‘Peace in region only when US aligns with India’

A key American lawmaker has said that the US-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement is an attempt to placate Pakistan.

Washington: A key American lawmaker has said that the US-Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement is an attempt to placate Pakistan and peace in the region can`t be achieved unless the United States aligns itself with India.

"This agreement locks in failure. It won`t lead to peace because it attempts to placate Pakistan and ignores the cause of the problems-a highly centralised system of government headed by a corrupt clique," said Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

"Peace can only be won when everybody has a seat at the table, power is dispersed and we align ourselves with democratic India," he said.

Rohrabacher, who once was a great supporter of Pakistan, said the causes of the civil war that gripped Afghanistan before 9/11 are not addressed by this agreement.

"Taliban are being used by Pakistan to gain strategic depth against India. The Taliban, who are Pashtun, are roughly 38 per cent of the population, the remaining 62 per cent are Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazaras," he said.

"The president argues we need more time to maintain stability in Afghanistan but more time won’t do any good without major changes in strategy, policy and personnel. The current political structure in place is contrary to the decentralized structure of Afghanistan.

"The political leaders with whom we are allied are corrupt and have no allegiance throughout the country. All this talk of creating a central army in Afghanistan is futile. Afghanistan has be run by tribal militias for thousands of years and that won’t change," he said.

Rohrabacher said this agreement does not address the real problem. It only perpetuates the same system, with the same actors, that have not achieved peace over the last decade, he argued.

"The constitution created in Bonn, Germany in 2002, was a mistake. It created a highly centralized form of government when in fact Afghanistan has always been ruled by a decentralized government. The majority of the Afghans lobbied in Bonn for a parliamentary form a government, but instead they were forced to submit to rule by Kabul," he added.