Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pakistan and Peace in Afghanistan

Pakistan is a major contributor to the insurgent problem in Afghanistan. Pakistan's viewpoint is that it is in perpetual war with India. Pakistan is very worried about a 'second front' developing in the rear so it wants to keep Afghanistan out of India's influence orbit and keep Afghanistan destabilized with the Pakistan proxies (Haqqani Network and other insurgent groups). President Ghani is trying to reassure Pakistan that its fears of a second front are exaggerated in hopes Pakistan will cease support to the Afghan insurgents and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table. There is very little hope in defeating an insurgency with sanctuary in a neighboring country and state sponsorship; so President Ghani's move to appease Pakistan has some merit. However, this approach by Ghani to Pakistan is getting lots of attention.

Pakistan and Peace Talks. The speaker of the upper house of parliament (Afghan), Fazil Hadi Muslimyar, warned President Ghani to be careful about relying on Pakistan to help broker peace talks with the Taliban. He says that he does not ". . . have much faith in Pakistan's honesty over peace talks". Read more in "Afghan lawmaker says wary of Pakistan role in Taliban peace moves"Reuters, March 9, 2015.

"Sliding Under the Pakistan Thumb". The former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, also has concerns about Pakistan. The former President says he is worried over Afghanistan's tilt towards Pakistan and Ashraf Ghani's gamble on brokering a peace deal with the Taliban. Read more in "Hamid Karzai: Afghanistan in danger of sliding 'under thumb' of Pakistan"The Guardian, March 9, 2015.

Pakistan: From Meddling to Making Peace. All eyes seem to be watching Pakistan to see if they will stop supporting the Afghan Taliban and help in nudging them towards peace talks with Afghanistan. If anything can help out the beleagured Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police it would be Pakistan NOT providing sanctuary, money, intelligence, and other types of support to its "proxie" guerrillas attacking the ANSF. Read "Seize the day"The Economist, March 7, 2015.

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