1 December, 2011 — The News (Pakistan)
ISLAMABAD: With the Russian threat to cut land routes for supply to NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan battleground may turn into a cold death trap for NATO, defence analysts believe. They say that Pakistan should utilise the opportunity for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan by pulling it out of the American war.
Russia has threatened to cut off NATO supply routes to Afghanistan if the alliance doesn’t compromise on its missile defence plans. “If NATO doesn’t give a serious response, we have to address matters in relations in other areas,” Russian news services reported. Russia’s cooperation on Afghanistan may be an area for review, the news services reported.
Pakistan has already cut the NATO supply route after the Mohmand Agency attack by NATO troops that killed twenty-six Pakistani soldiers. Lt General (retd) Hameed Gul while talking to The News said that Russia would utilise every option to take revenge from the Americans and time has come for the Russians to do this. He said that Russia wants to join hands with Pakistan and Pakistan should re-consider its policy towards Russia. “Americans and NATO troops have been strangled in Afghanistan and time has come for Pakistan to avail the opportunity that it missed on 9/11 to regain the respect and sovereignty”, Gul said.
He mentioned that Americans will have to leave Afghanistan and will ask for concessions and Pakistan should negotiate with them for their exit. If Russia cuts the supply then the route will be from Georgia to Baku and then to Azerbaijan, which means NATO will never get the supply, said Gul.
“Now NATO troops will have to exit Vietnam style, and that too by using Pakistan’s airspace because Iran will never let USA use its airspace”, the retired General said. He mentioned that the war against terror that was started with our own people will come to an end at once and there will be peace in no time once the Americans leave Afghanistan. He said that Indian interests in Afghanistan were growing but India will get nothing from Afghanistan.
Maria Sultan, defence analyst, while talking to this correspondent said that if the Russians also cut the supply line of NATO then it will turn out to be cold death for NATO troops. “They will literally be strangled in Afghanistan with 90000 troops and as they admit that they have reserves for three months which actually means they have reserves for two months and then NATO will have to airlift the troops and during the airlift only 15 to 20 percent can be alive out of the 90000 troops”, Maria said.
She mentioned that in Afghanistan, everything comes from outside and the insurgency this year has been very high as 700 causalities have been reported. Therefore after the Russian decision, Afghanistan will turn into a reverse Kargil for NATO. “They will have weapons but no bullets to fire; and if Pakistan shuts the air corridors on NATO then it would be a cold death for them and America will have to renegotiate with Pakistan”, she said.