The Afghan blame game

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - Dr Muham­mad Khan Email: drmk_edu@ya­

RATHER con­cen­trat­ing and im prov­ing the in­ter­nal se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion of his coun­try, the frus­trated Afghan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani has de­manded from Pak­istan to take mil­i­tary ac­tion against Afghan Tal­iban, liv­ing on Pak­istani soil. While ad­dress­ing Afghan Par­lia­ment, (Loya Jirga), he said, “I want to make it clear that we no longer ex­pect Pak­istan to bring the Tal­iban to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble. But we want Pak­istan to ful­fill its prom­ises ... and take mil­i­tary ac­tion against their sanc­tu­ar­ies and lead­er­ship based on its soil. If they can’t tar­get them, they should hand them over to our ju­di­ciary.”

Pak­istan never ex­pected such an im­pru­dent state­ment from the leader of Mr Ghani’s com­pe­tence, who is con­sid­ered sen­si­ble enough to talk sense. Pur­su­ing peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion by bring­ing Afghan Tal­iban on the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble is for the peace and sta­bil­ity of Afghanistan. Deny­ing Pak­istan from un­der­tak­ing this sig­nif­i­cant role is some­thing not un­der­stood. It would in­di­rectly mean that, guards at Kabul are no longer in­ter­ested for the peace, sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic pros­per­ity of their coun­try. This state­ment ex­posed the Kabul’s sab­o­tag­ing the peace process, which Pak­istan bro­kered in July 2014 with lot of ded­i­ca­tions and pur­suance of Tal­iban.

Sur­pris­ingly, Pak­istan is mak­ing ef­forts for the peace in Afghanistan and the rul­ing class of that coun­try is con­stantly un­der­min­ing that and now is­su­ing warn­ing to Pak­istan for mak­ing any such ef­fort in fu­ture. This hard stance of Pres­i­dent Ghani came af­ter a deadly at­tack on se­cu­rity ser­vices of­fice in Kabul, which killed sixty-four per­sons. The loss of lives, in­deed great loss is re­gret­table, but should Pak­istan be ad­mon­ished or blamed for this at­tack or any hap­pen­ing in Kabul. If Afghan Gov­ern­ment can­not pro­vide se­cu­rity to its masses in its cap­i­tal, should Pak­istan be blamed for that?

Dis­tance be­tween Islamabad and Kabul is over 500 Kms. How did the at­tack­ers en­ter Kabul, where were 350,000 men of Afghan Na­tional Se­cu­rity Forces, The most sig­nif­i­cantly, where were RAW backed NDS sur­veil­lance teams at the time of at­tack. NDS and RAW jointly op­er­ate in Afghanistan, and they jointly carry out sur­veil­lance of any unusual move­ment on each inch of that land. Why did they fail de­spite hav­ing mod­ern and so­phis­ti­cated weapons and equip­ment of sur­veil­lance?

There must be in­ves­ti­ga­tion whether this at­tack was planned and ex­e­cuted by RAW and NDS to de­fame Pak­istan and to cre­ate a hur­dle in the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process, which Pak­istan has been vig­or­ously pur­su­ing for the peace and sta­bil­ity in Afghanistan. In­dian spy­ing net­work has done this in sev­eral cases like; par­lia­ment at­tack in 2001, Mum­bai At­tack in 2008 and re­cently the Pathankot at­tack, all aimed at de­fam­ing Pak­istan and its in­tel­li­gence agen­cies. Ear­lier an at­tack on Afghan Par­lia­ment in June 2015 had its re­sem­blance with at­tack on In­dian Par­lia­ment, which mean, the writer and di­rec­tor of the script was same agency.

In­deed, Pak­istan con­sid­ered Peace in Afghanistan is es­sen­tial for peace in Pak­istan. Pak­istan has its stakes in Afghanistan and want a peace­ful west­ern neigh­bor. Ear­lier also, the NDS and RAW sab­o­tage the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process, started be­tween Afghan Gov­ern­ment and Tal­iban. Rather threat­en­ing Pak­istan, there is a need that, Afghan Pres­i­dent must or­ga­nize his own af­fairs and put his house in or­der. He must rec­og­nize the black-sheeps in his gov­ern­ment and NDS and ANSF. Pak­istan and Pak­istani se­cu­rity forces can­not de­fend Afghan cap­i­tal; there­fore, Kabul must stop the blame game.

In the same speech, Pres­i­dent Ghani said that, “If we do not see a change, de­spite our sin­cere ef­forts for re­gional co­op­er­a­tion, we will be forced to turn to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and start se­ri­ous di­plo­matic ef­forts.” This part of the speech is even deroga­tory and shows men­tal dis­tur­bance of Pres­i­dent Ghani. Whereas the world ap­pre­ci­ates Pak­istani ef­forts against the ter­ror­ism and mil­i­tancy, the UN Body would max­i­mum put such com­plaints in trash or dust­bin, they may try it. On April 27, 2016, US State Depart­ment of­fi­cial Mark Toner re­it­er­ated US sup­port for the peace process and highly ap­pre­ci­ated the pos­i­tive role of Pak­istan in the Afghan rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process. He said that, “Our pol­icy hasn’t changed. We want to see an Afghan-led, Afghanowned process. We wel­come the pos­i­tive role that Pak­istan has played in try­ing to get th­ese peace talks started.”

While In­dia and Afghan Gov­ern­ment are con­spir­ing against Pak­istan, there is a need that, the po­lit­i­cal Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan must re­spond th­ese al­le­ga­tions and ac­cu­sa­tion with strong re­jec­tion and con­dem­na­tion. Af­ter all, for how, the state and the peo­ple of Pak­istan should ac­cept the clap­trap from its neigh­bors. Pak­istan has al­ways tried to play a con­struc­tive and pos­i­tive role for the bet­ter re­la­tions and a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of all out­stand­ing is­sues. Let us not be al­ways de­fen­sive and re­ac­tionary, rather let us have ra­tio­nal pol­icy of pre-emp­tion and pro­tect the sovereignty and in­tegrity of the state of Pak­istan. Af­ter all Pak­istan is nu­clear state and coun­tries like Afghanistan should not blackmail it any more. A strong diplo­macy with a clear for­eign pol­icy ob­jec­tives is the way for­ward. — The writer is In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions an­a­lyst based in Islamabad.

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