Welcome visit to Kabul

Militancy has been the reason for the Kabul government’s wrath directed towards Pakistan.

Editorial July 23, 2013
Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. PHOTO: FILE

We can be glad the one-day trip to Kabul by adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has gone well. During the visit, Aziz, who met President Karzai as well as a slew of other officials, including Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, stressed that Pakistan wished for a stable, independent Afghanistan. He also took up the matter of bilateral transit trade ties.

From first appearances the trip seems to have gone well. President Karzai, who has made his displeasure with Pakistan openly known over recent months, has accepted an invitation to travel across the border and this can be seen as an encouraging sign. Certainly, given the manner in which the two countries are linked, chiefly by the militancy they must both combat, cooperation between the two is vital. Without this, it seems unlikely that terrorist forces responsible for violence in both countries can be defeated. Militancy has, of course, been the reason for the Kabul government’s wrath directed towards Pakistan, with accusations made that powers within the country are backing specific groups active inside Afghanistan, thereby adding to the woes of that war-torn nation.

This is a matter Pakistan needs to clarify. It must lay down its Afghan policy in the open. There is too much confusion over this, driven on by the belief that prevails in many places that Islamabad is keen to establish control over Kabul following the US force withdrawal scheduled for next year. In this context Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s comments, made a few days ago after he attended a briefing by the Foreign Office, that Pakistan did not wish to intervene in Afghanistan in any way, should go down well in Kabul. Aziz’s visit, too, seems to have made a good impression in that capital, and we must hope this can be the start to building a closer relationship with Kabul that the region so badly needs if it is to find stability and some sense of calm. Certainly, these are required for the sake of a more secure future for both nations and their people.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.

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Sandip | 10 years ago | Reply

The statements by Pakistani leadership, military or civilian, are bereft of any credibility. The world simply listens to these protestations of innocence and good intentions as yet another brazen lie and doublespeak that has become the hallmark of Pakistani leadership. It is amazing how Pakistani leadership continues on with this double dealing in the face of ample evidence of involvement with every significant terrorist activity in the region and beyond.

Waziristani | 10 years ago | Reply

It is not simply accusation on the part of Kabul but now it is open secret that Pakistan is supporting those militants fighting in Afghanistan. What is the concept of Good and Bad Taliban? this division is created by Pakistan. Good Taliban are fighting in in Afghanistan with the support of Pakistan. I am from the area dominated Good Taliban.I know these militants role and their supporters.

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