Babar Khan Bozdar
THE massive attack in diplomatic quarter of Kabul killed more than 150 people and several wounded. It raises questions on the performance of law enforcement agencies. The attack was deadliest in Afghan capital since last summer when an IS bomber killed 100 peoples in protest and one of the largest to hit Kabul since 2001 intervention. It is strange that, neither Taliban nor ISIS claimed the responsibility of terrorist attack; while it is hypothetically believed that behind this terror attack, Pakistan backed Taliban faction is responsible. This was alleged by Afghanistan’s intelligence service, the directorate of national security in a press conference.
Though, Afghan intelligence agency, despite accepting their failure, labelling attack with Pakistan is against the reality. It is a fact that Pak-Afghan relations are not good. Whatever happened in Afghanistan It was blamed on Pakistan immediately without any evidences and is the common practice of Afghan officials. To prove these allegations false, I am presenting some justified arguments.
The main argument is that Afghan army as well as Spy agency is incompetent. Similarly, NDS is interlinked with many terrorist groups. If they were known that, Pakistan backed terrorist groups are going to explode in the fortified area where there are numerous security check posts , then why not they were caught on these check post? Why Afghan officials didn’t inform Pakistan to take stringent measures against these outfits? How the terrorist reached in such fortified area by crossing all the check post? In this regard, their silence is questionable? Pakistan rejected the baseless statement of Afghan government and hoped that Afghanistan will avoid maligning Pakistan.
The deadliest attack in Afghanistan shattered the walls of Kabul. Peoples from different walks of life condemned this heinous crime against humanity and demanded that the culprits should be behind the bars. Similarly, accusation of Pakistan is also condemned. Today Afghanistan is a staging ground and all the agencies of world are operating there. Afghanistan becomes the hub of all terrorist organizations and Pakistan is the only victim of these outfits because of negligence and ignorant behaviour of current and past Afghan governments. More than 50 thousand civilians and security personals lost their lives in war against terrorism because Afghanistan exports terrorism in Pakistan.
Today, Pakistan is a front-line state in war against terrorism. As Afghanistan is victim of terrorism similarly, Pakistan has faced its spillover effects. Hence, hiding their weaknesses and accusing a responsible state is not a rational approach and continually, adopting same behaviour will undermine the efforts of Pakistan in combating terrorism. As a student of strategic studies, I think that, behind this terrorist attack, the enemy of Afghanistan and Pakistan is same and is within Afghanistan. Due to bitter relations, Enemy is trying to take maximum benefit and use Afghanistan against Pakistan which is not in the favor of peace, prosperity and instability of Pakistan in general and Afghanistan in Particular.
Peace in Afghanistan is a distant dream. There are many reasons behind this. Since Soviet invasion, Afghanistan always remained in state of war. The divide of political parties on the basis of stronghold and role of warlords added fuel to the flames. Moreover, Afghan administration didn’t stepped back and always expressed venom against their neighbours and well-wishers. Today peace in Afghanistan is AT stack due to their double policies. The 40 percent area of Afghanistan is still controlled by Taliban and there is Civil war like situation which has adversely affected Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan is not behind any unpleasant incident happening in Afghanistan, perhaps it is their failure. Moreover labelling allegations against other countries only “signifies a tendency to externalise the internal challenges faced by Afghanistan.” The anti-Pakistan sentiments in Afghanistan are not new phenomenon but it is very old. It is very sad to say that, both Afghanistan and Pakistan governments failed in resolving their basic bilateral issues which are the cause of all problems.
An international conference was held on June 6, 2017 to sort out the political solution of lingering conflict in Afghanistan which was attended by Delegates from around two dozen countries, including the United States, Pakistan, India, China, Russia, Iran and central Asian and European countries, to discuss the current Afghan situation. A Foreign Office official said Pakistan was attending the conference as part of its consistent approach that a solution to the Afghan problem could be found through Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process. He further stated that, this accusatory approach was instigated by those who had no interest in peace and stability in Afghanistan and their malicious agenda is to damage Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and the cooperation initiatives recently gaining momentum.
Who is more benefited from the recent attack? Analysts believed that RAW is behind the Kabul attack. India is trying to kill two birds with one stone. Pakistan and Afghanistan were nearly resuming dialogue process and suddenly Kabul was attacked. As a result, once again deadlock occurs in Pak-Afghan relations. India is trying to isolate Pakistan therefore; it is using all these tactics. The enemy of Peace has succeeded in its mission but Afghanistan should think out of box and stand with Pakistan shoulder to shoulder as peace and stability could be maintained. In a nutshell, the Enemy of Pakistan and Afghanistan is same and in same shape and dress. Now it is a question that whether Afghanistan will recognize its enemy or still it will wear a mask and fire in the air without pinpointing the target?
—The writer is associated with Strategic Vision Institute, a think-tank based in Islamabad.