Saturday December 04, 2021

‘US wilfully withdrew, not defeated in Afghanistan’

October 22, 2021

Islamabad : Najm-us-Saqib from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that the wait-and-see policy is by far the most calculated stance that the government had ever taken and had this stance been taken back in the 1990s, things in Afghanistan would have been quite different.

Saqib was addressing a gathering jointly organised here by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) and the Pak-Afghan Youth Forum (PAYF) here. Saqib said that it was important to remember that the US wilfully withdrew and had not in fact been defeated in Afghanistan. So, according to him, the possibility that the US was completely out of the picture was a misplaced one. He further argued that the US defeat in Afghanistan did not, in any case, symbolise victory for any other regional or international player. He maintained that the return of peace and stability to once war-torn Afghan soil could prove to be a mirage.

Commenting on the Taliban government, he said that while it was true that the Taliban were a reality and the world must accept them as such, it was equally true that if the Taliban failed to attune themselves with the practices of the realpolitik they could end up only “existing” and not “living.” Simplistically, he argued, the Taliban government might lose all grounds to establish a recognisable government if it tried to compromise the fundamental governance practices. While the governance norms were understandable, he said the sudden concern of the West over human rights, women rights, and inclusive government were nothing but a paradox as the exact same values stood compromised in almost all developed democracies that placed themselves at a moral pedestal, only to question the functionality of various affairs in another country.

Saqib said that Pakistan’s role in the entire situation was integral but only as far as it was in its own national interest. He said that Pakistan was in no position to cast a blind eye toward the crises at home such as inflation, economic instability, unemployment, brain drain, etc. in addition to unresolved Kashmir issue.

Winding up, Najam said that it was vital to see the US from the American perspective in order to strategize and plan things accordingly. He added that Afghanistan did constitute as one of the top-most priorities for Pakistan but that might not stay the same as Pakistan had its own challenges to address.