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Editorial: Breaking deadlocks

There is something doing round in mind of US officials who visited Afghanistan, Pakistan and India within a week just after Kabul hits with multiple attacks in the very nose of US troops who stationed in Afghanistan for 17-year. US Secretary of Defense James Mattis arrived Kabul in an unexpected visit on Friday, his visit coming as the US trying to mend relations between Kabul and Islamabad as its Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Islamabad to help at least decrease the level of tensions between the two neighboring states to some level. Pompeo visited Islamabad and held talks with country’s Prime Minister and other officials, where he discussed several issues to mend ways on counter-terrorism – also to take Pakistan down for its support to the militant outfits. The visit happened after relations between US and Pakistan sink to a new low. Moreover, US cut its $300 million dollars in aid to Pakistan. However, US Secretary of Defense Mattis made an announced visit to Kabul to further strengthening the ties between Kabul and Washington—a great signal of mutual cooperation in all aspects. Furthermore, US named Zalmay Khalilzad an Afghan-American as State Department Special Envoy for Afghanistan, and he was present during Pompeo’s meeting with Paksitani official. The reason was very simple, because when elephant is in room the matter of lie and deceit vanish away. This was great trick by US officials because Pakistan could not lie at presence of Khalilzad who at some stage representing Afghans. He also focuses on developing the opportunities to get the Afghans and the Taliban to come to reconciliation. The fact is that this time there is high expectation from current US efforts to convince Pakistan review its project of nurturing terrorists as it benefits none but to bring more devastation. We are optimistic but not sure whether Islamabad shun sheltering militants or remain in that deadly business. Before jumping into judgment, Mattis’s visit to Kabul and his meeting with President Ghani and CEO Abdullah, speaks a little loudly about something to be hopeful about. Peace process, counter-terrorism, positive impact of the South Asia Strategy, reforms in Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, upcoming Presidential, parliamentary and dialogue with Pakistan were key topics during Mattis and Afghan leaders discussion. Current situation is not good in Afghanistan, this is a fact. Growing insecurity and deadlock over elections is dominating two of tens of problems. However, the current meeting between Afghan and US officials have generated new hope to overcome current problems—time will prove it.

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