Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Hussein Askary Discuss Afghan Crisis with Pakistan TV: Morality Dictates West Must Unfreeze Funds
Dec. 17, 2021 (EIRNS)—Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Hussein Askary appeared on Pakistan’s PTV World today, in a live panel dialogue on the extraordinary ministerial of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) dedicated to addressing Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis.
In her intervention, Zepp-LaRouche praised Pakistan for hosting the OIC conference on Afghanistan, given the failure of the West to take responsibility for the enormous risk to life of millions of Afghanis facing starvation and death by exposure without shelter from the winter cold. The Western banks’ withholding the reserve funds of Afghanistan’s central bank is shameful. She promoted her idea for Operation Ibn Sina in creating a health and development path forward for Afghanistan, and hoped that the OIC would incorporate it into its proposals.
The American-NATO defeat by the Taliban was a humiliating experience, but it does not end the responsibility for the well-being of the people of Afghanistan. The given reason for withholding funding is the Taliban’s mistreatment of women and children, but creating the conditions for mass starvation is essentially genocide, and that is what the economic blockade does. Withholding funds may also cause Afghanistan to turn to opium production, which the Taliban opposes. She appealed to the entire world to choose the side of humanity over barbarism.
Responding to another question about the discussion of Afghanistan and the OIC meeting in the West, Zepp-LaRouche emphasized the potential of the human impulse to do good could overcome geopolitics. As an example, she cited the coordination between India and Pakistan to ensure Indian wheat and humanitarian supplies could go to Afghanistan via Pakistan, the shortest route. Another example is the collaboration of the Afghanistan’s neighbors in the Central Asian Republics with Russia and China to maintain trade and aid supplies. If the United States could be induced to make a positive contribution, it would be of global importance in shifting the world paradigm:
“I think the whole destiny of mankind is in a laser, concentrated on what happens in Afghanistan. ... There must be a drumbeat of awakening the conscience of the world, because this is sort of a judgment of our ability as a human species: Are we morally fit to survive or not? ... So in one sense, I think the fate of Afghanistan and the fate of humanity are much more closely connected than most people can imagine.”
Askary, who laid out a development program for Afghanistan in a July 31 Schiller Institute conference devoted to Afghanistan as a “Turning Point in History After the Failed Regime Change Era,” praised Pakistan’s efforts to support the people of Afghanistan, both to release the billions of dollars held by American and European financial institutions and to end sanctions. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has made commendable efforts to these ends. The release of funds is essential, but more is required. The crisis in Afghanistan was not caused by the Taliban, but by 20 years of failure of Western military action. The current situation in Afghanistan will cause the rise of terrorism and of emigration, outcomes that Western nations ostensibly oppose. The geopolitical game must be ended, replaced by the new paradigm exemplified by the Belt and Road Initiative. The immediate crisis must be addressed, but the way must be paved to the long term solution provided by infrastructure, including health infrastructure. The Schiller Institute’s Operation Ibn Sina is a proposal that allows for international cooperation across the geopolitical divide to provide for the common well-being of the people of the world. This is the opportunity presented by the current crisis, an opportunity that must be fought for.
Askary explained that in Europe and the US. media coverage of Afghanistan has disappeared. Although there are many Nordic organizations urging for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, their appeals receive scant coverage. But with the push among geopolitical institutions to oppose China and Russia, there is little room to support useful efforts.
He emphasized that Muslim nations have been pitted against each other by British imperial geopolitics, as happened in Libya, Syria, and Yemen. But the age of geopolitics has ended with the U.S./NATO failure in Afghanistan and a new paradigm beckons, based on economic cooperation. The Islamic nations should join this new paradigm. He also spoke to the importance of India taking its rightful position as an Asian nation rather than an Atlanticist one, working with Pakistan and other neighbors of Afghanistan such as China.
He closed by stressing that although narratives may appear to have a certain power, “it is reality which will determine the outcome of things.”