Pol­icy re­think­ing re­quired?

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - ALI ASHRAF KHAN

Pak­istani For­eign Sec­re­tary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry told Reuters in an in­ter­view late on Thurs­day that the Tal­iban “need to re­alise they would have more to gain on the table than they can do on the bat­tle­field”. Well that seems what is ex­actly im­pos­si­ble and Pak­istani for­eign pol­icy gu­rus should fi­nally recog­nise that. How can the Afghan army achieve what the united forces of NATO and US were un­able to achieve dur­ing their 13-year war against the Tal­iban? Even with all the “train­ing”, so­phis­ti­cated mil­i­tary sup­plies and the air sup­port that the for­eign­ers are giv­ing the ANA and police, there re­mains the main ob­sta­cle – the miss­ing ide­o­log­i­cal ded­i­ca­tion of the Ghani govern­ment ask­ing Afghans to fight against their brethren the main ideas of whom they share. Dur­ing the past days and weeks – ac­tu­ally months and years- many in­ci­dents of scores of sol­diers and police men have left their units in troves tak­ing away the weapons and other mil­i­tary equip­ment to join the Tal­iban. Mul­ti­ple in­sider at­tacks on of­fi­cers, sol­diers and po­lice­men have been re­ported and prob­a­bly more have re­mained un­re­ported. Never since the Tal­iban govern­ment had been top­pled in 2001 they con­trolled as much ter­ri­tory as they do now and the fight is go­ing on suc­cess­fully. If the re­cently signed peace agree­ment by Pres­i­dent Ghani with the Hizb-e Is­lami is any guide­line taken by our for­eign of­fice gu­rus, then please un­der­stand this is no peace agree­ment that would be sug­gest­ing to the Tal­iban that they can gain more at the ne­go­ti­a­tion table than in the bat­tle­field. Their main de­mand of for­eign troops leav­ing Afghanistan has been aban­doned in the doc­u­ment and why would they want that? Peace in Afghanistan can be achieved only on Afghan terms, not on US terms. And the sit­ting Afghan govern­ment is a stooge govern­ment rep­re­sent­ing Amer­i­can in­ter­ests rather than Afghan. As long as this fact is de­nied no peace is likely to come. Best op­tion for Pak­istan is to avoid this ele­phant’s dual. — Karachi

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