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Editorial: National interests at stake

Since ouster from power, the Taliban for the first time sent an official delegation to Islamabad to discuss issues pertaining to Afghan refugees in Pakistan and situation in the areas along the de facto border, Durand Line. The delegation flew from Qatar to Pakistan. Although, the Pakistani authorities had not provided details about the meetings but it is widely believed that the Taliban has briefed the sponsors on their ongoing spring offensive and plans for peace talks. The militant group is not ready to talk unless its objectives were achieved—to be at the higher ground. The Taliban and its affiliates want to be at the position of strength when the reconciliation process starts formally. The delegation also wanted to send a message to the international community, especially the Afghan government that it has the power to discuss important national issues. The Taliban had proved themselves as a parallel government through this visit.

It is hard to digest but the reality is that the insurgent group had not have taken this step and Pakistani authorities would have not allowed the delegation to visit Islamabad if the Afghan government was not so weak. The current government is so weak and hit hard by internal rivalries, mismanagement and corruption that it had forgot to be quick in responding to such issues through actions. However, the leaders have responded with statement of condemnation. Statements are issued by people who cannot take up the issue at international forum and build pressure over the opponents. This is the reason that Tajikistan has also come forward to occupy Afghan lands.

According to the chief of Borders and Tribal Affairs Department in Takhar province, Jan Muhammad Nabi Zada, residents of the province are not allowed to go to areas along the Oxus or Amu River. Tajik border guards open fire at those who visit the areas. In simple words Tajikistan is trying to occupy dozens of hectares of Afghan land. It is feared that in near future the country would face more problems of serious nature if the government remained such powerless and the leaders were focused on their own interests—hiring and firing of officials. The National Unity Government leaders shall recall that when the Taliban placed the board of “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” at the Doha office and hosted its white flag, the Karzai-administration was too quick to force the US and Qataris officials to shut the office. He knew that the Taliban was trying to establish a parallel government. Therefore, the former president wasted no time in taking action.

If the current leaders cannot come with their own policies then they should learn from the past government. As a first step the leaders shall ask the Qatari officials that why they allowed the delegation to visit Pakistan. Most of the Gulf States had always played role in destabilizing Afghanistan by funding anti-state elements here. The Ghani-administration shall ask Qatar to shut office of the Taliban completely. As a second step, Islamabad shall be asked to cut off all type of ties with Afghan insurgents. If Pakistan does not pay heed then the government shall end diplomatic ties.

The NUG shall act quickly; otherwise the damages will be irreparable.

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