Securing peace and stability in Afghanistan is indeed a growing concern of all, particularly Pakistan’s for obvious reasons.
How to go about that there had been many attempts, the most significant however being initiation of intra-Afghan dialogue kick-started by Pakistan and then taken over by the Quadrilateral Co-ordination Group.
But there is not much in evidence to suggest that it sits well with the Afghan government – a dilemma complicated by none else but President Ashraf Ghani himself. His actions and statements on the subject of intra-Afghan dialogue remain enigmatic. Just think of his reaction to the phone call made to him by Pakistan’s new army chief General Bajwa. Instead of owning up his failure in fighting and defeating the insurgents Ghani blamed Pakistan’s security forces.
How weirdly his mind works one gets a glimpse of it from his phone talk with Maulana Sami-ul-Haq on Thursday. It’s true being head of the alma mater from where quite a few high-ranking Afghan Taliban leaders, including Mullah Muhammad Omar, graduated, the Maulana does enjoy a lot of respect and following among the insurgents. And also that he can play some role in persuading the Taliban to join talks with the Kabul establishment. But it would be darn fallacious to think that he would undertake this errand without taking the government into confidence.
Informed circles in Islamabad do know that of late, the Kabul rulers have been seeking to drive a wedge between the government and the people of Pakistan on the issue of greater peace and stability in Afghanistan. Having played the ‘Pashtun card’ last month, Kabul is now at it with its ‘Haqqania card’. The motive is clearly aimed at establishing that it is not the people but the generalship in Pakistan that wants to keep Afghan cauldron on the boil.
But Maulana Sami could see through this game plan. He did agree to help persuade the Taliban to join Kabul for peace parleys. But then he also gave his mind to the Afghan leader on what he thinks the government in Kabul should do in order to pave the way for resumption of peace process. For one he underscored the imperative that there should be peace both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It won’t work if Kabul joins India and fields and finances proxies to foment terrorism in Pakistan, he told President Ghani. Kabul’s involvement in this vicious pastime is now an undeniable fact, accepted none but India’s own chief spymaster Ajit Doval who is on record having said that New Delhi would ‘use the Afghan against Pakistan’. The Maulana also advised the Afghan leader to get rid of the foreign forces, not only as a gesture of showing respect to numerous sacrifices rendered by the Afghan people, but also because in his opinion they are opposed to obtaining peace and stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But much more importantly he underlined the need for Afghan and Pakistan governments to have talks and resolve their differences. One is not sure if the President Ashraf Ghani was prepared to hear this post truth. He did approach the right person – but with a vicious mindset. -Business Recorder