Stabilization in Afghanistan is a big challenge which needs lots of effort from international community. The security and stability of Pakistan is directly linked with the stability of Afghanistan, unless or until there is no peace in Afghanistan, we cannot expect peace in Pakistan. Sincere efforts are required by the regional states to bring long term viable peace in Afghanistan. The US has to change its policy in dealing with Pakistan, it has to respect and honour the sovereignty and independent stature of Pakistan.
By Alam Rind
In the continuation of “do more” syndrome Pakistan once again has been criticised by White House for its ineffectiveness against Islamic radicals. The key claim is that Pakistani Armed Forces recover territory from the control of Taliban, but fails to completely secure the area. That led to the assumption that Pakistan has no clear path to defeat insurgency. The American point of view has been sharply contested by the government and military circles. Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Tahmeena Janjua has asserted that “I would emphatically state that we do not share the assessment of the US.” The Americans continue to emphasise that Pakistan should disallow use of its soil by Taliban and other militants as safe haven. This rhetoric is continuously sounded to push Pakistan to launch operations in North Waziristan area. It also provides a plausible face saving excuse to US and NATO troops to cover up their failure in Afghanistan. Such mean statements only underline their disregard for the sacrifices made by the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan. Though about 147,000 Pakistani troops are in the area but what they are up against is a continuous and a streamed flow of terrorists and weapons from across the border. Under such environment complete and lasting peace cannot return to tribal areas after a one time operation. It has to be a long drawn struggle, which at one end should frustrate financers and sponsors of terrorists and on the other end induce confidence among locals as regards their safety and development of their area. Government and Armed Forces of Pakistan are well on their way towards achieving this objective. Pakistan is often blamed for not pulling troops from her eastern border to fight terrorists in the tribal areas. This is a strange argument especially once viewed in the backdrop of the facts that India is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan from her bases in Afghanistan and critical disputes like Kashmir, Siachin and Sir Creak are yet to be resolved. Moreover peace time disposition of her army enables her to launch offensive against Pakistan at short notice. In the absence of tangible progress on resolution of disputes it certainly won’t be possible for Pakistan to overlook Indian capabilities for presumed friendly and positive intention. A common Pakistani would be reluctant to trust Americans either. It is so due to awful remarks by senior American politicians like Congressman Gary Ackerman who proposed that Pakistan should be abandoned as it is about to go broke or collapse. In a congressional discussion Mr. Ackerman remarked “so if we gave another $20 billion, I guess, would they like us in the morning - (laughter) - as we gave $20 billion through another night?” are mean by any standard. How on the earth they think that a self-respecting Pakistani would like them once they equate Pakistan and its people to a prostitute. To a common Pakistani, Americans are not sincere. They want to use Pakistan for their own end that is evident from Raymond Davis case, drone attacks that result in killing of innocent civilians and blatant contempt for Pakistan exhibited by seasoned politicians like Mr. Ackerman. Americans certainly need Pakistan to sustain their operations and to create enabling environment for their respectable exit from war-torn Afghanistan. During the last nine years they have been beating the shadow of al-Qaeda and mutilating local populace. Their COIN operations totally failed and they have had limited success in building governmental structure and security forces of Afghanistan. The biggest blunder was committed when President Obama announced that exit of US troops from Afghanistan will start from July 2011. According to Wall Street Journal al-Qaeda has started returning to Afghanistan. Thanks to the stupidity of Pastor Terry Jones, Taliban and other freedom fighters have regained public support. Afghanistan has witnessed severe public backlash and tempers are high against US and NATO personnel. Under such circumstances Americans need Pakistan more than ever before. US and Pakistan need to revitalise their relations to overcome recent bad patch. Few positive statements may be able to dispel present irritants. However, lasting relations can only be built through mutual respect. Americans can turn public opinion in their favour by helping resolve Kashmir dispute. It is a well established fact that peace in subcontinent will best serve interests of America, India and Pakistan and those of the people of the region. It is in the fitness of things that all the stakeholders exert to bridge gaps between the countries for mutual good and for the prosperity of the people.