Pakistan’s prudent Afghan approach

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ACCORDING to media reports, in its input for the ongoing review by the United States on Afghanistan, Pakistan has advised the Trump administration to follow the path of negotiations instead of relying on the use of force to find a solution to the lingering conflict. The suggestion was reportedly made during recent visit of a US delegation led by Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and Special Representatives for Pakistan and Afghanistan Alice G. Wells.
As the United States is reviewing its Afghan policy and the related regional issues, we have been urging in these columns that it offers Pakistan an opportunity to put across its point of view. Washington too has done well by sending its relevant officials to Islamabad for brainstorming with the concerned Pakistani counterparts and senior leadership as irrespective of what the United States ultimately decides, its success would be linked heavily to sincere cooperation by Pakistan. The United States has all along been pressurizing Pakistan to do more and for this purpose it has been using carrot and stick policy but most recently the stick which is being preferred and this is complicating things both for civilian and military leadership of the country. This is because Pakistan is doing more than its financial capacity and military capability and has also achieved a remarkable success. The latest operation carried out in the hardest of the target i.e. Rajgal area is demonstration of this fact and the visiting military leaders of the United States have seen for themselves the achievements made in the war against terror. But there is a limit to military action both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan and that is why while Pakistan is taking simultaneous measures under National Action Plan against Terrorism to address the problem on a long-term basis, there is nothing of the sort across the Durand Line. Unfortunately, both the United States and the Kabul Government prefer using force and it is a foregone conclusion that this policy is bound to fail in the face of suicide attacks as the Soviet Union could not sustain its occupation of Afghanistan in the face of shoulder-held Stinger missiles. Military experts say war in Afghanistan was lost a decade back but the United States lacked courage to acknowledge defeat and as a consequence is suffering more humiliation. There are several mechanisms for peaceful resolution of the conflict and they should be supported by all parties with utmost sincerity.