“Our complex relationship with Pakistan is best assessed through a holistic review,” General John Nicolson, commander of the Resolute Support forces and the US troops in Afghanistan told the senate armed services committee on Thursday.
Nicolson who took over command of the US and other NATO-led troops in Afghanistan nearly one year ago, seems realize that Islamabad can play a vital role in stability of Afghanistan. Also he probably feels that Afghanistan’s neighboring country is not honest in its commitments in helping peace process.
Afghanistan under Hamid Karzai and now with president Ashraf Ghani have frequently told the international partners particularly the United States that the road to the peace in Afghanistan goes through the neighboring Pakistan.
Karzai in his 21 visits to Pakistani tried to convince Islamabad that peace in the region is directly related to peace in Afghanistan, asking Pakistani leaders to cooperate in Afghan stability. Karzai also repeatedly criticized the United States for not pressuring Pakistan to stop sheltering Taliban and other armed opposition groups, who carry out attacks in Afghan soil from there.
Washington is fighting terrorism in Afghanistan now for more than a decade and half with losing soldiers and spending billions of dollars. But it has not yet gotten the result it wants and terrorist groups are still killing Afghan troops and innocent people.
The United States new administration should be more serious in relationship with Pakistan that has so far received large amounts from Washington for the so-called “fighting terrorism”.
Obviously both Afghanistan and Pakistan are suffering from terrorism. Hundreds of civilians lose their lives or are injured every year in the two countries.
But the fact is that Afghanistan really wants peace not only in its territory, but in the region, but Pakistani authorities have less proved they are seriously working for a regional stability.
If the international community especially the United States seriously demands Islamabad to be an honest partner for fighting terrorism and extremism and Pakistan comes under pressure by the world powers, the consequence will be positive and we will witness a considerable decrease in terrorist activities.
If Pakistan decides to work with Afghanistan, the people of Afghanistan will shake their hands and appreciate them. We have lived together for long years and the wrong policies of statesmen should not separate the nations.
THE PASHTUN TIMES