• Advertisements

>Pakistan and Afghanistan have upgraded a peace commission to end the Taliban insurgency


The saddest man is Adm Mullen because he gives up his job in the summer and the legacy he has tried to forge of a good working relationship between the two armies has not panned out.
Gen Kayani has another three years in office.
Both men have tried in their own way to first understand the other, and then change the strategic direction of the other, but neither succeeded.

Yousuf Raza Gilani and Hamid Karzai i Pakistan and Afghanistan have upgraded a peace commission to end the Taliban insurgency

The US has failed to convince the Pakistani army that befriending some terrorist groups and fighting others is a policy that is detrimental to global and domestic security.
Nor has the US been able to convince the army to befriend India, even though the civilian government, the political parties, civil society and the business community are now very much in favour.
Pakistan has failed to convince the Americans that its strategy and tactics in Afghanistan have been wrong, whether it was expanding the war in the south, or building the Afghan army, or allowing India too much of a presence.
The Pakistan army believes that the Americans have only further destabilised the region by their actions.
Such strategic divergences cannot be papered over and they are now too far exposed to go back to what existed before.
So major corrections are needed in order to salvage the relationship, which is still possible.
The first correction needed is that many of the secret deals agreed upon by both sides in the aftermath of 9/11 need to be renegotiated.
Common agenda This has to include issues such as the use of US drones, the deployment of the CIA and contractors inside Pakistan as well as the Pakistan army’s attitude to extremist groups such as that of Jalaluddin Haqqani and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Injured suicide bomb victim in Pakistan Hundreds were injured in militant attacks – most victims were civilians

The second is that both sides need to find a common agenda to bring peace to Afghanistan and the region.
Such an agenda is now there for the asking because both governments and armies believe that talks with the Afghan Taliban are essential for peace.
But so far, instead of being transparent with one another on the need for a dialogue and working towards a common goal together, each has tried to out-trump the other.
The world needs peace in Afghanistan. Only Pakistan working in co-operation with the US, Nato and all other regional neighbours can bring that about.
That is a common agenda that can bring the US and Pakistan into a real partnership that is meaningful for the Pakistan army and the people of the region.
Ahmed Rashid’s book, Taliban, was updated and reissued recently on the 10th anniversary of its publication. His latest book is Descent into Chaos – The US and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: