Un­re­li­able Part­ners

Southasia - - Editor's Mail -

The third Tri­lat­eral Sum­mit held be­tween Iran, Pak­istan and Afghanistan was ex­pected to dis­cuss a longterm strat­egy for Afghanistan and chalk out a frame­work for the three na­tions to co­op­er­ate af­ter in­ter­na­tional troops leave in 2014. While the sum­mit was meant to fo­cus on re­build­ing a pros­per­ous Afghanistan, the meet­ing trans­formed in­stead into an Iran-Pak­istan bi­lat­eral dis­cus­sion. With the loom­ing IP gas pipe­line is­sue still at the fore­front and nu­mer­ous en­ergy and trade dis­cus­sions un­der­way, in many re­spects, Afghanistan be­came an ex­cuse for the two na­tions to con­duct con­sul­ta­tions and fi­nal­ize plans with­out hav­ing to an­swer to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. It is dis­ap­point­ing that Iran would ex­ploit the op­por­tu­nity and Pak­istan would wel­come it when the need of the hour is co­op­er­a­tion and trans­parency. Iran’s be­hav­ior is guided by na­tional se­cu­rity and the threat of in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions, but the Sum­mit could have proven enor­mously ben­e­fi­cial for the re­gional pow­ers in­volved had they set aside ul­te­rior mo­tives and fo­cused on the is­sue at hand. It should hardly come as a sur­prise then that Afghanistan is warm­ing up to In­dia, a na­tion that il­lus­trates its com­mit­ment to re­build­ing a war-torn Afghanistan.

Al­ta­mash Sha­j­jan Kabul, Afghanistan

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