The Afghanistan stalemate: predicament for Pakistan
Afghanistan is thorn in the Pakistan’s side. The morass of Political and strategic jugglery has engulfed superpowers in the vortex of barren and rugged Afghanistan.
The important geographical feature rendered the Afghanistan bone of contention between great power like Britain, USSR and America. Afghanistan remained the focal point of USSR and British India and played the role of buffer state between the great games of superpowers.
When USSR invaded Afghanistan, America succeeded in its goal to baulk the USSR at Pak Afghan border with the help of Pakistan.
After 1979, Afghanistan is facing traditional and non-traditional issues of fragile security, foreign invasion and drug trafficking. Poor border management and lack of state control in sub-regions alongside Afghanistan turned these ungoverned areas into the heart of terrorism, narco-trafficking and other social evils.
President Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan Government is unable to withstand the onslaught of Taliban instead of having over 2, 000, 00 Lac Military force, gunship helicopters and sophisticated weaponry in her arsenals.
The continuous inroad and capture of colossal resources has become Taliban an gigantic threat to power centres. It is just tantamount to beleaguering of Kabul regime. Taliban has captured the strategic trade routes leading to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Pakistan which will definitely cease the resources of Kabul Government.
To establish peace in Afghanistan, it is necessary to maintain a balance of power between ethnic groups and devise a strategy to overcome violent struggle for power.
A truly democratic, secure, pluralistic Afghanistan can only prevent regional rivalries, the risk of terrorism and guarantees a stable South Asia with successful opportunities of economic cooperation with resourceful CAR’s.
According to Taliban claim, they are engaged in holy war and their objective is to restore Sharia-based government deep-rooted with the primitive version of Islam.
The drawdown of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan, disengagement of sanctions on Taliban commanders levied by United Nation and the release of their fellow prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay prison have been some preconditions imposed by Taliban to start effective peace talks.
To bring peace, Afghanistan must change its Kabul centric policy and give the Taliban some leading position in the country. The NATO and US drawdown from Afghanistan have lifted grave concerns among the regional and international community. Geopolitical competition between the dangerous neighbourhood of Afghanistan and interest of global powers make the security of Afghanistan more complicated.
For example, the geopolitics of transit route for gas between Turkmenistan Afghanistan and Pakistan is a great challenge for Iran as well as Russia who wants to contain US domination in the region. Likewise, this situation is also a subject of apprehensions for Pakistan and India.
The military victory of Taliban will going to be translated into political victory. The Taliban needs international recognition as a legitimate stakeholder and a kosher representative of the Afghan people.
The regional powers do not want civil war in Afghanistan and neither the public stomach the further casualties of their families and brothers. The people of Afghanistan want peace and tranquillity. They do not want to either flee or take refuge into neighbouring countries. The neighbouring powers already declined to take the influx of refugees.
It is forgone conclusion that if the rapprochement does not happen between Taliban and Afghan Government, then more blood bath will happen as Taliban advances towards Kabul. Sooner and later, Kabul will fall if the Afghan Government fails to take air support and military clout of outgoing superpower.
US General Mark Miller also anticipated the military takeover of Taliban over Kabul in the absence of robust defence.
The challenges facing Pakistan after the withdrawal of US forces are creation of power vacuum, re-emergence of Taliban, stability of Afghanistan, reconciliation between Taliban and Afghan government.
Pakistan has keen interest in addressing these challenges because Pakistan shares direct borders with Afghanistan. China wants considerable role of Pakistan in Afghanistan while the USA and India do not want it. They flout the dynamic and unprecedented role of Pakistan in the deracination of terrorism and unstinted efforts to build peace in war-torn Afghanistan.
The role of Pakistan to bring peace in Afghanistan is undeniable. Pakistan has borne irreparable loss and survive vicissitudes in the mirage of pursuing strategic depth, now seems to be far cry.
The peace in Afghanistan is indispensable for regional stability, prospective economic and energy ventures. – PUNA