Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, October 20th, 2018

The Second Bon Conference

The second Bon conference is about to be started within few days. Recently, there have been some protests against it but slogans chanted against it made no sense indeed. Because those slogans were against permanent military bases or foreign military involvement, both of which have nothing to do with Bonn conference.

In the case of US permanent military bases in the country, already Loya Jirga approved it. And the foreign countries' engagement will also withdraw troops on previously fixed schedule. So, why parts of the Afghan people are angry with second Bonn Conference? No doubt, there are political circles within the country opposing foreign countries' involvement in the country. These circles include a large spectrum—taken from Taliban sympathizers to Tehran and Islamabad's supporters.

Both Islamabad and Tehran are against the any strategic deal between Kabul and Washington which would legalize the presence of US military bases. During past years, Pakistan has remained beside international community to fight terrorism and al-Qaeda. The alliance has already proved costly for Pakistan as the violence graph against civilians as well as security establishment has risen staggeringly. More than ever, the calls for cutting ties with the United States have found remarkable supporters within Pakistanis.

Likewise, Tehran views a successful democracy in Afghanistan as success for Washington. Its very foreign policy is based on to challenge US strategies and activities and create quagmire in extent that Washington does not find opportunity to pressurize Tehran. So, both neighbors view international community's engagement as challenge to their foreign policies and strategies.

The situation was not like this at all at first Bonn conference. Taliban regime was a threat to Tehran. And a global hatred of Taliban and its Al-Qaeda ally forced Islamabad to shift away. The situation is different now. Pakistan has already boycotted the conference. Tehran is under severe pressure from international community over its suspicious nuclear program. There is no regime by the name of Taliban, though its loyal elements still challenge security situation in Afghanistan.

The will to fight to insurgencies and democratize Afghanistan has declined largely and militarily' engaged countries are under growing pressure to withdraw.

In such a circumstance, second Bonn conference is going to be held. And its main aim is to assess past achievements and establish framework for the future. So, hopefully, Kabul foreign allies have learnt much from the past mistakes and design stronger and effective policies to support Afghanistan stand on its own feet.