Afghan Issue: Pakistan can play vital role


The recent peace talk held in Moscow on May 28-30 2019, came amid international efforts to end the nearly 18-year long war in Afghanistan. Where trillion dollars lost, thousands of precious lives sacrificed, unlimited people left homes, children, females, aged people alike were victimized, yet no victory to either party. 

In a May 30 joint statement, said they held "productive and constructive" talks focusing on a possible cease-fire, the "strengthening of the Islamic system," and "women's rights." "Both sides have had tremendous progress, but some issues require further discussions," the statement read. However, Mr.  Ata Mohammad Noor, a powerful regional leader, expressed some disappointment, said. "Our main message was on the cease-fire; a cease-fire could be the beginning of peace."

Either US engagement with Taliban or Russian efforts, or Chinese diplomacy, neither could reach a cease-fire, withdrawal of foreign forces and stability of Afghanistan. We may not undermine any one’s efforts toward a peace-full settlement of Afghanistan but hope an early settlement. 

Pakistan shares rivers and mountains, culture and traditions, religion and ethnicity, with so many commonalities, no one else understand the Afghan Issue better than Pakistan. Pakistan hosts millions of Afghan refugees for the last 4 decades. Historical links with Pakistan goes back to a thousand years. Pakistan can play a vital role in the Afghan issue.

The US tried to involve India in Afghan Issue, which was unnatural and illogical. A country from several thousand Kilometers away, without having anything in common with them, having no basic understanding of local issues, cannot play any role.

Even US troop’s withdrawal needs Pakistan’s cooperation. Afghanistan is surrounded by countries like Iran and Central Asia, which the US cannot utilize for a safe exit. Only Pakistan can facilitate a safe and honorable exit. The US must engage Pakistan in a meaning full manner for any peace-full settlement of Afghan issue.

There exists consensus that Afghanistan has suffered too long, there should be an end to the suffering of people of Afghanistan. Afghan people deserve peace and stability, access to education, access to good health care, access to good food, and access to good civic life. Afghans are not the people of lessor God. They deserve all right ensured under the charter of United Nation. Afghan situation is a major hurdle in the development of the whole region as all the major trade routes pass through Afghanistan, either Eurasia or central Asia, access to warm waters is through Afghanistan to Pakistan and finally to the Arabian sea. 

Peace in Afghanistan will address the issue of terrorism and the instability of the whole region. Current situation in Afghanistan is serving nursery of extremist and terrorism. Whole world is suffering due to menace of terrorism. Having agreed upon this perception, all nations may try their best to bring peace to Afghan, the sooner the better.

Recent efforts by Moscow are highly appreciated, US engagement with the Taliban directly also encourages. The US and Russia are in a position, to implement if an accord is reached. It happened in the past, many accords were reached among few factions but could not be implemented sustainably. 

Pakistan based on its understanding the depth of issue and temperament of Afghan society can contribute a lot. Pakistan can feel the pulse of Afghans and may come up with some out of the way solution, acceptable to all factions in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s role may not be under-estimated. No other nation can replace role of Pakistan in solving Afghan issue. Pakistan suffered a lot due to situation in Afghan, we lost 80,000  precious lives, an estimated economic loss worth US dollar 250 billion, a huge set-back in our economic take-off, deterioration in civic society and intangible loss in emotional and spiritual form. Pakistan will be the first nation on earth wanted to settle down Afghan issue sincerely.

A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is vital to everyone’s interest. Let us keep on struggling for peace and move forward. All options may be kept open and be ready to bargain to a maximum in the best interest of people of Afghanistan. Trust, no one will be disappointed, if peace is achieved in Afghanistan. Peace efforts may be intensified and frequent contact with the Taliban, is only way out. Only Afghan led solution will be sustainable.