Threats Turned Requests – Pakistan’s Aid in US-Afghan Peace Talks
Since the start of the diplomatic relationships with the colonial camps, Pakistan has always been in the American side and assisted them time and again. Being located in the ideal place, Pakistan has always played a dynamic role in the operations lead by the US especially after the 9/11. In the recent years despite of all the help and assistance, Trump’s government has been on denial mode regarding the efforts made by Pakistan. The country has lost thousands of civil and military personnel for the war but the demand for "Do More" has been endless. Also the Washington’s policy has always been consistent towards Pakistan which is to Use in need and leave in dark times. But eventually things turned out really odd for the US in Afghanistan and they had to ask for the assistance of Pakistan once again and the recent letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan by Donald Trump is a symbolic evidence of the fact that US can't move on without Pakistan's assistance.
Such were the headlines in different newspapers:
Trump asks Pakistani PM for help with Afghan Peace Talks: Pakistani Minister. (New York Times).
JamesMattis: Pakistan Must “Get On Board” with Afghan Peace Talks. (Washington Times)
This is the first direct communication between the two leaders since Imran Khan assumed power. Although the government has not released the contents of the letter, however, reportedly, other important points of the letter are as under:
Urged cooperation for Special Rep for Afghanistan Reconciliation AmbZalmayKhalilzad’s trip to the region.
Remarked that Pak has the ability to deny the Taliban sanctuary on its territory.
Mentioned that Pak’s assistance with the Afghan peace process is fundamental to building an enduring US-Pak partnership
Zalmay Khalilzad, US special envoy for Afghan peace, has been meeting with Taliban and other representatives of local militant groups since his appointment. According to US media, the deadline of April has been set to end the conflict of the longest US-Afghan war.
Imran Khan has been very modest towards the issue and maintained that he responded positively to the request. “I have promised Islamabad will make all possible efforts to help resolve the Afghan conflict.”As Pak has always advocated a political settlement to end war in Afghanistan, the US suggestion has been welcomed. Pak reiterates its commitment to play a facilitation role in good faith. Peace and stability in Afghanistan remains a shared responsibility. (VOA)
US troops landed in Afghanistan back in 2001, apparently to dismantle Taliban power and Al-Qaeda from Afghanistan. Taliban were a threat to the International community as well as regional members. But now, war has caused too much damage to the region, specifically Pakistan. US's economy has also become fragile because of bearing the war expenses. Too many lives are lost in the war as it is there for
17 years, which has killed around 2,400 Americans, including at least 15 this year, and more than 31,000 Afghan civilians.
Pakistan is also interested to put an end to the US-Afghan war because currently it is hosting 1.7 million Afghan refugees which is a burden on the country's feeble economy and challenging position on terrorism. Pakistan and Afghanistan are sharing a long permeable border. Here it is pertinent to mention that 95 % drugs are made in Afghanistan which adversely effects Pakistan in many aspects. Because of the situation of war, refugees fled towards Pakistan and many of them have been reported to be involved in activities like terrorism and smuggling of drugs which are against the state interest.
US has funded Pakistan to fight against terrorism but in 2017 Trump suspended Pakistan's aid of 300 million dollars, accusing the country for not doing enough to fight terrorism.The world knows that US-Pakistan relationship has always been uneasy. Despite being allies they still share mutual distrust and lack of reliability. They are supposed to be time trusted friends since Pakistan has put its sovereignty and freedom on stakes by fighting US Proxy wars time to time. This is a high time for Pakistan to prove its loyalty once again, even after all the harsh statements against the country which had destroyed its image in international community.
Pakistan is hoping to see the positive results of the US Afghan peace talks which are aided by Pakistan and held at UAE. Although Kabul was not welcomed in the peace talks because Taliban remained stubborn on not talking to the Afghan Government calling them a puppet regime, but it has been reported that Kabul worked to let it happen very devotedly.
Even the possibility of a one-on-one meeting between the two sides is a surprising development, as direct Afghanistan-Taliban negotiations have remained abstract for nearly two decades — in part because the Taliban has refused to negotiate with Kabul.Pakistan’s involvement to resolve the issue is very crucial and the country has subsidized these talks substantiating that it wants to spread peace in the region.It is appreciative that the sense has prevailed this time and the development could help ease tension between Washington and Islamabad.