Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

The Failed Experiment

Security strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan are replete with ambiguity, friction and divergence. Few coordinated steps are taken to settle the chronic issue. Current security policies and practices are insufficiently corresponding and thus result in no practical outcomes. In the course of last ten years, the countries involved in Afghan mission and the fight against militants in Pakistan have frequently asserted the need for coherent measures to end terrorism.

Moreover, great lessons are learnt from past performances in the fight against terrorism but little is recognized and put into practice. Afghanistan, Pakistan and America have long formed a triangle directly copping with terrorism and militancy in the region.

Terrorism hotbeds lying across the Pakistani unruly tribal belt bordering Afghanistan remains the most dangerous place on earth and exports attackers to Afghanistan and all over Pakistan.

Militant groups operating in the area were offered advantageous packages to halt offensives and, in the meanwhile, keep their arms.

Such tactical measures proved counterproductive and led to an increasing wave of militancy across Pakistan and the rising insecurity in Afghanistan.

The governments in Pakistan and Afghanistan, supported by International community, viewed the peaceful approaches towards terrorism with over-optimism and waited for gunmen to lay down arms and embrace peace and grasp the generous offers put forward.

Over-optimism led to naivety and impractical strategies. This provided enough space for terrorists to reorganize and resume bullying with tougher operations.

With the peace process coming to end in Afghanistan by assassination of Afghan chief negotiator, President Karzai pressed the reverse button in talks with Taliban. Looking at the status quo and the annals in fight against terrorism, president Karzai's decision appeared practical and objective.

The move was initially supported by American officials, Afghanistan's main ally in the war on terror.

However, divergences came out later. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later on signaled that the United States remains open to exploring a peace deal including the Haqqani network, the militant group that U.S. officials blame for a campaign of high-profile violence.

In a separate occurrence demonstrating ambiguity and divergence in the fight against terrorism, on Tuesday, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said his country will hold peace talks with Taliban insurgents if they lay down their arms. Both sides have indicated recently they were open to talks, but analysts are skeptical the Taliban will ultimately agree.

Pakistan holds enough failed experience of talks and peace accords with Taliban and so does Afghanistan.

Negotiation game is carried on amidst increasingly sophisticated and harsh attacks in both countries.

Terrorists have been struggling to convince governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan that they will leave no stone unturned to restore violence and instability in the region.

However, some government decision makers doubt if they are serious.

Amidst political instability and the increasingly divergent approaches in relations among state braches, Taliban's extremely organized offensives, suicide attacks, high profile assassinations, hit-and-run operations and road side bombings have extremely increased in Afghanistan in comparison to those before the reconciliation process was launched.

Pakistan may also undergo the experiment if it embraces the ideologically violence-seeking Taliban.