The Taliban has written an open letter to the US President Donald Trump asking him to leave aside the war mongering congressmen and warlords in Afghanistan and instead sit with the Taliban and work out a solution to the war that the US has failed to make even a sense of after 16 long years. The Taliban, in a negotiating tone, has called the National Unity Government (NUG) a bunch of corrupt people and the Afghans the real harbinger of peace. From what the letter reveals, one may understand that the Taliban are not willing to hold peace deal with the government. They are aware that the real power resides with the US and that the NUG is just a shadow of many powers vying for influence in Afghanistan.

Presently the Afghan government is surviving on foreign funds, foreign aids, and external grants. The presence of the IMF is just another way of subscribing to the international community for more financial assistance. According to the latest figures unveiled by the World Bank, Afghanistan has two million jobless people. Every year 400,000 aspiring youth enter the job market. There are not enough jobs. All the talks about infrastructural development by the Indians and other countries are not lending enough vibrancy to the Afghan economy because the private sector is not developing. Private sector’s growth depends entirely on the business environment sans violence, unpredictability and malfunctioning institutions. This is where the international community, especially Pakistan, stands factually correct when it says that Afghanistan has to take ownership of its policies. The Afghan-led and Afghan-owned solution requires getting in touch with the realities. It also requires trespassing greed, personal aggrandisement and rising above ethnic division. While weighing different options to handle the Afghan war, the US is also mulling to hire a private army to handle Afghanistan imbroglio, which means pulling out all the US soldiers. So far the Afghan government has not objected to this option, which would be a recipe for more crisis in the country. If the Taliban could defeat the US, the 5,000 Blackwater officers would be easier to delude.

The US has been looking at the Afghan problem from a wrong position, and therefore the blame for most of the unrest in Afghanistan is laid on Pakistan. Many US delegates have visited Pakistan in recent months, General Joseph Voted, Commander United States Central Command has already paid three visits to Pakistan as Commander, former US vice President John McCain was also in Pakistan and on his returned to the US had drawn up his own policy to solve the Afghan issue. The underlying message every delegate brought to Pakistan had been laced with the advice that our soil should not be used against Afghanistan. Pakistan’s effort against terrorism, though appreciated, has failed to reimburse the trust deficit both the countries had developed over the years, especially when the war on terrorism was in full swing after 9/11. Pakistan was accused of giving the Taliban tactical and strategic support to defeat the US-led NATO forces in spite of all their technology and advanced war tactics. Another major element that had led to the division between the US and Pakistan was the formation of the Hamid Karzai government heavily composed of the Northern Alliance. Musharraf had been on record insisting on bringing in the sane minds from Taliban in the Karzai government if a long-term solution to the Afghan problem was required. But the composition and disposition of the Karzai government exuded anti-Pakistan vibes resulting in a more stringent policy on Pakistan. India’s leading role may not be a problem, but giving India a larger than life role in Afghanistan that could become detrimental for Pakistan is something that does not go well even with the region. China has been in support of Pakistan in this matter. In spite of all its haggling India had not bee able to get Masood Azhar declared international terrorist by the Security Council. China had vetoed the attempt on every occasion. India has been trying to establish Pakistan a country that produces and exports terrorism. This narrative does not only draw India and the US closer, but it also lends India a bulwark to persist with its atrocious policies of inflicting inhuman treatment on the people of Kashmir.

In a recently held Senate Armed Services Committee hearing regarding Washington’s Afghanistan policy, the National Intelligence Director, Dan Coats, said that, in case the US allowed India a deeper role in Kabul, (such as letting India send its army in Kabul), to protect its interest in the region Pakistan could forget about the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned philosophy. It is in the US interest to keep India from taking a tough posturing against Pakistan in Kabul. It is amazing that after having spent billions in Afghanistan, the country has no financial structure in place to sustain rising economic demands. Most police pertaining business and investments are made in silos. In the case of persisting ignorance of the international community, which is focusing only on bringing in more army to Afghanistan or more war advisers, terrorism would remain a pestering wound.

The region is fast changing with the ‘One Belt One Road,’ initiative. Let Afghanistan become part of this changing dynamics, and engaged in economic activities rather than in war mongering. Afghanistan’s solution lies in talking to the Afghans that includes all the stakeholders even the Taliban and the ordinary citizens who are looking at the US strategy to send more troops as another mistake that would only extend miseries in Afghanistan.