Apparently, Hillary Clinton’s remarks made in India regarding the presence of al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command, and President Obama’s sudden visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of the Osama bin Laden raid in Abbottabad are linked and certainly hold a great symbolism. The US penchant for unilateralism has not abated despite the disastrous fallout of the war on terror as the US/allied forces have failed to achieve the objectives of the war even after a decade of counter-insurgency. These events also coincide with an increase in attacks on security personnel in North Waziristan, which substantiates the US’s claims of danger the region poses.

Thus, in this background, another unilateral action by the US would be justified, which would prove even more detrimental than that carried out for bin Laden. What, apart from the verbose denials and then going on the defensive, have the authorities done to put speculations at rest? Coming from the US, these accusations ought to be taken as threats as those come when the US is desperate to share the burden of failure in Afghanistan. If viewed objectively, the past decade reveals major flaws in the US policies in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, coupled with a more potent desire to control through elusiveness rather than bring stability through clarity.

The region still lacks the ‘stronger, smarter and more comprehensive strategy’ that the US had spoken about that would have eventually been reliant upon a largely political ending of the war. However, the peace talks between the Taliban and the US are shrouded in mystery, and the Afghan government and its security forces are so incompetent that either another Taliban takeover or a prospective civil war is the only prediction that one can make for Afghanistan.

In this case, Pakistan will once again be affected for sharing a long porous border. However, it must realise that it is time it got its act together where relations with the superpower and its own national interests are concerned. The government needs to increase its control over its own territory and establish its writ all over along with enhancing its efficiency by an increased cooperation between all its institutions.

AYAANA MALIK,

Islamabad, June 19.