News Analysis |
Amidst simmering tensions between Kabul and Islamabad, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah has said that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has established a foothold in his country. At a time when Pakistan is telling the world that the Afghan soil is used against it, the statement coming from one of the most important figures in Afghanistan becomes meaningful.
Abdullah Abdullah said the TTP is taking advantage of the instability in Afghanistan. While speaking to editors of Voice of America radio in Washington on Wednesday, he called upon Pakistan to understand the issue and contribute towards peace in the region.
With Abdullah Abdullah batting for Pakistan’s long-held narrative, will the US rethink its rules of engagements with Pakistan or will things tread from bad to worse?
While calling the areas where TTP is based, the “insecure” Abdullah said the government does not cherry-pick and discriminate between terrorists. He insisted that “wherever they belong, whatever their aims”, adding that the Kabul government knew that “their [terrorists’] goals were against states and nations”. He iterated: “TTP was not created in Afghanistan but was created at different times, for different purposes, and then they turned against the state and its institutions”.
Abdullah, the second most powerful person in the National Unity Government (NUG), used similar words that Pakistan has been continually using while describing the situation in the region. Pakistan has taken serious exceptions to lackluster action by Afghanistan on the terrorist sanctuaries inside it. On Thursday, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bajwa, while reiterating Pakistan’s fight against terrorism, sternly asked Commander CENTCOM, General Votel to take actions against anti-Pakistan forces in Afghanistan.
“There have been cases where one side of the claim by our neighboring country is right that TTP is a threat to Pakistan,” said Abdullah.
The brief period of agreement has been followed by bitterness. The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General Nicholas last week lamented that Pakistan has not changed its behavior.
In response to continuous border violations from Afghanistan, Pakistan has hurled some 500 odd shells inside Kunar Province. The question that watchers are asking is whether the US will change its stance or not.
Ever since the announcement of the new South Asia Policy, the US has ramped up the tirade against Pakistan. The brief period of agreement has been followed by bitterness. The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General Nicholas last week lamented that Pakistan has not changed its behavior.
With Abdullah Abdullah batting for Pakistan’s long-held narrative, will the US rethink its rules of engagements with Pakistan or will things tread from bad to worse? As the US has added 3,000 troops and added to its defense budget, there is little that shows the US’s possible willingness shift away from the military-heavy approach in Afghanistan.
The immediate concern is that if Afghanistan cannot rein-in destructive elements, will Pakistan go all-out to pluck them out?