Diplomacy has failed. Talks with the Taliban have failed. The national unity government despite keeping all the eggs just in one basket, failed to friend Pakistan. When Afghanistan was dreaming about increasing its love affairs with Pakistan the latter was preparing its troops and an entire sub-tribe of the tribal Afridis, to unleash a new wave of terror under the façade of Daesh in Nangarhar, an eastern province bordering Khyber Agency.
This sub-tribe is Zakhakhel that has unleashed terror in Shinwari zone of Nangarhar. Pakistan disliked the ex-President Hamid Karzai for being a harsh critic of Islamabad’s interferences in Afghanistan, however, what did make Pakistan move away from the current President Ashraf Ghani, who at times was considered too pro-Pakistan, though he was not as he was trying to attempt a new approach? The problem truly is Pakistan as it neither can bear with a person like Karzai nor it can go with a person like Ghani.
Not only the politically aware and well educated class of the society knows who is behind all the chaos and terror in Afghanistan, but even those in street also know about it yet despite that we are failing to subdue Pakistan’s interferences. This is not only irksome but a cause of national shame. When the peace talks are stalled and relations with Islamabad are tensed, the Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, said the other day that Kabul will never ask Islamabad for support in peace talks.
Now the government must cling to its standpoint because a country that is sending its troops in disguise and an entire tribal clan to create security problems in Nangarhar cannot be sincere in supporting peace talks. Peace mediation by Pakistan is just a show-off and an attempt of hurling dust into the eyes of the international community.
Moreover, Pakistan cannot sustain the Taliban for another decade as some of the disgruntled Taliban have had created troubles for Pakistan, but yes, we the Afghans, have the quality to weather out all the challenges for another decade. Though, Afghan Taliban is still under the thump of Pakistan, but Pakistani Taliban at times creates troubles for Islamabad. Therefore, no more imploration before Islamabad for seeking its support in peace negotiations. Since Pakistan-backed so-called Daesh has increased its subversive activities, as many as 18 schools have been shut down in Haska Maina district of Nangarhar, a predominantly Shinwari area, and the teachers have been asked to pay their one month salaries to Daesh fighters. The current security situation is as much deteriorated that it has made many people of the area to complain against the government. The people of Nangarhar lashed at the government as they say if the government can send Gen. Abdul Rasheed Dostum to Faryab why the people of this eastern province must be deceived by a so-called military operation code named “Ospaneez Musallas—Iron Triangle”? This time, the stalemate with Pakistan looks much serious.
Even such an impasse with Islamabad didn’t happen during the government of former President Hamid Karzai. The media in both the countries have started fueling the tensions. President Ashraf is not only embroiled in foreign policy challenges particularly in dealing with Pakistan but he has his back to the wall regarding domestic challenges as well. When relations with Pakistan are stalled, Ghani looks petrified and clueless what should be the next step. Dealing with Pakistan and taming insecurity in Nangarhar is testing the mettle of the government and it will be seen whether the government sags under the pressure or breaks the back of the beast.