Major general Asif Ghafoor, the director general of ISPR has rightly said that US and NATO forces have to stay in Afghanistan until and unless peace is restored. He said so while talking to the journalists in London, he is there as a part of military delegation headed by the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss matter relating to Defence and Security.
Although the Taliban want Us and NATO Forces vacate Afghanistan, only then they will have dialogue with Us for ending the seventeen year old war which has claimed hundreds of lives on both sides. The talks between Taliban and US representative have started in Qatar Capital Doha last week. So far no encouraging results have emerged out the dialogue but its good omen that Taliban are talking directly to US representatives to create conditions for peace in this war torn country.
To my mind all the regional countries have to play their role for the success of dialogue between the US respresentatives and the Taliban. As everyone knows that in the past Pakistan has played a key role in bringing Taliban on the negotiating table but sudden death of Mullah Omer and the murder of Mulla Mansoor, the talks were terminated. Now once again Taliban and the US representatives have started talking. I think Taliban also want US forces to stay until the peace in Afghanistan is fully restored. Pakistan also wants US forces to stay as mentioned by the ISPR spokesman in London. The people of Afghanistan desire peace and development and end of this bloody war which has brought untold sufferings and destruction to their country. The Government of Afghanistan headed by Ashraf Ghani had in the recent past invited the Taliban to join his government, but Taliban had refused the offer, they had insisted to have direct talks with USA to resolve this nagging issue. The war in Afghanistan has directly affected Pakistan and other countries in the region. Pakistan will accept any decision taken by the US and Taliban if the negotiation succeed and would play its part for the successful implementation of the peace process.
It is however an undeniable fact that Pakistan is more interested in peace than any other country as the war in Afghanistan has badly affected the economy of Pakistan plus the sacrifices Pakistan armed forces and the people have given immense sacrifices fighting the terrorists who mostly come from Afghanistan to destabilise the country. Pakistan will play its part to help the parleys between the US and Taliban to be successful and let the people of Afghanistan decide their future .
Mr Khalilzad representing the American side is a very good negotiator, he has played a key role in Iraq to diffuse the fighting between the various ethnic and religious groups. It is hoped that he will utilize his past experience in Iraq war to bring about significant change in Afghanistan as all the stalk holders in Afghanistan want an end to the military conflict in their country. However if US and NATO forces leave Afghanistan without any peace settlement, the country will again plunge into civil war, this time more deadly than the previous one. Therefore the ISPR spokesman Maj General Ghafoor is right to say that US forces must stay in Afghanistan till the complete peace is restored and all the parties in Afghanistan agree to the decisions taken by the Taliban and the US representatives to end the seventeen year old war.