Unambiguous Afghan policy

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The statement made by Minister for Information and Broad casting Fawad Chaudhry, who is chief spokesperson of the Government, on Monday once again conveyed an unambiguous message that Pakistan has a clear policy on Afghan issue, which reflects aspirations of the people and suits well in the emerging situation.

He stated that the government is keeping a close eye on developments taking place in Afghanistan and making all out efforts for an all-encompassing government in Kabul.

The situation in Afghanistan is volatile due to the dramatic successes being scored by the Taliban in their battles against the Government troops with apprehensions that the country could fall into the trap of another vicious cycle of civil war and dislocation of people.

As the evolving situation has serious consequences for Pakistan, it is understandable that the country cannot afford to sit idle.

In this backdrop, Pakistan is in contact with various Afghan factions in its bid to persuade them to come to the negotiating table and find a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

However, it is also a fact that Pakistan has limited leverage and its efforts can only succeed if these are complemented by other regional players and the highest sense of sincerity is demonstrated by Afghan rivals.

The remarks made by Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen on Monday reflected the ground realities when he welcomed Pakistan’s efforts to help arrive at a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan but added it “cannot dictate to us or impose its views on us’.

There is also consensus in Pakistan about total non-interference in Afghanistan and for measures to safeguard the country’s interests as instability in Afghanistan invariably has its implications for Pakistan.

Thanks to the project for fencing of Pak-Afghan border, the country is in a much better position this time to manage things in the event of any major influx of refugees and the Minister also reiterated the resolve of the government not to allow them to penetrate into urban centres.

We hope these do not turn out to be mere assertions and clear policy guidelines are issued to the Army and the law-enforcing agencies right now for strict implementation.

 

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