OIC Summit: Pakistan’s remarkable contribution
DIALOGUE is the only peaceful solution to resolve any conflict. Use of force or other military options cannot be a vital option to end any kind of conflict.
The United States-led NATO forces spent almost 20 years in Afghanistan but failed to defeat the resurgent Taliban.
They used the world’s most sophisticated military technology to defeat the Taliban but all went in vain. After visualizing its defeat, they realized that this war cannot be won by using military might hence opted for peaceful negotiations to end its longest military presence outside America.
In reaching a peaceful settlement with the Taliban, American authorities — under the Trump Administration —turned to Pakistan to get the group on the negotiation table. Likewise, Pakistan welcomed the US move and played a positive and pivotal role to end bloodshed in Afghanistan. Pakistani government tried its best to persuade the Afghan Taliban for peace talks and facilitated the peace process.
With Pakistan’s positive role and tireless efforts, both the US and Taliban had agreed to end the longest war and signed a peace agreement in February 2020 in Doha.
Both parties had agreed to reduce violence and bloodshed in the country and peaceful US withdrawal. After the agreement, both parties adhered to the commitments made in the deal. However, Western-backed Ghani Government showed annoyance and resentment over the US-Taliban deal. Ghani Government termed the deal ‘US Surrender’ and harmful for Intra-Afghan negotiations.
Moreover, his government’s rigid and egoistic approach led to the lack of trust between the Taliban and Ghani Government due to which, all the points couldn’t be materialized, which ultimately derailed overall peace process. The rigid approach of Ghani Government was responsible for all the chaos and mess in Afghanistan.
After the immature approach of Ghani Government, Pakistan visualized the developments in the greater interest of the region and sensitized the international community regarding the possible spill-over of the conflict.
Pakistan categorically told the world about the spoilers of peace process. So, after fall of Kabul, when Ghani Government collapsed and chaos erupted in Afghanistan, Pakistan once again came to help vulnerable Afghans.
As the US refused to recognize the IEA government, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan worsened. The US had frozen all Afghan assets. In this need of the hour, Pakistan helped Afghan people with economic support. It provided Afghanistan humanitarian aid despite limited economic facilities.
Afghanistan is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.
The situation has led to the economic collapse of the country as international aid has been stopped. The new Afghan government led by the Taliban is struggling hard to meet requirements of the people.
However, due to lack of funds and having no international recognition, it is becoming difficult for the IEA government to help the needy people. On the other hand, Pakistan is trying to develop international consensus on the issue of Afghanistan specially to avert humanitarian crisis.
In this regard, Pakistan hosted an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign ministers’ meet on Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s tireless efforts compelled the US to show leniency to ease sanctions on Afghanistan’s banking sectors.
After the joint stance of OIC on the Afghan issue, the US should reconsider its approach towards Afghanistan and allow more smooth economic transactions in Afghanistan to provide more humanitarian aid to vulnerable people. The world cannot abandon young Afghan children. They are desperately looking for international aid to come out of this situation.
Pakistan’s stance on Afghanistan is being acknowledged worldwide. Recently, former US Generals and Senators urged President Biden not to abandon Afghanistan.
They also pushed his Administration to expedite humanitarian aid to the country. Recently, the US Congress also dropped negative reference against Pakistan which is an endorsement of Islamabad’s stance. Now, the US should do more to protect humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan.
It shouldn’t forget that peaceful Afghanistan is key to international peace. If the international community abandoned Afghanistan, terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS may take advantage of the situation and Afghanistan may become a hub of terrorism again. Any unilateral approach of the US will have negative repercussions for regional and international peace.
By holding OIC Council of Foreign Ministers’ summit in Islamabad, Pakistan has once again shown its resolve to find a mutual solution for Afghan conflict.
As the US special envoy for Afghanistan Tom West, UN, Russia and other countries praised Pakistan for holding the OIC summit, this is global recognition of Pakistan’s positive role in resolving Afghanistan issue.
To avert humanitarian conflict in Afghanistan, de jure recognition of Afghan government is best possible solution. As far as the US is concerned, it must continue to support Pakistan politically and economically. It should also not abandon Afghanistan and must initiate the process of unfreezing Afghan assets.
—The writer is Islamabad based expert of strategic affairs.