Ever since Pakistan joined the American camp during the cold war era, the US invariably has been working against the strategic interests of the former in the region. It has invariably shown a visible tilt towards India whenever its ally needed support in crisis situations. Pakistan was member of the SEATO and Cento but when in 1965 war broke out between India and Pakistan, the US instead of helping its ally banned supply of military hardware and spares to Pakistan, undermining its military response to the Indian aggression. Pakistan supported US in fighting against and defeating Soviet Union in a decade long war in Afghanistan that had a devastating impact on the economy and security of the country. But instead of staying in Afghanistan and helping Pakistan to get over the impact of the war, the US pulled out of Afghanistan immediately after the Soviet forces withdrew from that country, leading to factional fighting with its negative spill over to Pakistan.

Pakistan after 9/11 has been supporting US-NATO war against terrorists in Afghanistan and as a frontline state against war on terror has suffered the most. It has done all that it could do to eliminate the scourge but the US administration has always looked askance at these efforts and kept on harping the mantra of ‘do more’. Not only that the US has always sided with India in regards to terrorist acts within India pressurising Pakistan to take action against Mumbai attackers and those responsible for Pathankot incident, showing complete indifference to acts of terrorism in Pakistan sponsored by India and its support to insurgents in Balochistan, notwithstanding the fact that Pakistan has handed over dossiers to US and UN in this regard.

US Secretary of state who is on a visit to India, in a joint press conference with Indian foreign minister Sushma Sawaraj said, “Islamabad must do more to combat extremists operating from its territory. We will not and cannot make distinctions between good and bad terrorists. Terrorism is terrorism no matter where it comes from and who carries it out”. What Kerry said is hypocrisy of the first order. The fact that he did not say anything about Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan regarding which irrefutable evidence has been provided to US and that he kept mum on the situation in Kashmir where more than 80 people have been killed and blatant human rights violations have been committed, clearly indicates that the US is an evil power which sees everything through the prism of its own strategic and global interests.

Kerry also announced plans for the revival of trilateral talks between India, Afghanistan and the US in demonstration of the burgeoning cooperation between the two countries. That clearly is an attempt to isolate Pakistan and giving India greater role in Afghanistan. On the urging of US, India has already upgraded its military cooperation with Afghanistan. The Indian involvement in Afghanistan is an ominous development as far as reconciliation in Afghanistan is concerned. Taliban are not only hostile to US but also to India and they would never accept their role in any process of reconciliation. Further Indian military cooperation with Afghanistan against Taliban will further perpetuate the already existing hostility towards the Indians. Their involvement will also undermine Pakistan’s strategic interests in the region. The US is so blinded by its obsession with ‘ counter-balancing China’ with help from India and propping her up as the super regional power that it cannot see the ground realities and the sensitivities involved in the Afghan conflict. The foregoing facts prove that UA is an unfriendly friend of Pakistan.

If it is desired to promote process of reconciliation in Afghanistan that will automatically end terrorism, then it can be only accomplished through Quadrilateral arrangement already in place that comprises US, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan or through the newfound forum of QCCG consisting of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The countries represented at both these forums are the ones who are directly concerned with situation in Afghanistan and its fall-out. They are surely better placed to play their role in this regard. India is not affected by the situation in Afghanistan. It may have good relations with Kabul regime but it is not in a position to woo the Taliban to the negotiating table.

It is an irrefutable reality that the process of reconciliation and tackling terrorism in Afghanistan cannot be accomplished without involvement of Pakistan. That role is dictated by historic bonds and geographical proximity. Pakistan has hosted millions of Afghan refugees and being an ally of the Taliban in their fight against the former Northern Alliance which was supported by India, has a lot of influence over the Taliban leadership and obviously is in a much better position to play a facilitating role, with circumstances permitting. If US being the most powerful military power has not been able to subdue Taliban, then Indian involvement in Afghanistan, particularly enhancement of military ties with Kabul will also not lead to any military victory against Taliban. Instead it would further complicate the situation.

The foregoing developments indicate beyond an iota of doubt that the US is trying to further destabilize the region, instead of bringing peace to it through well meaning and honest efforts. The way to settlement in Afghanistan leads through Pakistan and US needs to understand it and be very clear about its desirability. India also needs to understand that its alliance with US in checking the burgeoning Chinese influence in the region and beyond and a belligerent stance against Pakistan, constitutes a grave threat to peace and security in the region and its boomerang effect might ultimately harm the Indians themselves. India belongs to South Asian region and its security and economic interests are linked with the countries of the region. Viewed from a long term perspective, peaceful co-existence between the countries of the region and their cooperative efforts to lift the economic profile of the region for shared economic prosperity, can only guarantee peace and security in the region.

If the US is sincere in finding a permanent solution to the Afghan conundrum, it must give due consideration to the ground realities in Afghanistan rather than pursuing its perceived ambitious strategic interests in the region, which are terribly out of synch with the geographical and geo-strategic realities. It is a very sensitive region where four nuclear powers including Russia, China, Pakistan and India exist in close geographic proximity. The US therefore, needs to exercise utmost caution in dealing with the countries of the region making sure that it does not do anything that could lead to a disastrous confrontation between the nuclear powers, particularly Pakistan and India. If terrorism is terrorism no matter from where it comes and whoever commits it, then the US must also condemn the Indian terrorism in Pakistan and atrocities in Kashmir to prove its credentials as a true believer in the concept. Will it?