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MILITARY PROXIES SEIZE GHAZNI

Unending double games at the cost of real tragedies

Taliban fighters are roaming freely on the streets of strategically located Ghazni, Afghanistan (less than 100 miles from the capital, Kabul) killing more than a hundred Afghan soldiers and police officers, cutting communications and severing the main highway from Kabul to the south and beyond.  Officials claim the Taliban are aided by foreign fighters, including Pakistanis and Chechens, and even some Al Qaeda affiliates.

The seize of Ghazni

The seize of Ghazni negates the official Afghan and American narrative of progress in the war and the possibility for peace talks.  It is being reported that the United States military is playing down the extent of the crisis, and their assessments are completely at odds with the information from the locals. If that’s true then what is worrisome is the negotiations that will follow with Taliban.

The timing of this assault on Ghazni is critical as the Afghan government and its international partners were seen pushing for a second cease-fire. Haroon Chakansuri had earlier confirmed a report in the Wall Street Journal that the government was considering a repeat of the truce during Eid al-Qurban, the second Eid holiday which this year falls on Aug. 22.

As per Pakistan daily, Dawn  a statement released by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the top US diplomat telephoned the army chief and discussed with him the “need for political reconciliation in Afghanistan and the importance of targeting all militant and terrorist groups in South Asia without distinction.” 

But why a call was made to General Bajwa and not the country’s political leadership?  Why do the Taliban Shura listen to Pakistan?

Presence of the Afghan Taliban leadership in Quetta and Peshawar

Last year US top military commander in Afghanistan, General John W Nicholson in an interview with TOLO news, had said the Trump administration is “aware of the presence of the Afghan Taliban leadership in Quetta and Peshawar” and the issue of ‘sanctuaries’ was being addressed in ‘private’ between Pakistan and US governments.

What does this imply?

Probably he indicated that the Shura in Peshawar & Quetta cannot be operated in isolation by the warlords Sirajuddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar operate Peshawar and Quetta Shura without the backing of  Pakistan Army?

Pakistan’s duplicitous tendencies are not new,  but is it justified at the cost of real tragedies?

It is imperative to assess the security threats facing the region and the world at large and suitable coordinated action to tackle them. Officially, India has always been against any differentiation within the Afghan Taliban between reconcilable and irreconcilable elements because it views the insurgent group as a militant proxy of Pakistan. Bilaterally India has played a significant role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. India’s extensive developmental assistance programme, which now stands at $2 bn is a strong indicator of its abiding commitment to peace stability and prosperity in Afghanistan during its critical period of security and governance transition. This makes India one of the leading donor nations to Afghanistan and by far the largest in the regional countries and it will stand by all its commitment to resurrecting Afghanistan.

Unending double games by Pakistan Army at the cost of real tragedies

Afghan authorities have blamed Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, for funding warlords and the Taliban, and for basing terrorist camps within Pakistani territory to target Afghanistan. There is a considerable anti-Pakistan sentiment in Afghanistan, based in large part on Pakistan’s ongoing support for the Taliban.

Pakistan is the reason for most of the challenges confronting the Afghan State and its National Unity Government (NUG). Unless Afghan people are allowed to own their country, the Pakistani military establishment will continue to toy with Afghan geography, resources, and lives.

Pakistan Army’s dubious take on terrorism has put the U.S in a tight spot. However, it will be interesting to see if it again whips Pakistan for sheltering Shura’s or succumb to the Pak ploy at Ghazni.

17 Aug 18/Friday                                                                      Written by Afsana 

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