Washington is reviewing its policies towards the conflict in the Pak-Afghan region. There are a few choices that many in Pakistan and the West believe, the United States should not have made.

The first was when Mullah Omar led the Taliban, who were in power in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. The American administration had asked him to hand over Osama Bin Laden as they wanted to put him on trial, for destroying US facilities. Mullah Omar had offered to do this in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or even by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, if the US provided proof of the alleged offences. Washington refused to do this.

According to Qatari based news channel Al Jazeera, Robert Grenier, the CIA stationed chief in Pakistan during 9/11 had confirmed that such proposals had been made to the US officials. It was either the lack of evidence or it was the ego that kept the Americans from accepting this. It is highly likely that had Riyadh put him on trial, and the Al Qaeda extremist may have gotten life imprisonment, if not capital punishment.

Secondly many Western leaders and officials including Barack Obama, have accepted that the US led invasion of Iraq was a failure and ultimately gave birth to Daesh. The consequences of these actions are being faced till this day.

The third mistake- Pakistan has always maintained the stance that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem and it must be resolved through parleys with the Taliban. The growing weakness of the Taliban was revealed when some hostile Afghan chose to reveal that the head Mullah Omar had died in 2013. The Americans decided to take immediate action and kill the new Taliban leader, Mullah Mansour on his way back to Afghanistan from Iran via Pakistan in the latter’s territory. This should have been done in either Afghanistan or Iran as it scampered with the Pakistani government’s attempt to restart the Quadrilateral talks with the militants.

Now, the acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Tina Kaidanow has accepted the fact that Pakistan’s help will be essential for bringing the Afghan Taliban to peace conferences. The countries must try to ensure that a deal is reached with the latter and a joint effort can be made to keep the Islamic State in check, before more damage is done.


Karachi, June 23.