A retired Pakistani senator and leader of Awami National Party (ANP), Afrasiab Khattak has called the existing policy of Pakistan regarding Afghanistan as ‘potentially suicidal policy’ as he insists that the new strategy of the United States for Afghanistan and Pakistan is a chance for Islamabad to get rid of the flawed policy.
In his write up published in The Pashtun Times, Khattak called the new US strategy as impressive for its clarity, comprehensiveness and nuance.
Khattak further added “It may be a historic opportunity for Pakistan to get rid of a flawed Afghan policy that has acquired malignant proportions over the time. Even otherwise, this is a potentially suicidal policy for Pakistan.”
According to the retired Pakistani senator, Pakistan’s Afghan policy is the product of a militaristic and hegemonic design based on the jihadist project of the 1980s and it hasn’t changed in any tangible way despite tall claims to the contrary.
“It aims at imposing a puppet government on Afghanistan by defeating the Afghan state and its international allies. Many political parties in Pakistan have been criticising this policy. It has neither been approved by the Parliament nor supported by any elected political government,” he added.
Khattak also added that Pashtuns in Pakistan are particularly opposed to it because it puts them in the eye of the terrorist storm.
“Pakistan’s Afghan policy has been the monopoly of the country’s security establishment and at times the civilian government would be sent packing for opposing it. Taliban’s brutality was unleashed on every entity that clearly opposed it,” he said, adding that the policy of supporting good Taliban (that includes Afghan Taliban and elements fighting against India) has perpetuated terrorist problem in Pakistan despite valiant sacrifices by the people of the country and members of the security forces.
Khattak said Pakistan has remained a war theater for almost the last four decades. It’s only natural that the generals and not the civilians would call the shorts in a war theater. So it isn’t surprising to see that support for jihadist project and threat to democracy emanate from the same source. Again it’s the same mindset that is attacking democratic republics (however flawed they may be) in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. -KP