Emerging contours of new Afghanistan
The Afghan scene is changing at a fast pace following Abbottabad operation in which American forces killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and since then all round attempts are being made to convince Taliban to sever their ties with Al-Qaeda. Americans have tried in recent months to sideline Pakistan and give dominant role to India in the post-withdrawal period in Afghanistan but the policy has not succeeded as it clashed with the ground realities. In this backdrop, reports emanating from Washington indicate that following visit of the ISI Chief to the US Capital, Americans have changed their thinking and are once again talking about Pakistani concerns in this regard. And in related developments, withdrawal of foreign forces has begun from Afghanistan, as planned, giving responsibility of the security to the local forces. According to a spokesman of President Karzai, the security transition has started in Bamyan Province and the process would be completed by the end of 2014. It is, however, to be seen whether or not the Afghan troops are able to take over effective control of the situation as their legitimacy is being questioned because of concerns that the West is inducting the Northern Alliance in wholesale in the security apparatus to the disadvantage of the pre-dominant Pushtun population of the country. Any how, there are reasons to believe that because of the financial pressure as well as that of the domestic public opinion, the West would have to vacate its aggression in Afghanistan by hook or by crook. In this backdrop, Pakistan should also revisit its policy and initiate the process of dialogue with Taliban, as being a poor country we cannot afford to sustain such a costly war for a long period and that too when the United States has started dragging feet on its commitment to provide the necessary financial support.