High time for Afghan government to put its own house in order...

High time for Afghan government to put its own house in order first

Merwah Qureshi,

Pakistan not only shares a porous 2430-km border with Afghanistan but the cultural, religious and extended familial ties also link these two Muslim brethren states. In contrast to Afghan enmity towards Pakistan, Pakistan has always aspired for a better and a developed Afghanistan and put her best effort to shoulder Afghanistan in the time of need. But alas, Afghanistan has not spared any moment from blaming rather accusing Pakistan for the failure of Afghan government’s ill-governance or mismanagement of the security and social crises.

Even after being the victim of Afghan bred terrorism Pakistan has played and is still playing an efficient role regarding Afghan peace process but she has been continuously lambasted every now and then by the conspiracy theorists. From the do more rhetoric to the blames of safe havens, Pakistan’s efforts regarding Afghan peace process have been critically humiliated by the actual players of this deadliest game of bloodshed being played in Afghanistan -for establishing hegemony over this war-torn country enduring the wounds of global conspiracies since 1979.

The only two countries being gravely affected by this indo-western interest based war are Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan has always stood by Afghanistan. Pakistan has borne the brunt of Afghan based terrorism in the form of terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the militancy in tribal areas, the influx of Afghan refugees, the economic crises and the deterioration of its social fabric.

Pakistan is the only state that has sacrificed massive number of civilians and armed personnel in the efforts of bringing and maintaining peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan and yet, has been demanded to do more. From operation Al-Mizan to Zarb-e-Azab and Radd-ul-Fasaad, Pakistan military has launched multiple successful operations to eradicate this menace of terrorism. Sadly, the laudable service of Pakistan security establishment rendered to this counter terrorism fight has never been appreciated but lamented.

In 2017 Afghanistan and Pakistan signed Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) to strengthen the bond of cooperation, mutual trust and solidarity for the process to bring peace in the war ridden areas and to put an end to further militancy. As per the joint statement issued by Islamabad and Kabul, “APAPPS provides a framework to strengthen mutual trust and deepen interaction in all spheres of bilateral engagements.

It is also a mechanism for finding solutions to bilateral areas of concern.”Furthermore, Pakistan has established 975 posts along the Pak-Afghan border while, Afghanistan has built 200 only. On the same hand, the maiden visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to Afghanistan further unveils pro-Afghan posture of Pakistan. Ironically Kabul still implicitly maintains an anti-Pakistan posture.

Instead of applauding the sincere efforts of Pakistan Government for the restoration of peace the Afghanistan government even after signing APAPPS with Pakistan in 2017have often observed to be indulged in blaming Pakistan which is starkly in contrast to the point 6 of APAPPS that states, “The two countries to avoid public blame games and instead use APAPPS cooperation mechanisms to respond to mutual issues of contention and concerns.” In addition to this, the Afghanistan government has violated the Vienna convention of the Consular Relation 1963 by intervening in the working of Pakistani diplomatic consulate in Jalalabad. In response to security concerns and undue intervention by Governor Hayatullah Hayat in the functioning of the Consulate General, the Pakistani embassy has closed its consulate in Jalalabad.

Similarly, whenever, Afghanistan suffers an attack owing to the failure of its own security and institutional set up the Afghan leadership feels it mandatory to throw mud at Pakistan for being implicitly involved in these attacks by providing safe havens to Taliban. Every Afghan policy starts from this misled statement of safe havens and anti-Pakistan rhetoric. The recent episode of the live argument rather a shifting of blame between Interior Minister Wais Barmak and Deputy Police Chief of Kabul Mohammad Sadiq Muradi over the security failure has revealed the basic flaws in the institutional and governance set up of Afghanistan.

The absence of a multi-pronged national security strategy and lack of national cohesion are the actual fault lines for the failure of Afghan government’s walk towards the path of peace. Moreover, the resignations of Afghan officials i.e. Interior Minister Wais Barmak, Defense Minister Tariq Shah Bahrami, National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and Intelligence Chief Masoom Stanekzai also manifest lack of coordination and coherence in governance approaches adopted by Kabul. So, Instead of putting their own house in order the Afghan top brass enjoys blaming Pakistan even for the winds blowing in Afghanistan.

Ironically, Growing Indian influence in Afghanistan, Trump’s decision of extending the troops and the collateral damages caused by US air strikes are invisible to pro-west Afghan regime. While, feigning ignorance towards ascending US militarism, aggressive Indian aspiration of regional hegemony and Israel’s secret game for influence-Afghan government is committing a grave mistake by relentlessly blaming Pakistan, the only state genuinely supporting the Afghan developmental process.

It is high time for the Afghan government to admit this fact that its land is being used by US-Israel-India trio for the containment of Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran- all aiming to bring peace and progress to this South Asian region which is against the hegemonic interests of the former trio. Moreover, Kabul shall shed its anti-Pakistan posture and to hold the hand of friendship historically extended by Pakistan. The contemporary predicament of Afghanistan suggests Kabul to adopt a prudent approach and to differentiate between an actual friend and foe or else it will regain its status of  ‘The Graveyard of Empires’ by becoming a theatre for another war, but this time a hot war.

Miss Merwah Hamid Qureshi holds an M. Phil Degree in Biochemistry from QAU, Islamabad.