The Foreign Office’s decision to informally share the proofs of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar’s involvement in the Lahore attack, and its presence on Afghanistan is not going to do anything in getting the Afghan state to come down hard on Pakistan’s enemies.
Afghanistan firmly and falsely believes that Pakistan did nothing when roles were reversed, and has often attempted to have strategic depth of its own in reference to Pakistan – it has blamed Pakistan for keeping safe havens, when clearly entire swathes of territory of the western neighbour are completely under control of the terrorists.
Afghanistan’s strongest ally at this point, India, wants Pakistan isolated and not part of the discussion on the future of Afghanistan, and if both stick to this stance during the second round of talks happening in Moscow currently, there might be little hope for getting Afghanistan to comply with Pakistan’s wishes.
But even if Afghanistan was interested in the problem faced by Pakistan and cared about the security of its own people, and was earnestly trying to counter the presence of Pakistani militants on Afghan territory, would it have made a difference? Afghanistan cannot get a handle on its own problems, what makes Pakistan think that it can solve ours?
The six-nation huddle in Moscow over the Afghanistan unrest – of which Pakistan and Afghanistan are a part of – must also be used by Pakistan to establish the presence of Pakistani terror groups on Afghan soil, and their part in terror activities in the country.
The participation of Russia, China, Iran and India – in addition to Afghanistan and Pakistan – in these talks implies that the region has finally started to come to terms with just how detrimental Afghanistan’s situation is to the region at large.
And while the US is not part of these discussions yet, it must be included.
A complete pullout at this stage might be disastrous, especially when the Afghan state increasingly looks completely incompetent in dealing with the crisis at hand.
Peace in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to peace in the region, and Pakistan could irrefutably prove that the attacks were planned and carried out by Pakistani terror factions present in Afghanistan but it won’t make the slightest difference; the Afghan state can do nothing to stop this even if it wanted to – which at this point, it might not.
All Pakistan can do is hope for the best and put all of its efforts on manning the border and trying to get Afghanistan to broker a peace with the Afghan Taliban.
Unless that happens, Afghanistan will continue to be a hotspot for terrorism, and by extension, Pakistan cannot be completely safe.