When the USA was active in Afghanistan, the Pakistan-Taliban duo left no stone unturned in using American arms and ammunition, to funnel their own agendas. Now, even after the USA ditched Afghanistan, the duo is continuing its legacy of sucking every bullet from the proverbial American gun.
Modern US weapons being sold in Pakistan
A huge amount of modern weapons (worth billions of dollars) left by the American military in Afghanistan have been tunneled into Pakistan’s gun market. The shopkeepers selling these high ended weapons are branding them as “Ameriki Fauj Ka Maal-e-Ganimat” (unsolicited gift from the army of the USA). These gun markets are mainly concentrated in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Gujranwala.
According to a report by India TV, Pakistan shopkeepers felt immense pride in selling American weapons handed over to them by the Taliban. They said- “since Taliban are our brothers, every Pakistani feels pride in buying these goods”. They even admitted that the weapons were ‘loot-ka-maal (weapons)’. The main categories of weapons being sold in the markets include pistols, rifles, grenades, binoculars, night-vision goggles, bulletproof jackets, spycams, normal taser guns, taser sticks, and accessories of assault weapons .
Taliban denies the selling of weapons
The Taliban however, has denied the reports. In an interview with New York Times, Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesperson said- “I totally deny this; our fighters cannot be that careless, even a single person cannot sell a bullet in the market or smuggle it.” He added- “all American weapons captured during the war are all listed, verified and are all saved and secure under the Islamic Emirate (the Taliban’s name for Afghanistan) for the future army.”
$83 billion worth of arms and ammunition left by America
Recently, American forces disappeared from Afghanistan without signaling any prior intent about their evacuation. They simply cut off the electricity supply from their Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, and silently fled to their homeland, leaving behind enormous military equipment worth more than $83 billion. This equipment included arms and ammunition along with helicopters and other military vehicles. The choppers, which were stationed to provide air support to the US military’s set-up in the war-torn country, are now being used by the Taliban for playful swinging and other purposes.
USA got played by Pakistan and Afghanistan
After the 9/11 attack on the twin towers in the United States, the USA invaded the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to capture the Al-Qaeda mastermind – Osama Bin Laden. Within two months, it had become clear to the USA that Bin Laden had left Afghanistan and taken refuge in another country, most probably Pakistan. Still, the George Bush administration decided to keep the war going in Afghanistan. To get regional support, the USA started to build a proper army full of Afghan nationals, loyal to the USA. Over a period of 20 years, subsequent Afghan leaders spent trillions of dollars in Afghanistan to provide a huge range of arms, ammunition, and other supporting weapons, to the Afghan army.
A Defense Ministry spokesperson, Major Rob Ludwick said– “Since 2005, the U.S. military has provided the Afghan national defense and security forces with many thousands of small arms, ranging from pistols to medium machine guns,”.
The modern arms and weapons which were supposed to be used by Afghan national soldiers, started to get smuggled to Talibani fighters. Talibani fighters were also encouraged by the Pakistani military establishment. The USA had relied on the Pakistani establishment to garner their local level administrative support. But, Pakistan used the American dollars to fund insurgencies in Kashmir on one end, and support the Afghan Taliban on the other. Pakistan was taking aid from the US, and using the same money to fund the Taliban’s dilapidated army.
Buoyed by American facilities and trained by the Pakistani military, the Taliban fighters continued the war for 20 long years and forced the US to leave Afghanistan in a worse state than it had inherited.
Buoyed by American facilities and trained by the Pakistani military, the Taliban fighters continued the war for 20 long years and forced the US to leave Afghanistan in a worse state than it had inherited. Now, Taliban has started to galvanise Pashtuns from both Afghanistan as well as Pakistan. It does not seem like a coincidence that American weapons have left Afghanistan and are being sold in Pakistan.