President Karzai has expressed Kabul’s willingness to have strategic pact with Pakistan but on the condition that it first stop sending militants into Afghanistan and stop arbitrary shelling. The tactic of firing to repel terrorists from Afghanistan sneaking across is employed, but to mischievously equate it to arbitrary shelling is unbecoming of Kabul. President Karzai appears to be making some sort of gracious gesture when talking of the possibility of a strategic accord. The question is: what’s in it for Pakistan? President Karzai’s dismal failure to effectively depute Afghan forces to stop cross border attacks into Pakistan, who retreat right back into Afghanistan once they have wreaked havoc on our side of the Durand Line, is hardly a ringing endorsement for Pakistan to consider a strategic accord as beneficial to it. In principle, we are very much in favour of strategic and other accords with Afghanistan, a brotherly country we feel deserves all out support and with whom we wish to have good relations. But President Karzai’s unique and abrasive form of diplomacy does no service to the Afghan people.

As ongoing forays by well-armed insurgents into our territory show, Pakistan has been the victim, rather than the aggressor of cross border attacks. These attacks are now organised largely by Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the TTP who has taken refuge in the Kunar province, without the Karzai setup apprehending him.

Karzai’s hard feelings towards the West were also apparent in his charge of Western media’s psychological warfare with an added emphasis on the spectre of post-war instability. This fear, however, is not entirely misplaced as indications are that an environment predisposed to accept military bases in Afghanistan even after the 2014 deadline, is being created. These vestiges of the war will have no useful purpose than to perpetuate foreign rule by “other means” besides being a continued source of festering conflict.