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Afghanistan is not a lollipop

Sartaj Aziz’s suggestion to Afghan government to offer Taliban something they can’t gain on battlefield indicates something which has not been spoken by Pakistani officials during last fifteen years.


By Mansoor Faizy-KABUL: The Pakistani Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz has recently said Afghan government should offer something to the Taliban that they cannot gain in battlefield to bring peace in the war-torn country.

“We can only bring the Taliban on the table of talks using our influence, but ultimately Afghanistan has to talk with them,” Aziz said, asserting that Afghan government should strengthen its position on ground and secondly offer Taliban something, the process should be consistent.

However, Aziz’s standpoint is clearly indicating that Pakistan would not convince Taliban to join talks with Afghan government unless Taliban to be given something vast, like governmental posts or other privileges. However, unconfirmed reports had said some three years ago that Pakistan had asked Kabul to give the authority of some provinces in the south to the Taliban.

Aziz clearly mentioned that they can bring Taliban into negotiation table by using its influence, but they won’t do it unless the Afghan government gives them something extraordinary.

This is not the first time that Aziz has admitted regarding his country’s influence on Taliban group, as he had earlier said that Pakistani government could use certain leverages to encourage the Taliban group to participate in direct peace talks with the Afghan government.

Moreover, in an interview with the state-owned PTV, Aziz said: “Most of the groups fighting in Afghanistan are fighting from within but the perception persists that Pakistan should take action against them.”

“Our viewpoint was that you (NATO and ISAF) have been fighting for the last 15 years but could not bring peace, now dialogue is the only potion for if Taliban cannot occupy Afghanistan they can continue this fight for years,” he said.

His saying with so confident that Taliban could not be defeated and can fight for years more clarifies Pakistan’s thinking toward Taliban. Aziz’s thought reflects truth and that’s supporting Taliban so widely that they could keep the flame of war on raise until they want.

Moreover, he said that NATO troops failed to bring peace in Afghanistan, but he forgets that if high prolife leaders of the Taliban were not given shelters and food in Pakistan, now not only Afghanistan but even Pakistan would be in peace and stability.

It is Pakistan where the Taliban and other insurgent outfits are devising evil designs. It is who had provided safe sanctuaries for the Taliban who killed several innocent people in Afghanistan in different occasions while planning coordinate attacks for there (Pakistan).

Afghans are cautiously optimistic when it comes about the future of Afghanistan. The enemies of peace and stability would do everything in their capacity to destroy the gains achieved during past fifteen years.

Kabul-based journalist Baber Khan Sahel said that Pakistani government would never want to see a stable Afghanistan as it sees instability in its interest.

He criticized Aziz’s comments regarding Taliban, saying that Afghan troops are more capable to suppress “Pakistani-backed” Taliban insurgents. And they have provided it practically this year where dozens of Taliban were killed and wounded in different crackdowns of Afghan forces across the country.

Sahel blamed Pakistan for destroying peace talks with the Taliban group every time. He said that the moment the Afghan government engaged with Taliban over peace talks, Islamabad spares no stone unturned to fail it.

“For instance, when the Afghan government was very close to conduct direct peace talks with Taliban, Pakistan released death report of the group’s prolong leader Mullah Omar, aiming at sabotaging the process.” Pakistan should be ashamed of what it’s doing with Afghanistan.” He hardly criticized Pakistan’s insincerity and said that the country is shelter key leaders of terrorist networks.

This comes as Afghan government has long been criticizing Pakistan for allowing the Afghan anti-government armed militant outfits to use its soil to plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan, in which civilians are the most victims of such attacks.

There was a proverb as saying, “in order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.”

It would be better for the government of Pakistan to stop acting like a servant or master of the Taliban because the flame of terrorism and extremism has already entered into Islamabad in form of Laal Masjid. In a nutshell, Pakistan will reap what it had sowed. However, the damages can be controlled if Pakistani authorities throw the ill-thought policies towards neighboring countries.

Islamabad shall look at brighter side of the picture. Kabul has no intention to destabilize neighboring countries because it has learnt a lot during the 5000 years of its history—an age enough to make a layman a sage.

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