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ED: Terror fight needs regional unity

The NATO-led international troops invaded Afghanistan with the aim to fight terrorism and extremism in late 2001, which they thought were collected in Afghanistan. After the removal of Taliban from power, Afghan people at first and the rest of the region in second were in a big hope for a bright, peaceful and free of terror atmosphere. That is why the regional countries from Russia to India and from China to the US rival in the region (Iran) welcomed the military action. But, this did not work as the region’s residents imagined. War unfortunately, intensified in which more Afghan civilians were killed and injured, more villages and towns were destroyed in this meaningless war. The general views were that Afghanistan was a safe shelter to the terrorist and extremist groups, while the reality was vice-versa. It was our neighbor Pakistan that had given shelter and support to the terrorist groups and it was using them as an instrument to destabilize Afghanistan and other countries in the region. The former statesmen of Afghanistan repeatedly told the US and other Western authorities about terror sanctuaries in Pakistan, but they less paid attention. Though, the US authorities knew about the safe havens of terrorism in Pakistan, but did not do anything to pressure Islamabad to stop supporting the groups. The world inhabitants became aware when the al-Qaeda terrorist group chief Osama bin Laden was killed by the US special forces in Pakistan soil. Pakistan remained unhurt from the international pressure because of many reasons, as the then US vice president Joe Biden told former President Hamid Karzai that Pakistan was “50 times important” to them than Afghanistan. There could be 50 reasons that make Pakistan “50 times” important. At the age of economic efforts, every nation needs the other’s cooperation does not matter developed or undeveloped, rich or poor. For example, China needs a safe Afghanistan in its neighborhood to fulfill its One Road One Belt initiatives. India, Iran and Russia also need security to open more ways for their economic goals. To fulfill this dream, they have to struggle in helping Afghanistan get rescue from the current problems. Afghans appreciate the neighboring and regional countries for their assistance in the reconstruction program, but they also should be serious in fight against terrorism and there should not be distinction between extremist groups as Karzai just said in India that: “We all should be on one page on the same platform when it comes fighting against extremism”. Regarding the US president Donald Trump’s stance against Pakistan, Afghans welcome it, but they want practical measures to convince Islamabad stop supporting extremist groups and using them as a political tool, because such words were said by the previous US leaders while we saw nothing in action. We are not for a military action against Pakistan, there are many other ways to pressure it join the international decision in fight for a peaceful region and world.

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