Pak-Afghan tensions to remain despite change of guard in Islamabad | Pakistan Today

Pak-Afghan tensions to remain despite change of guard in Islamabad

The Afghanistan reconciliation process has been at a standstill for months now, primarily owing to Karzai government’s anti-Islamabad tirade, and diplomatic sources see no forward movement in this regard even after formation of a new Pakistani government unless there is an end to the ongoing row between the neighbouring states.
Afghanistan reconciliation process, which is backed by the United States (US), aims to bring the Mullah Omar-led Afghan Taliban to the negotiations table not only with US officials in Doha but also with representatives of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The US and its western allies believe this reconciliation process could be successful only if Pakistan uses its “good offices” and persuades the Taliban to enter into peace dialogue with Kabul and Washington.
Pakistan, on its part, has time and again showed its readiness to support efforts for peace dialogue with different Afghan groups and also released several Taliban prisoners a few months back as a confidence building measure that it believed could help in impressing upon the Taliban leadership to join the Afghanistan reconciliation process.
However, with passage of over two months, the Karzai administration started stepping up allegations against Pakistan over cross border firing and alleged construction of military posts on the Afghan border that led to a serious row between the two important states involved in the global anti-terrorism campaign led by the US.
According to diplomatic circles in Islamabad, the Obama administration and its key ally, United Kingdom (UK), made hectic diplomatic efforts to cool down temperatures between Islamabad and Kabul following which there was a brief lull. However, President Karzai and his aides once again started targeting Pakistan.
“The latest step on part of President Karzai that has added to tensions between Islamabad and Kabul is his resort to seek military equipment from India. It seems the Afghan President, who is close to the end of his presidential tenure, wants to shift focus of the Afghan people from his administration’s failures to end their problems with Islamabad, portraying it as a villain responsible for all miseries being faced by Afghanistan,” said a diplomatic source seeking anonymity.
However, he said, irrespective of Karzai’s motives behind demonising Pakistan, they must know that their actions were impacting bilateral ties and efforts to put the Afghanistan reconciliation process back on track.
“Kabul should stop targeting Pakistan because it has virtually led to a standstill as far as the Afghanistan reconciliation process is concerned. If Afghan authorities continue on the path of confrontation, any movement forward on the dialogue front with Taliban would be impossible even after taking Nawaz takes over the government in Islamabad,” the source said.
Another source said Pakistan-Afghan tensions also came up during discussions on Saturday’s meeting in Rawalpindi between Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and visiting International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Commander in Afghanistan General Joseph F Dunford.
He said the ISAF commander sought lowering of tensions between Islamabad and Kabul. General Kayani said Islamabad was willing to support peace efforts in Afghanistan but the other side must also reciprocate in the same manner, the source said.
“The ISAF commander was told that Pakistan did not start the ongoing row with Afghanistan and it does not want its continuation either, but the neighboring state should also work for ending bilateral tensions,” he said.



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2 Comments

  1. Muhammad Younus Butt said:

    The Afghan puppet government has never sincere with pakistan for normalisation of relations between the two Islamic countries.Though Pakistan put its shares too much to help Afghanistan,but due to continued presser from some big powers which actively working in that country create too much hinderances for bringing normal process of relationship.Pakistan must now change its stregitic policies towards Afghanistan as afghanistan is not a sincere and faithful neibghour and India is very active there and tries to damage the image of Pakistan with some anti-islamic elements and Pakistan must now change its policies as useless and no fruitful outcomes and U.S.A is playing its role quitly and smartly in afghanistan to dominate afghanistan forever.

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