Roundtable discussion: Experts concerned over volatile situation in Afghanistan

Forecast favourable prospects for better Pak-India relations.


Express January 11, 2012



Experts at a roundtable expressed optimism at improving Pak-India relations, but were concerned over the situation in Afghanistan, said a press release issued by roundtable organiser Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) in Islamabad on Tuesday.


“India is eying a global role which has made it more inclined for peace talks with Pakistan,” said Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Director George Perkovich. He advised decision makers to resolve Pakistan’s internal problems which he believed were greater than the external problems.

IRS Senior Fellow Brig. Bashir Ahmed enumerated the destabilising influences in the region as including poor Pak-US relations, the volatility in Afghanistan, and the presence of armed non-state forces in the country.

Lt Gen. (retd) Asad Durrani believed India could never substitute Pakistan in Afghanistan since the interdependence of both countries is too deeprooted to be replaced by another country.

Defence Analyst Lt Gen. (retd.) Saleem Haider said that the India-US civil nuclear deal has been a destabilising influence in the region.

Gen. Asad Durrani argued that the past combat experiences between the two countries proved India and Pakistan to be careful adversaries.

This, he asserted, was reason enough to not get too concerned about prospects of a nuclear conflict in the region.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2012.

COMMENTS (2)

Rumi Balkhi | 9 years ago | Reply Pakistan's pro Pakhtun or Pashtun position is self defeating and shortsighted. You don't want to empower people that have an irredentist agenda and we all know the nature of Pashtuns. Pashtuns will not be puppets or stooges of Pakistan they will only use Pakistan to achieve power and eventually turn on them. The Northern Alliance on the other hand don't care about Pashtunistan. It would serve Pakistan well to engage all ethnic groups of Afghanistan and have friendly relations based on mutual trust and open a new chapter in bringing stability and prosperity for both countries.
Jack | 9 years ago | Reply

This is true - India cannot replace Pakistan in Afghanistan as the ties between the people of the two countries is of a much more intimate nature than that of India and Afghanistan - where India is seen as more of a stable well-wisher rather than an incalcitrant sibling. However, Pakistan does not see the immense damage that it does for itself with its narrow (seemingly pro-Pakhtun but actually pro-Pakistan) view as opposed to one that helps Afghanistan as a whole move on the path to stability and prosperity.

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