Missing diplomatic norms in Pak-Afghan ties
Dr Muhammad Khan


It was a complete violation of diplomatic norms, once Afghan authorities refused to hand over the body of slain SP Tahir Dawar to Government of Pakistan. Earlier, Pakistani embassy in Kabul and Pakistani Consulate at Jalalabad made all out efforts to take over the body. Nevertheless, the Afghan Government has been reluctant to hand over the body to Pakistani Consulate at Jalalabad. Moreover, Afghan authorities took two days in handing over the body of slain SP to Pakistan, which was amounting to disparaging the body.

The diplomatic protocol calls for state to state relationship, rather a state dealing with non-state actors (NSA). In this case, Afghan Government handed over the body to non-state actors, the members of PTM, which had no legality. Earlier it was just an assumption that, Kabul and New Delhi are at the back of PTM. Dealing with this NSA by Kabul clearly dictates that, these people have strong links with Afghan Government, which gives them official status.
From his kidnapping to mysterious killing and until return of his body after inordinate delay, there arise many questions. First; how a serving SP was kidnaped, who already had threats to his life because of his meritorious services against the menace of terrorism. There should have been some police mechanism to monitor his move anywhere in Pakistan. This speaks of incompetence at the level of KP Police and an equal inadequacy of the Islamabad Police. The next question is, as reported by media, SP Dawar was taken to Jhelum and then to Mianwali, Kohat and Bannu, before entering Afghan territory, which took days, indeed weeks in this entire process, before killing him.
Why through massive search and cordon operations, his movement to Afghanistan could not be traced and blocked by LEAs. Then there have been some statements from the Government officials and advisors that he (SP) is safe in Peshawar. This entire episode speaks a lot about the casual attitude at the Government level. Then, he himself was a senior police officer of KP police and the area (Bannu) from where he was taken to Afghanistan falls into the jurisdiction of KP police. Owing to prevailing security situation, there are hundreds of security check pots all over this route. Then Pak-Afghan border is manned by FC through proper check posts. The question arises, what the KP police and its intelligence setup was doing at that time and why they were inactive over this entire happening.
Today, the security conscious society of Pakistan questions, if this can happen with a serving senior police officer, what would happen to a common man? Overall this tragic incident has exposed the highly efficient LEAs in Pakistan, which could not trace the kidnaped SP, who was subsequently killed coldheartedly in Afghanistan. This also speaks of writ of the Government. The most awful was the political statements by Government and opposition in the Parliament after the revelation of his brutal killing in Afghanistan. Both opposition and treasury benches were seen playing politics without realizing the fact that, there is a bereaved family of the slain SP, which need pacification and facts about the Killing of their loved one.
Being the biggest supporter of a cordial relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan, I could see utmost disrespect, demonstrated by Kabul Administration towards Islamabad. Apart from the fact that this act was against the diplomatic norms, it was an utter disrespect to humanity and above all, the Pashtun Traditions. Irrespective of the fact, who kidnapped and killed him, at least the body deserved respect and an official treatment. Then, it could have been officially handed over to Pakistani officials by Afghan Government.
Some reports even suggest that, NDS wanted to take revenge of the Kandhar Police Chief, General Raziq, who was killed on October 18, 2018 in an attack, later claimed by Afghan Taliban. The unfortunate incident occurred after a meeting between General Raziq and US Military Commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller at Governor House in Kandahar. The incident occurred under heavy security of Afghan and US security forces, therefore, accusing Pakistan by President Ashraf Ghani was indeed, idiocy and perhaps under compulsion. General Raziq was seen at Washington as an obstacle in the process of reconciliation between Taliban and US. This all happened while a process of negotiations was going-on between Taliban and US Presidential representative Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad at Doha, Qatar.
For quite some time, Taliban were demanding his removal from the post of police chief of Kandahar, before any talks with US could be materialised for reconciliation. Therefore, the factors behind his killing could have been known to President Ghani and Afghans masses. Pakistan rejected the Afghan presidentís baseless and unfounded allegations and asked for evidence, which Afghan Government has not shared as yet. Indeed, this entire process is part of a larger game plan, known only to CIA, RAW and NDS, Ashraf Ghani is being used a tool, being the rubber stamp President.
Despite recent good will gestures from Pakistan, the Kabul administration seems to be at antagonism with Pakistani state. Such non-diplomatic acts would further destabilise the bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The betrayed Kabul guards must reconcile their current behaviour with prudence as who is the real beneficiary of Pak-Afghan rivalry.