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February 2, 2016

Perplexing complexities of Afghanistan situation


February 2, 2016

Apparently, it seemed that the USA would be withdrawing from Afghanistan by leaving behind a limited number of troops with unlimited scope, however, it was considered a quite logic defying policy. Rarely, views and voices within US policy making circle regarding illogical steps are ever heard and paid heed. The US policy in our region is generally termed by experts as complicated and difficult to predict.

According to the (extract of interview) US Secretary of State John Kerry who during an interview mentioned few broad contours of US policy in Afghanistan while explaining the reason behind investing so much political capital in Afghanistan of all the global hotspots. He narrated that first of all, Afghanistan is important as a country in and of itself, in its history. This has been a long journey for Afghans, and they have fought and do fight with courage for their independence and their sovereignty, for their dignity and their future. And we didn’t want to turn our backs on that. Secondly, it is an important, broad commitment of the global community as ISAF is represented by more than 50 nations, the United Nations; there are many countries that have an interest in a peaceful, stable Afghanistan. China, Russia, the neighbours to the north, the neighbour to the south, India, others, all have an interest in an Afghanistan that works. Thirdly, we made a commitment we would deeply involve. Our soldiers spent their treasure, their lives, their sweat, their days fighting for this freedom, and that was something that either the president or anybody in America wanted to just brush aside. He further added that the importance of Afghanistan is very critical ;in terms of future trade, the movement of goods, the New Silk Road, the possibility of a stronger trade relationship with India, with the ‘Stans, with ultimately even to the west, all the way through to Iraq and Israel. All of these things are the possibilities of the future. 

Despite all these mentioned goals and word juggling, experts believe that ‘Had US continued and stuck to their initial and true American aim to change’ heart and minds’ of Afghanis, it could have resulted differently than present outcome of miseries and bloodstained history not only for Afghanistan but every country involved in the fruitless and unending war.’

Recently, the former acting director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Michael Morell has disclosed that the Taliban group has made major geopolitical gains in Afghanistan during the last year. He has also predicted that Afghanistan would resurface as a pivotal foreign policy during the current year amid rampant insurgency by the Taliban group. Morell further added that the debate on how many troops to keep in the region would take center stage in Washington. He was of the view that the debate on how many troops US would keep in Afghanistan is going to reopen.

At one side US/Nato would be pulling the Afghan chariot on the above mentioned US intended paths and on the other side China is trying to ride the chariot towards its own arena. China has already decided to play an active role in Afghanistan as China had already put forward a proposal for a “peace and reconciliation forum” in a bid to help and revive the paused peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban. The peace plan proposed earlier which was proposed by China was said to gather representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the Taliban.

The Beijing proposal had not been formally announced by the government of Afghanistan but earlier reports suggested that the plan was discussed during the meeting of nations taking part in the “Istanbul Process.”

China was logically concerned that the withdrawal of bulk of the foreign troops from Afghanistan could create a security vacuum which could further be exploited by Taliban while helping the Uighur militants to upgrade their fight for seeking a separate State in western China’s Xinjiang region. China’s willingness for contributing the peace initiative in Afghanistan also implies that China must be having a comprehensive plan for the region, broadly for capitalising the energy resources and economy related avenues while bringing peace in the region for its safe and smooth functions.

All these carefully carved plans are in executing phases; India is also trying to show her presence by negatively maneuvering in Afghanistan by exploiting the local political and official figures like the former Afghan ruler Hamid Karzai. His favourite anthem seems to be the anti-Pakistan stanzas. Karzai’s statements have always reflected his indoctrination by India; based on their historic hatred and rancor against Pakistan. India is making unnecessary endeavors to spark bitter relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan by inducing Afghanistan’s influential personalities to speak against Pakistan without any factual and true perspective. India’s ill-endeavors against Pakistan by exploiting local and media and international forums has compelled Pakistan’s general public to revisit their thinking and loose expectations that both the countries could resolve their problems through dialogue.

India seems mistaken that Pakistan’s current security situation and her will to peacefully resolve the issues with India could further be exploited and demonise Pakistan, which is not the case indeed and Pakistan has the ability to tackle the eventualities. There are no opposing arguments that peace in Afghanistan bears direct impacts on Pakistan. Afghanistan is going through a new phase of resettling its security, political, economic and diplomatic issues for bringing peace and stability in their country and beyond. India may lead the situation to worsening the security situation in the region which would not be a positive gesture and may also harm the Pakistan’s ongoing operations against all the terrorists without any discrimination.

India needs to end her policy of disrupting Pak-Afghan brotherhood and creating complexities in Afghanistan and the region for her unachievable goals against Pakistan and China. Afghanistan government needs to decide the correct course of action for achieving peace, stability and prosperity and contribute their positive role as a country in the region and beyond. 

There are lot of hopes from the current regional and international moves; including USA, China and Pakistan to restore the Afghan peace negotiations with the facilitation of Pakistan, however, the international community must recognise and appreciate Pakistan’s sincere efforts for Afghanistan and the overall peace and prosperity of the region and beyond.

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