Kabul’s predicament

A report submitted to the US Congress has revealed that number of districts controlled or influenced by the Afghan government has been declining since 2009 while the number controlled or influenced by the militants has been rising. The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) should be a serious cause for concern for world community as deterioration in situation persists despite increased intensity of bombing and drone attacks by the United States under Trump Administration.
The report also revealed that in October 2017, the US dropped 653 munitions in Afghanistan, a record high since 2012 and a more than threefold increase from October 2016. Afghanistan is witnessing ruthless bombing and killing for the last one and a half decades as a result of which its entire infrastructure has been destroyed besides huge losses to individual properties. Apart from the surge in the number of US troops in Afghanistan, the United States has also trained a sizeable number of Afghan Army but the cumulative result of all such endeavours, claimed to be aimed at restoring peace in the war-torn country, is that situation has not even improved symbolically. American policy and decision-makers ought to have an objective and fair analysis of the situation pinpointing genuine causes of the failures but unfortunately they are resorting to window dressing. As the American public opinion is increasingly becoming weary of the stalemate in Afghanistan despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars, Washington is trying to absolve itself of the responsibility for the messy situation by pointing accusing fingers towards Pakistan. It is encouraging that this time round Pakistan leadership has responded firmly to such allegations telling the United States that it is not willing to become a scapegoat of Washington’s failure in Afghanistan. The United States has not won and is unlikely to win the war in Afghanistan if it persists with its present policy of relying more on use of force. Pakistan has repeatedly asserted that peace in Afghanistan can only come through dialogue. And when it comes to dialogue, it should be held with all Taliban and there should be no categorisation like good or bad. It is also time for the Kabul Government to understand that it cannot realise the objective of peace and normalcy by becoming part of conspiracies against Pakistan.

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