Two days before the commencement of Istanbul conference, a Karzai-led delegation flied to Turkey to meet Pakistani and Ankara officials. The Istanbul conference scheduled to be held today, November 2, in order to assess a regional cooperation to end the security crisis in Afghanistan and curb the growing threat of terrorism to the region. The trilateral meeting among turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan is largely linked to growing friction between two neighbors that Turkish officials try to lubricate and draw down its level of intensity.
Two events actually have played major role in creating disturbance to otherwise smooth relation between Kabul and Islamabad: the assassination of former president, and chief of High Peace council, Mr. Burhanuddin Rabbani, and second, the attack on US embassy in Kabul. Pakistan intelligence service was blamed directly for both the incidents.
After the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, there were various protests questioning the peace process efforts as well as chanting slogans against Pakistan. In such emotional circumstances, President Karzai and top Kabul officials claimed that neighbor's intelligent service was involved in the matter.
President Karzai even voiced out that it was better to hold talks with Pakistan rather than following a futile effort for building linkage with Taliban-led militants and start negotiation with them.
Moreover, the attack on US embassy and allegations that Haqqani network, which American officials claim maintains link with ISI fueled the tense relation further between Washington and Islamabad, and through that affected its relation with Afghanistan too.
These two events actually pulled the trigger, and Karzai signed a strategic cooperation contract with India that seemingly sent an irritating signal to Islamabad officials.
Now with the ruling tense relation between two countries that their cooperation is seriously in need to curb the alarming threat of terrorism and Al-Qaeda, Turkey wants to play it historic role.
Ankara officials have always played major role and frequently succeeded to resolve problems. However, it is too early to judge about the possible outcomes and of the role of Istanbul among regional countries.
Nowadays, Afghanistan more than ever pushes for trans-regional cooperation, as it is about to sign a strategic cooperation with France and US, perhaps, in order to distort the prevalent conception of notion of a fragile state that will fall back again into political instability. And in such scenario, they will be out to play their own role.
Hopefully, the Istanbul conference provides, however, a gray notion to neighbors that time has arrived to accept an independent and sovereign country. If even a small step is taken in this sphere, it will be a great step for Afghan officials, because building such a notion among neighboring countries will actually end mischievous linkages maintained with insurgencies.