Afghanistan’s unwarranted opposition

THE public relations wing of Pakistan Army, on Wednesday, slammed Afghan Ministry of Defence for its negative response to launching of Operation Khyber-4 aimed at eliminating the threat of terrorism especially cross-border attacks by Afghanistan-based IS (Daesh). The Afghan Ministry not only opposed the operation but had the audacity to add that operations should be carried out in ‘terrorist centres placed in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar’.
This is sheer provocation in the face of persistent efforts of Pakistan to reduce tension between the two countries and develop a joint collaborative mechanism for eliminating the threat of extremism and terrorism. One fails to understand what objections Afghanistan has to Operation Khyber-4, which is not a war plan against Kabul but purely an operation against terrorists posing threat to both the countries. Pakistan Army has done well by responding to the reaction of the Afghan Defence Ministry telling Kabul that Islamabad anticipates trust-based security coordination and cooperation in the fight against their ‘common enemy’. It also called for ‘rhetoric of blames and suggestive allegations’ to be avoided, terming them ‘agenda of forces working against order and peace in the region’. Sincere and comprehensive operation launched by Pakistan Army affords an opportunity to address the challenge of terrorism once for all but this requires sincere cooperation from Afghan government and foreign forces still stationed there in the name of war against terror. There are repeated demands from the other side that action should be taken against Haqqani network, which Pakistan has done and is doing but they are not willing to take action against those carrying out terrorism inside Pakistan from safe havens in Afghanistan. Equally provocative is the suggestion that operation should be conducted in major cities of Pakistan, which are not abode of terrorists like Kunar. Opposition to Khyber-4 means Kabul has no intention to cooperate in the war against terror and Pakistan will have to complete the border fencing at the earliest to mitigate the threat.

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