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Thursday, 6 March 2008

Afghanistan The Tortured Country

Nomads and their Caravans

06.03.2008

I have started reading Bob Woodward's book Bush at War. I have read the first 71 pages and it is clear to me that neither George W Bush, nor his close advisers, the CIA Chief, or his assistants nor Donald Rumsfel, the arrogant warmonger defense Secretary, had any clue about Afghanistan, the country they had decided to go to war with. Taliban were the creation of U.S.A and Great Britain to offset the growing influence of Mujahedin whom U.S.A helped militarily in the first place to defeat the Russian forces. The U.S.A has, throughout its history, created its own monsters and when these monsters grow out of control, they become Evil in the eyes of American politicians, and every thing is done to destroy them.

History shows us that no nation has ever conquered Afghanistan. England tried three times to conquer it and was defeated. So were the Russians and now American and Nato forces are struggling to control some areas and failing drastically. U.S.A is a warmonger country, since its inception as a nation, it has been involved directly or indirectly in more than 70 conflicts around the world. But what is disturbing is that Europe is waging a war ten thousand kilometers away in a country which has not raised its finger against them. The excuse is that they want to bring democracy to the country and defeat Taliban, but people who know anything about Afghans, know that it is wishful thinking and not only Europe but even U.S.A and Britain will be defeated in the end.

My intention is not to divulge in the present situation of war and its aftermath, but for some time I have been thinking about the Kochi nomads who have been wandering from the plains of India to the north of Afghanistan and Central asia since centuries, carrying their trade goods and their families with them, and no country has been able to sustain them.

I think the word Kochi is the English corruption of the word Kutchi, the people who live in the north west province of Kutch in the state of Gujarat (India). Kutchi people have been traders for centuries, from the shores of Arabian Sea they established trade with East Africa in the 1600s and had trade links even with somalia.

From the desert of Thar they traveled in caravans through the north-west frontier, crossing the province of Sind (now in Pakistan) up the Khyber Pass and crossed the whole length of Afghanistan, reaching Central Asia, returning to India in summer. These people have always been wanderers, always outside the laws and recognize no borders or governments. They can be friendly if they choose but seldom are, they are fiercely protective of their women and children. Their women are totally independent and wear gypsy dresses, no head scarves and no burkas, and when they camped, they camped outside the limits of the town or city they will be passing and discouraged any stranger who was foolish enough to approach them. Even Afghani people know that any physical contact with them could be dangerous.

The U.S.A's war against Iraq destroyed the ancient civilization of a millennium and its past history and they have achieved the same in Afghanistan. The great cities of Balkh, Ghazni, Qala Bist and Bamian are destroyed by daily bombardment of American and Nato troops. The footprints on the pages of these ancient places left by Alexander the Great, conquerer of India, Darius, Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, are destroyed for ever. And the great travelers like Ibn Batuta, Hsuan Tsang and Marco Polo who wrote fascinating accounts of their travels through Central Asia, Samarkand, China and India, are destroyed by military invasion of so called civilized countries of Europe and America.

Many of you travelers might have heard about these nomads and I would like to hear from those who have been to Afghanistan recently or read about it. What has happened to these romantic wanderers of Central Asia and Afghanistan?
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