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Editorial: Conquest of conflict

United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is visiting Pakistan amidst hectic electioneering process in war stricken country with hopes of getting positive response in favor of calls for return of peace and an end to terror. Prior to landing of Khalilzad in Islamabad, Pakistan media highlighted Taliban’s threats of going for further violence and terror in a bid to sabotage the election process for Afghanistan’s third parliament scheduled to be held on October 20. Earlier, unprecedented violent acts occurred during electorates registration and filing of nomination papers throughout Afghanistan. Even the enemies of peace and democracy have didn’t spare the Non Muslim Afghans who were targeted through a suicide bomber at Jalalabad on July 1st. As a result of violent and terror threats, a sharp decrease was registered in the registration process. Though since longtime the US apparently praying for return of peace and stability in Afghanistan but after an end to ISAF troop’s ground operation in 2014, US responsibilities enhanced. Almost of the US officials are always pleading peace and tranquility in Afghanistan. In this respect, US expecting much more from Pakistan, which is not only immediate neighbouring of Afghanistan but it since a long posting threat to almost of its politico-socio and economic sectors. Khalilzad’s agenda is very much clear as he visiting Pakistan with a request to help in assembling Taliban leadership around a table for discussing ways and means to resolve the conflict through dialogues rather than guns and bullets. Situation has made too much shifts compare to 2014 when the US had announced transferring much more of its responsibilities to Afghan security forces. At that time only Taliban were reigning world of terror, making miserable lives of innocent Afghans. Now along with Taliban-calling them Emirate Islami Afghanistan, the ironic emergence of Islamic States (Daesh)is not only going ahead with multiplying miseries of innocent and helpless civilians but also emerged as a challenge to the legacy of Taliban leader. In fact, war and terror now proved an easy economic source, therefore, almost of elements from hard line religious groups of the region now switching to Daesh. Majority of these hard liners are from neighbouring Pakistan and they are familiar as “Good Taliban.” The IS-Daesh network in Afghanistan is also dominated by hard liners from Pakistan. Earlier they were part of banned Tehrik Taliban Pakistan and now considered “important ingredient” of Daesh. Ironic, Pakistani authorities since 2015 denying presence and existence of IS on its soil. The Americans are also tight lipped about IS deadly terrorist acts and mysterious influence and strength like of mid 90’s when Taliban in Afghanistan had made surprise rest of the world with dislodging the fellow Mujahideen in almost of Pakhtoons dominated provinces along with Durand Line. Similar is the present situation where the IS militants are trying to get influence in the provinces and regions adjacent to Pakistan controlled tribal regions. Since 9/11 US, Afghanistan and Pakistan are three major components in war on terror but they lacking trust in each others. Zalmay Khalilzad needs to first focus on building up a trust and confidence amongst all these three major components, which is essential not only for return of peace and stability in Afghanistan but also for combating the growing trend of terror and militancy throughout the world in general and South-Central Asia in particular. Let’s pray for making results oriented trip of Zalmay Khalilzad, which is not only in the interests of Afghanistan, but to Pakistan and regional countries as well.

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