US agenda un­folds on Pak-Afghan bor­der

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -


Pak­istan is demon­strat­ing its sin­cer­ity and re­solve to take all pos sible mea­sures in­clud­ing bor­der man­age­ment to curb cross-bor­der in fil­tra­tion on Du­rand Line, Afghanistan seems to be hell bent not only to un­der­mine gains of op­er­a­tion Zarb-e-Azb but also es­ca­late ten­sion with Pak­istan, ap­par­ently at the be­hest of some­one else. This be­came all the more ev­i­dent from what hap­pened on Torkham bor­der where Afghan forces in­dulged in deadly fir­ing in their bid to stop Pak­istan from con­struct­ing a gate well inside its ter­ri­tory as part of the mea­sures to reg­u­late bor­der move­ment.

Both Afghanistan and the United States have been urg­ing Pak­istan to take con­crete mea­sures to stop infiltration through Pak-Aghan bor­der and Islamabad went to the ex­tent of sug­gest­ing to erect barbed wire but the pro­posal has never found favours with the two, which speaks vol­umes about their real de­signs and in­tent. Now Pak­istan has al­most cleared its ter­ri­tory of ter­ror­ist net­works and is fo­cus­ing on bet­ter bor­der man­age­ment and build­ing of a gate on Torkham was part of the strat­egy. The Afghan side should have ex­tended co­op­er­a­tion in this noble task of reg­u­lat­ing move­ment on Pak-Afghan bor­der but sadly enough it opted to mount at­tacks and as a con­se­quence Ma­jor Ali Jawad was mar­tyred and sev­eral other troops wounded. It is un­der­stood that Pak­istan has the ca­pa­bil­ity and ca­pac­ity to teach a les­son but the au­thor­i­ties con­cerned have wisely ex­er­cised ut­most re­straint and kept the re­sponse to the min­i­mum in an at­tempt not to es­ca­late ten­sion. This is saner ap­proach in view of the un­holy game be­ing played by out­side forces in the re­gion. The day Pres­i­dent Obama an­nounced ex­ten­sion of stay of his troops in Afghanistan, we had warned that it smacked foul and with the lat­est de­vel­op­ments the real agenda has started un­fold­ing. There can­not be two opin­ions that the en­emy wants to sand­wich Pak­istan be­tween Eastern and Western bor­der so as to keep our Armed forces en­gaged and the coun­try desta­bi­lized. In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ch. Nisar Ali Khan has rightly pointed out that Kabul was play­ing in the hands of some­one else. The tim­ing of es­ca­la­tion is mean­ing­ful as it comes when Pak­istan is urg­ing res­o­lu­tion of Afghan con­flict through in­traAfghan di­a­logue but the United States and Afghanistan want use of force, which ef­fec­tively means no peace at all in years to come. Sim­i­larly, Pak­istan is on a diplo­matic of­fen­sive to block In­dia’s uni­lat­eral en­try into NSG de­spite Amer­i­can pres­sure and Wash­ing­ton seems to be try­ing to squeeze Islamabad. We would, how­ever, urge our au­thor­i­ties to main­tain calm as Pak­istan and Afghanistan have his­toric links and re­la­tion­ship and over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Afghans is pro-Pak­istan.

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