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Afghan govt should play its own game

The death report of Mullah Omar, the figurehead of the Taliban, has not only flared up tensions among the Taliban and broken out a deepening schism, but at the same time moved the Upper House of the Parliament of Pakistan to seek policy statement from the government on at least two issues of foreign policy. They want details about the recently held round of talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban and the location where Mullah Omar died. This move is worth appreciation. This is what Kabul should have asked from Islamabad officially that where did Mullah Omar died and under what circumstances. However, this is what Pakistan’s Senate did. It clearly indicates that Kabul has a dormant policy on Pakistan and the Taliban. For change in any policy, there must be awareness regarding the flaws and weaknesses and then there must be acceptance. Without awareness and acceptance, changes wouldn’t happen on its own. Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Raza Rabbani asked the leader of the House Raja Zafar-ul-Haq that advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharfi on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz should come in the house and give policy statement on the two key issues. This idea was raised by Farhatullah Babar, a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker. Now the Parliament of Afghanistan must also urge the government to ask Islamabad officially regarding the death of Mullah Omar. Those Taliban who still have a softer place for Pakistan in their hearts will be disillusioned and will know the hidden motives of Pakistan in Afghanistan as why Islamabad has been supporting militancy in the region. Give the serious rifts in the ranks of the Taliban, changing attitude of Pakistan, the increasing interests of China in the Afghan peace process, and strengthening regional bonds, Kabul can successfully outclass its rivals. At this moment, Kabul needs a shrewd foreign policy particularly regarding the Taliban and Pakistan, though the Taliban is an internal issue yet at the same time a foreign challenge as well because all the threads of the movement are being controlled from outside the Afghan frontiers. Kabul must reinvent its policies as yesterday is not ours to recover, but yes, tomorrow is ours to win or lose, and this win and loss is predictable on the basis of how our government plays. Perhaps, Kabul has never got such a golden opportunity as it did after the death of Mullah Omar. And if it didn’t play well, it will have nothing to do but wring its hands. It can successfully exploit the internal differences among the opposing Taliban leaders. As the ex-Taliban members called on the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan to leave Pakistan as it is a treacherous country, the government must try to bring home the dissident elements who oppose the selection of Mullah Mansoor as the new leader of the Taliban. Amid the rifts over the appointment of Mullah Mansoor as the new leader of the militant group, the head of the Taliban’s political bureau office in Qatar, Sayyad Tayyab Agha, stepped down late Monday. He said that he stepped down as the head of the political office of the Islamic Emirate, because his political role has come to an end. He said he will not be part of any decisions and statements of the Emirate. This clearly shows his resentment over the appointment of Mullah Mansoor and also his lack about the death of Mullah Omar for quite over a two year span must have raised his anger, on whose behalf he was giving statements to media. The government must try to bring him to Kabul now. This is a right opportunity. Now talking to the Taliban and appeasing their anger is not that much a difficult job but given that Kabul outperforms other stakeholders.

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