THE United States announced ‘end of the war’ in Afghanistan as the final military plane departed the international airport in Taliban-ruled Kabul amid a chaotic airlift to transport US nationals and allied Afghans that served the war effort.
However, there are all indications that a cold war among competing interests would continue for a long time to come and therefore, the military leadership has done well by initiating a process to brief the parliamentary representatives about different aspects of the emerging situation and what Pakistan needs to do to safeguard its interests.
It was, indeed, a long but fruitless war imposed on Afghan people from outside and departure of foreign troops without realization of their stated objectives of establishing durable peace and security there, vindicating Pakistan’s viewpoint that there was no military solution to the conflict and instead Afghans should be encouraged to find a solution through intra-Afghan dialogue.
Irrespective of the stated objectives, the war was yet another manifestation of the colonialist approach of some powerful countries as the real agenda was to exploit the vast mineral resources of Afghanistan while keeping a close watch on regional countries.
This also became evident from frantic efforts made to give India a greater say in Afghanistan and New Delhi lost no opportunity to destabilize Pakistan from Afghan soil.
Afghans are rightly celebrating the departure of the foreign occupation forces as they suffered huge losses during the long struggle against alien rule.
But the country still faces enormous challenges because of vested interests that would try to reverse the gains of Afghan people besides the gigantic task of reconstruction and development.
There are also prospects and challenges for Pakistan in the post-withdrawal period and it is satisfying that the elected representatives and the military leadership were on the same page as for as effective handling of the situation is concerned.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa highlighted the importance of restoration of peace in Afghanistan for sustainable development of the region as this would open a new chapter of mutually beneficial connectivity.
Military leadership also deserves credit for its visionary project of border management, as a result of which, Pakistan’s borders are secure and the Pakistan Army was ready to meet any challenge.
As the enemy has unleashed a propaganda campaign against Pakistan despite its contribution and sacrifices in the war against terror, such interactive sessions should regularly be held as part of the efforts to forge national consensus on security issues.