Intertwined Pak-Afghan destinies
Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat
There has been flurry of activities recently with regard to Afghanistan and the bloody war being fought there. These developments have had a great impact, both at the national and international level, with regard to the Pak-US relations and the war in Afghanistan.
First, the year began with the Raymond Davis saga, which captured the imagination of the people at home. The CIA operative cold-bloodedly murdered two Pakistanis while the third one was killed as the American was being rescued by US consulate officials.
Second, a unilateral US raid in Abbottabad killed the world’s most wanted terrorist Osama in Laden. The raid, however, soured the Pak-US relations while wild allegations against the Pakistan armed forces and intelligence agencies took the bilateral relations almost to the breaking point.
Third, following the killing of OBL, there has been a change in the mood of many Americans, who think that the war in Afghanistan is nearing an end and the US should quickly pull out all its troops from the country. Many US senators and congressmen are also looking at such proposals because ending the war in Afghanistan would save the US taxpayers some $10 billion a month or so.
Fourth, there has been renewed pressure on Pakistan to launch an offensive in North Waziristan Agency against elements the Americans believe are fuelling the Afghan war.
Finally, there has been a surge in drone attacks in Fata, with reports saying that many militants have been killed in such attacks. Most notable of such militants has been Ilyas Kashmiri, the chief of HUJI, who has been reportedly responsible for the attack on Pakistan’s Naval Air Station, the PNS Mehran, in Karachi.
If we look at all the above developments closely, most of them highly unsavoury, we find that the centre stage of such incidents that concern Afghanistan is definitely Pakistan. Unfortunately, some American officials and think tanks still believe that New Delhi should have a greater role at all levels and in all sectors in Afghanistan. Sadly, these armchair analysts fail to understand the close historical and religious links between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
They also have little idea of the ground realities. Putting aside their strong emotions, they should try to understand that it is Pakistan that can bring peace to Afghanistan and not any other country.
Therefore, any idea to exclude Pakistan from the current and future developments in the neighbouring country would not only be futile but also unproductive. Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan is not going to diminish; it will only increase as the time passes.