Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 25th, 2020

Decaying Security and Af-Pak Relations


Decaying Security  and Af-Pak Relations

The security situation in Afghanistan and Af-Pak relations do not seem to be improving. Both have been the victims of uneven fluctuations. On some occasions the situation seems to be improving and right on the other everything is lost. Two recent incidents in Kabul (the bombing and shooting on US Embassy and NATO headquarters and other important building in the heart of the city and the killing of the Chief of High Peace Council, the ex-president Professor Burhan ud din Rabbani) seem to be in line with the concept mentioned.

The incidents have not only proved that the security situation is shaky but at the same time has disclosed that the Af-Pak relations are not quite different, as well. Both have never been trusted and can not be said to be reliable.

Though there have been efforts and even serious promises from both the sides on various occasions, yet the situation does not seem to be getting any better. The insecurity in Afghanistan has largely been connected with Pakistan in some way or the other.

Not only, there have been claims that Pakistan has not been doing much in order to take action against the terrorist groups, especially the Haqqani network in its tribal areas but also Pakistan's spy agency has been alleged to have connections with Haqqani network. This time these allegations come so directly from US side.

And quite similar to security situation and Af-Pak relations the Pak-US relations are in the state of gradual decay as well, which do not seem to be getting any better unless concrete, serious and honest measures are taken in this regard, immediately.

It is not a new concept that the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan has been linked to Pakistan as per the blame game that has been going on between Afghanistan and Pakistan and in most of the cases US has been a participant in it, as well.

Definitely, it is quiet right to connect the security situation in Afghanistan with Pakistan and vice versa, as both the countries have been affected by the terrorism and they share a long and lenient border that can be easily violated by the terrorist networks on the both sides of the border.

Further, they are linked with each other through their history, especially through the early process of Talibanization in the region that took place in order to counter the Soviet influence in Afghanistan and that history includes US, which sponsored the process, in the group as well.

It is said that 'history follows you'; well it may not stand true all the times, but does stand true at a time when the mistakes made in the past are committed time and again. And in case of this 'group' the history has been following it as it is yet to learn a lot from it before it stops committing the same mistakes.

This claim is true as well that a comprehensive measure and operation in Pakistan against the terrorist networks can play a dominant role in the security situation in Afghanistan as the terrorist networks have been using the border between the two countries as a shield for their safety; but while obliging Pakistan to carry on such actions, the possibilities should be carefully measured, as well.

As far as the Pakistani government is concerned, it does not seem in such a position or it least does not want to reach that position before it can cash the situation as much as it can. Definitely, Pakistan, in the war against terrorism, has lost much both in the form of economy and man power; before they sense considerable compensation in that regard, it is difficult to expect that they give "OK" for operations against the terrorist networks.

Another issue that can be easily traced out in Af-Pak relations is the over-emphasis of the security situation. Simply Af-Pak relations have been limited to security matters, though there are many aspects of a relation between two countries and when the countries happen to be neighbors the horizons are futher widened.

But unfortunately, Af-Pak relations have become the slave of security matter alone. It is not to deny that security has an important role in Afghan national interests but that does not mean to be over- occupied with it and that is what happening in the country at the moment. And unfortunately, our own responsibilities in this regard are over-looked. We do not think that for our insecurity we our selves are more responsible than Pakistan.

US has been very much outspoken about Pakistan's spy agency's links with the terrorist networks, especially after the Kabul attacks. US has been emphasizing for quite some times that Pakistan must do more regarding war against terrorism.

No doubt there have been indications that there are links of culprits in Pakistan's spy agency with the terrorist networks but US's own role regarding the cooperation against terrorism with Pakistan has been dubious on certain occasion as well.

US has not always been completely confident of Pakistan's role in the war and this very suspicion has given rise to many misunderstandings that have kept on increasing. In addition, the US role in South Asian region is not to be seen separated from US political intentions in the region; and the 'US will' to search for an instable Pakistan has been emphasized as an integral part of US strategy in the region.

It is as clear as crystal that Afghanistan is going through a crucial period of its history. At this crucial period a slight mistake in understanding the objective conditions and taking wrong steps can really be very much detrimental for the country as a whole.

Therefore, all the steps must be carried out with full concentration and after comprehensive analysis of the situation and the most important thing to be kept in mind is 'the countries own national interest' and that is what the other countries have been doing in Afghanistan. They have been searching for their own national interests and they will never sacrifice those for Afghanistan and we don't have to sacrifice ours for them.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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