams , the major and his two NCOs were later congratulated and decorated by the President.
Brigadier Yousaf had gone to Afghanistan himself to coordinate the assault , and to send in several Pakistani teams of advisers with various Commanders.
The Pakistan Army in the NWFP (North west frontier province) was on full alert and indeed had deployed units forward to prepared positons-just in case.
When America supplied the stingers,in the ten-months period , 187 Singers were used in Afghanistan. Of these 75 per cent hit aircraft. By this time every province , except for three , had them.
The Soviet Union was defeated in Afghanistan.
The Soviets Kept to their withdrawl timetable exactly. They wore their medals and some took their pet dogs. It was a more or less degnified departure. Their diplomats did not have to climb desperately on to the last helicopter from the roof of their Emabassy , as the Americans had done in Saigon 14 years earlier. (Brig.Yousaf)
On the same date, thousands of miles away, at the CIA headquarters at Langley , Virginia, William Webster , the man who had replaced Casey as director, gave a champaign party. The toasts were to victory; the Vietnam debacle had been reversed on the cost of complete destruction of Afhanistan and two million afghan lives.
But USA and its allies left Afghanistan on the mercy of Pakistan Army , ISI and establishment.
Pakistan used Mujahideen to destroy their own country .
The Afghan Interim Government (AIG) had been formed in December, 1988 and was sitting in Peshawar. Peshawar politics became more important than military operations.
AIG which was basically controlled by the seven parties, backed by Pakistan which seemingly with the support of ISI, selected jalalabad as their target of their post-Soviet strategy. They thought to abondon guerrilla warfare. Jalalabad was tempting because it was so close ( 50 Kilometer) to Peshawar border of the Parrot’s Beak. This meant that Mujahideen reinforcements and supplies should have quick and easy access to the front line. A main road led over the Khyber pass to Peshawar. A victory at Jalalabad would enable the AIG to move forward with ease to Jalalabad. Mujahideen and ISI were terrbily defeated. General Hamid Gul was removed from his post at ISI in June ,1989 when it was clear to every body that Jalalabad was a catastrophe………. to be continued……
Mashal Khan Takkar
Editor in Chief
THE VOICE TIMES