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AfPak ties and soaring violence

A suicide car bomb ripped through the capital Kabul on Tuesday that hit a convoy of foreign troops. On the same day, an office of the National Directorate of Security was attacked in eighth police jurisdiction of the capital city. Three suicide bombers stormed the office. In the attack one NDS staffer was killed and another injured. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

There is Hizb-e-Islami, Haqqani Network, the Taliban and now Daesh has also joined in the race. Therefore, whenever there is some terror incident one or the other group claims the responsibility. This is not important who accepts the responsibility, what really matters is who will quit violence and make history. Violence is violence where it doesn’t reduce the degree of pain when someone learns who was behind it. Yes, it becomes very much painful when looks at it that a country that calls itself, the fortress of Islam, has been supporting all these groups without any sense of fear from the international community let alone from a weaker state like Afghanistan. The serious problem that mothers all other problems is that Pakistan and Afghanistan don’t know what they want from each other. Pakistan always looks at Afghanistan with suspicion that its soil will be used by India and Pakistan’s other enemies including Israel. Likewise, Afghanistan has always blamed Pakistan for supporting terrorism against the former. For the first time, an Afghan President, attempted to break the barriers when it comes to Kabul’s relations with Islamabad and thought out of the box, but what did he achieve at the end of the day? Did he reach where he wanted to be?  He kept all the eggs just in one basket, which for he had to face severe criticism from those people who don’t have any trust in the constructive role of Pakistan, including Hamid Karzai, the ex-Afghan president, former NDS chief Amrullah Saleh and a number of other key individuals. Intellectuals looked with disdain at Ghani’s development with Pakistan. After realizing, his honest but naïve approach didn’t yield the desired the results, months later, Ghani sent a letter to the Pakistani authorities where he had put some tough demands. Though the officials in Pakistan denied to have received any such letter, but what people were told in Kabul is that Ghani demanded of Pakistan to bring the Taliban to the table of negotiations or eliminate the Taliban safe hideouts on the soil of Pakistan. Ghani gave Pakistan a 3-week deadline to prove its commitments, however, instead of reining in the Taliban, they have gone gory and more bloodthirsty as since the start of the sacred of month of Ramadan, the violence of the Taliban has gone many notches higher. After Afghanistan and Pakistan premier intelligence agencies signed an intelligence sharing MoU, there has been a shocking spike in terror attacks inside Afghanistan. Even the parliament came under attack at the very heart of the country. Even the spy agency’s offices in the capital city are not safe as evident from today’s attack on the NDS sub-office. Interior Minister, Noor-ul-Haq Ulomi, cancelled his visit to Pakistan because of the suicide attack on the parliament. Pakistan’s ISI was blamed to be behind the parliament attack. When the relations of the two neighboring countries have reached to a new low, what should be done? Before any renewed efforts, policymakers in Kabul and Islamabad should think over the matter what Afghanistan and Pakistan want from each other. Until this issue is understood, any rapprochement efforts wouldn’t yield the desired results.

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