In the 72nd UN General Assembly session, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi categorically told the international community that “Pakistan won’t be a scapegoat in the Afghan War.” This statement is an indirect response to Trump’s new Afghan policy. During his speech PM Abbasi has firmly said that Pakistan believes on “urgent” and “realistic” goals in Afghanistan and wants complete elimination of all terrorist organizations including Daesh, Al-Qaeda and TTP. He further denotes that apart from the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and its people have suffered the most from four decades of foreign intervention and civil wars in Afghanistan. For 16 years of the ongoing war in Afghanistan, peace has not achieved which clearly depicts that now we should ponder upon some other options.

Great lies and The New Great GameBefore analyzing PM Abbasi’s speech, it is important to discuss the American role in the region generally and in Afghanistan especially. After 9/11 incident, the US has deployed more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, did massive bombardment with strategic bombers, conducted more than 10,000 intelligence based operations in almost every corner of Afghanistan. But what was achieved? Obviously nothing! After spending 1 trillion dollars and deploying massive military might with modern weaponry, still more than 60 percent Afghanistan is under Taliban’s control. Unfortunately, today the Kabul government has no writ outside its presidential palace. Infrastructure has totally demolished, agriculture sector of Afghanistan has entirely ruined and Human Development Index (HDI) of Afghanistan became one of the lowest.

Because of all these failures and decimations, I am not reluctant to say that the American role in Afghanistan is to achieve maximum level of “unrest” and “instability” instead of peace and stability. Without a slightest doubt, Uncle Sam has badly failed to assess and understand Afghanistan. Realities at ground are utterly different. The Afghans have their own socio-cultural values but tactlessly America is looking it by its peculiar spectacles. For instance, the most recent power transition in Afghanistan under American supervision within different ethnic groups was nothing more than a spoof. People at grass root level were displeased with this transition of power and ultimately Taliban took advantage of the politically vulnerable situation and allied them against Kabul government.

All regional and extra-regional players couldn’t deny the geographical realities of South Asia. Cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan is extremely essential for regional peace and stability. And all those actors who are creating mistrust between the two countries are actually not in the favour of regional peace and stability. Therefore it is dire need of time that ongoing mistrust between Kabul and Islamabad must come to an end. More than that Kabul must be aware of all those elements including India which are not willing for regional peace and stability. Now it puts great responsibility on policy makers in Islamabad to look the things in a broader spectrum. Along with it, Islamabad must move cautiously and avoid siding with any of the two contending powers in this New Great Game.

 

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