Following recent unprovoked NATO attacks on Pakistan’s military bases and the consequent deterioration in Af-pak relations, Pakistan has decided to boycott the upcoming Bonn Conference, citing severe encroachment on the country’s sovereignty.
The Conference titled ‘International Afghanistan Conference: From Transition to Transition,’ is hosted and chaired by President Karzai and will focus on Afghanistan’s future following NATO-LED international troop withdrawal in 2014. It is expected to draw in more than 90 international delegates, representing the UN and key players in the conflict. There are currently more than 140,000 international troops in Afghanistan, with the majority representing the United States.
German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, had already visited Kabul to hold talks with President Karzai, before the two attend the conference. Westerwelle stated that prior to the conference Afghanistan had submitted a document detailing its “long-term partnership with the international community and their mutual obligations.”
For some analysts, the conference is not expected to reach a breakthrough resolution due to the absence of the Taliban - a key negotiating party - and Pakistan, a key player. Many believe that if a stable and peaceful Afghanistan is envisioned, then both parties need to be involved and a gradual framework should be prepared.
The Bonn Conference is expected to discuss the transition, stalled efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and regional and international involvement in Afghanistan after 2014. The United States has often accused elements in Pakistan of supporting the Afghan Taliban as a means of off-setting the growing power of its arch-rival, India.