Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 17th, 2018

Yet Another Chance for Afghanistan and Pakistan

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Yet Another Chance for Afghanistan and Pakistan

President Kerzai has reached to Pakistan on Fri day, June 10, 2011, for a two days meeting with Pakistani officials. This is his first visit after the attack on Osama Bin Laden in Abbotabad. The basic purpose of this visit is to seek Pakistan's co-operation in bringing Taliban to negotiation table, which has been the basic objective of Afghan government and its Allies for the future settlements in Afghanistan. They believe that for long lasting peace in the region it is necessary to bring those groups of Taliban in a negotiating position who, in their point of view, are not linked to Taliban.

But so far their endeavors are not quiet fruitful, as they have just been talking about talks. Though the High Peace Council that president Karzai established has mentioned its findings that Taliban are really ready for talks, yet the formal declaration from Taliban's side is to be received. It is great that the members of Peace Council are with the delegation of president Karzai, who would also seek the assistance of Jumiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl-ur-Rehman) for the reconciliation process with Taliban, as Fazl-ur-Rehman is considered as an important personality for the process. The reconciliation with Taliban is really getting a weighty option for Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American forces that has to start next month, which Americans and NATO are also in the favor of. Or at least accomplishments in this regard can be really useful in deciding the enemies, or possibly the friends, from amongst the Taliban.

For the accomplishment of solid outcomes in the reconciliation process with Taliban, Afghanistan definitely requires the co-operation of Pakistan for the issue of militancy and terrorism are so complicatedly interwoven around the boundary line of both the countries that it would require a hell of task to figure out tangible outcomes. Afghanistan and Pakistan are already up to a Joint Commission for Peace that has to work on the same grounds. Afghan-Pak relations were voyaging well regarding the installation of peace in the region but then there was the death of Osama. Though there have been some angry eyebrows after the incident, this particular visit is expected to relax them a bit. Both the countries have to realize that negotiations are the only way out of the menace of terrorism and Peace process in the region.

American and Europeans are up to the same as well. Before they leave Afghanistan their strategic planning involves bringing Taliban to negotiation table. The Bonn Conference that has to come almost after six months is expected to have Taliban on negotiating table for the peace process in Afghanistan. Further, America has been asking Pakistan to provide intelligence support in tracking key personalities who can play a considerable role in representing Taliban or at least performing as a bridge to those who represent Taliban included in Quetta Shura. American emphasis has also been on Pakistan to launch serious operation in North Waziristan that is considered by them to be a secure haven for many Anti-American and Anti-Afghanistan Taliban. Definitely, America is desirous to have negotiations with Taliban but it must also keep in consideration that there are too much involvement in the process may make Taliban underestimate the Afghan government and they may not deem it to be authoritative in the process which may further lead to a clash between the two after NATO starts withdrawal. America has to make sure that Taliban and Afghan government must be the major parties in the reconciliation process while it along with Pakistan has to serve as co-operators.

Pakistan has been under immense pressure on the issue of militancy and the response of their security forces in the same regard. There are many fingers pointed at them from both within and outside of the country. It has announced its position to be clear as against the terrorist networks functioning in their country, now it has to prove the same through its practices. It can no more make America and Afghanistan doubt its position against terrorism as it is suffering badly against terrorism at home, which has close connection with overall situation of terrorism in the region, and this very reason can pressurize it to take this visit and the future developments very seriously.

Afghanistan and Pakistan both have serious concerns lately for the growth of terrorism in their countries. The Mehran Base Assault in Pakistan with so many recent suicide bombings that have resulted in the death of many civilians and law enforcing agencies in different parts of Pakistan, along with growing concerns that there are individuals from Pakistan Army connected with terrorism all are making Pakistan give the circumstances a thorough analysis. Afghanistan on the other hand is also suffering from modern strategy of Taliban to target the key figures in the government, security forces and administrative hierarchy. This new wave of terror in Afghanistan has really damaged the so far achievements of government and Allies to a great extent. It has not only made the system suffer from the loss of major contributors like General Dawood Dawood and Bamyan provincial Council Chief Jawad Zahak but has also attempted to create misunderstandings and distrusts among the different nations in the country, which for a government like that of Karzai is not easy to handle masterly. Further, the country has also to go through a transition, wherein the Afghan security forces have to take the responsibility of the country in their hands. Keeping in view the socio-political conditions of both the countries it seems in the favor of both to tighten their diplomatic ties through this opportunity and develop a vision that could see through the darkness of future ambiguities clearly.

Definitely, for both the countries it is a golden opportunity to carry on a happy trip towards peace and it is expected to be a happy one. But both the countries have to go for the tangible solutions. They already have the Peace Commission, which has representation from government officials, security forces and intelligence agencies of both the countries. For both the countries it would be better to take decisive instances in the Peace Commission meeting that is scheduled in the same visit. Instead of passing the buck both the countries have to accept their mistakes and shortcomings and clearly indicate their positions and the areas where helps are basically required. Pakistan should be provided with clear stand of Afghanistan regarding their strategy after the withdrawal of foreign forces and Afghanistan should be provided with clear co-operative measures from Pakistan for the settlement of peace and tranquility in Afghanistan. More ambiguity and distrust can result in the defeat of the peace loving forces by evil terrorism.

The writer is a new growing columnist of the daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at sherzai@outlookafghanistan.com

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