It seems the USA is obsessed with the idea that its new Afghan policy will work by coercing Pakistan into doing ‘more’ and giving India a free hand to act as the policeman in the entire region. In doing so America is behaving like a hard task master who remains displeased with his subordinates. Indubitably, the partisan American policy will not serve the purpose at all. In the past it was Pakistan which remained at the forefront as far as the Afghan problem is concerned. During Afghan-USSR war, Pakistan extended unequivocal support to the US forces to defeat the Red Army. Similarly, once again, Islamabad played the role of a front line ally to America in war on terror which cost Pakistan dearly. There is no gainsaying the fact that Pakistan invited a plethora of problems by toeing the line of the USA. 

Now, at this crucial juncture when more than 40% of Afghanistan’s territory is under Taliban control, blaming, scapegoating and sidelining Pakistan on Afghanistan issue will be counterproductive. Furthermore, the knee-jerk reaction by Pakistani think tanks will surely exacerbate the already fragile ties between the two countries. In the same way, USA must realize that the undue favour to India means totally ignoring the valuable efforts and unprecedented sacrifices made by Pakistan to reign in the twin banes of extremism and terrorism. The anti-Pakistan activities of RAW in Karachi and Baluchistan need no clarification. If Donald Trump and his cohorts go by their intimidation of downgrading Pakistan’s status as non-NATO ally and the cutting of civil and military aids to the country, it will do an incalculable harm to the shared interests of both the countries. It is time both the countries took stock of their policies with regard to terrorism and Afghan imbroglio and avoid indulging in a zero-sum game. 


Mianwali, September 21.