Abdul Qayyum Khan Kundi l
During Vietnam War, America blamed Cambodia for all her policy and military failures. They engaged in bombings of border areas supposedly to prevent cross-border help to Vietnamese. It destabilized Cambodia from which they are still struggling to recover but despite that America did not win in Vietnam and had to leave. A similar situation is now emerging in Afghanistan where America blames Pakistan for her failures and refuse to recognize its own flawed policy. The reality is that foreign forces are considered occupiers by the majority of Afghans and the corrupt government installed by them is considered a puppet of the occupiers. Europe, China, and Russia should come forward and inform the United States that dealing with Pakistan like Cambodia will be unacceptable.
The Pakistani government, opposition, and military have repeatedly made public pledges that our territory will not be allowed to be used by any foreign militants. Other powers should help Pakistan in counter-terrorism rather than keep chanting do more. The International community should also realize that Pakistan has genuine strategic interests in Afghanistan as a neighboring country and any effort to allow undermining these interests are detrimental for stable South Asia region.
A political solution should be found where all Afghan stakeholders are participants and an international platform guarantee the agreement respected by all. We need something similar to Minsk accord for Afghanistan.
There are widespread expectations that Trump Administration will announce their Afghan policy sometime this month. It is also considered a foregone conclusion that troops level will be increased and that pressure on Pakistan will be increased to do more. The majority of foreign policy experts disagree with sending more troops and does not see that it will break the stalemate or retard the momentum of Afghan Taliban. But the reality is that unilateral, unrealistic and imperialist thinking prevails in Washington DC which does not bode well for South Asia.
Troop surge without an accompanying political solution will destabilize the region. USA is talking to her European and NATO partners for Afghanistan policy but the proper forum would be Quadrilateral Cooperation Group (QCG) and UN Security Council (UNSC) before a decision is made to send more troops. A political solution should be found where all Afghan stakeholders are participants and an international platform guarantee the agreement respected by all. We need something similar to Minsk accord for Afghanistan.
What should Islamabad do?
What are the options for Pakistan? The absence of a full-time Foreign Ministry has seriously retarded Pakistan’s diplomatic initiative. Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser Sartaj Aziz is an experienced hand but he does not enjoy the same stature and diplomatic protocol that is accorded to a full-time Foreign Minister. Pakistan should engage with Iran, Russia, China, and Turkey about opposing the unilateral decision of USA to send more troops to Afghanistan.
The recent trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan is very important and should become a cornerstone of connecting Central Asia with CPEC.
Pakistan should demand that its counter-terrorism efforts should be recognized rather than being blamed for inaction. Recent Chinese and Russian statements in support of Pakistan are very encouraging.
But we should also reach out to Iran and Turkey and seek their support as well. Turkey as a NATO ally already has troops in Afghanistan and can play a significant role in becoming a guarantor of a political settlement. The recent trilateral summit between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan is very important and should become a cornerstone of connecting Central Asia with CPEC.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman comment that there is no meeting planned between President XI and PM Modi shows the tension due to recent border clashes and competing claims of sovereignty over disputed areas.
Never reinforce a failure
Regime change and military interventions in the Middle East has created a crisis that is affecting every country in the larger region. Europe is facing a refugee crisis and rise of the extreme right that is intolerant towards Muslims. Without solving these crises especially Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Ukraine the world will remain at the edge. Anyone of these flashpoints could translate into a major conflict. American foreign policy seems to be confused and directionless. Each cabinet member has his/her own views that many times do not match with other cabinet members which show a lack of coordination and teamwork. This confusion is making American allies very nervous and they are increasingly charting their own independent foreign policy positions.
G20 summit in Homberg Germany is being closely monitored by observers to look for signs of tensions especially between USA-Russia, USA-Germany, USA-China, and China-India.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman comment that there is no meeting planned between President XI and PM Modi shows the tension due to recent border clashes and competing claims of sovereignty over disputed areas.
Abdul Qayyum Khan Kundi is former President of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, USA, and a member of PTI Central Tarbiyati Council as Incharge of Curriculum Development. He has also authored the book: Islamic Social Contract.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.