Reviewing Afghan process is understandable


The first Breaking News from Biden Administration is very alarming that US will review US -Taliban agreement that paved way for peaceful exit of US troops from Afghanistan and cessation of attacks by Taliban. This statement has been welcomed by Afghan government who were not part of the deal between US and Taliban. This agreement took two years to materialise and both sides were assuring each other of cooperation and full implementation of the agreement so that meaningful dialogues could take place between Taliban and the Afghan government, but there have been violations and breach in the agreement when Taliban’s carried out isolated attacks and lot of people were killed. It was in this context that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to his Afghan counterpart and talked to him and made clear that US has all the intentions to review the deal whether Taliban had cut off their relations with other terrorist groups and reduced violence and to engage Afghan government in talks and other stakeholders. He pointed out various incidents and attack on government installations, important people and judges, Taliban have been denying these attacks.
Come what may US national narrative does not change with the change of government it remains the same subject to modifications which is in the best interest of US. A peaceful Afghanistan is need of the hour because it has shed lot of blood over the years. Where US erred is not making Afghan government part of the team and this tussle will continue as long as Taliban and Afghan government don’t sit together and reach to some agreement. This review of relationship between US and Taliban should be taken seriously as it also carries veiled threat to Pakistan because US has a feeling that Pakistan is not doing much to control terrorists and perhaps harbouring them. Peace in Afghanistan is our requirement also but we have to clear the US perception about our relations with Taliban. Unfortunately our relations with our neighbours that have remained exemplary are no more the same. At present we are facing problems from Saudi Arab, UAE, Qatar, Iran, Bahrain and Afghanistan. This is not a happy situation as it points towards Pakistan being isolated from rest of the world. Losing them partially and their open support to us is a matter of great concern. It is true that foreign policy is something that is not fixed and is subject to review depending upon the environments and changing global scenarios, but the fact remains it is definitely creating problems for us. Our just one major dispute on Kashmir we failed to get support even of OIC members and close allies speaks failure of our foreign policy. At the same time our rival India took great advantage of this situation and succeeded in exploiting it to her advantage by coming closer to Saudi Arab, UAE and other Muslim countries resultantly adding to our difficulties.
Trump has been too close to India and Democrats having soft corner for India shall create problems for us in this region. India has been able to influence President Ashraf Ghani and it is no more a secret that Afghan government prefers India over Pakistan. Under the circumstances it is heartening to note that Biden Administration has reportedly decided to keep Zalmey Kalailzad as top US envoy for Afghan peace talks who has led Afghan peace talks for two years has good understanding with Pakistan and knows Pakistan’s contribution and role played by Pakistan towards Afghan peace talks therefore Pakistan should also welcome this decision.
Joe Biden’s great success against all hurdles put up by former President Donald Trump fell flat when some of his his own GOP senators voted against him. He is the only president of US in the history who has been impeached twice and proceedings shall start on 8 Feb 2021. It appears that the house may not get two third majorities against Donald Trump but the damage caused can never be washed off. Joe Biden has started reversing decisions taken by Trump in haste, but it is good that he has given priority to Covid-19 and ailing economy. He is also worried about ever increasing unemployment and giving compensation to unemployed. He wants to revive the economy in shortest possible time. The best thing is that he does not believe in racism unlike his predecessor. The new cabinet formed is testimony being different than Trump. Kamala Haris VP, Gen Austin (Black) as Defence Minister and many other speaks volume of his being magnanimous as compared to rightist former presidentTrump.Traditionally Democrats enjoy good reputation of being good to Pakistan. Has visited Pakistan twice as VP of USA during Barak Obama 8 year tenure. He understands Pakistan well and proper and knows Pakistan’s problems and its role in the region. It is heartening to note that Joe Biden has not picked up any Indian born Americans belonging to BJP but has preferred independent persons in his administration. Especially the women picked up belong to occupied Kashmir. But at the same time Joe Biden has picked up more than 20 Indian born American citizens as compared to Pakistani born Americans. This has certainly brought great frustration in Pakistani’s. India apparently is very happy on the selection of Indian born Kamala Haris as VP without realising she knows what Modi is doing in occupied Kashmir
When the intra-Afghan talks commenced in Sep 2020, they marked an occasion when both Taliban’s and Afghan government talked to each other for the first time after 19 years. This was a significant development. What is pending is a ceasefire agreement, the details of the future Afghan government and Taliban’s role in it, Sharia law and women’s empowerment and rights. All this are difficult issues and if president Ashraf Ghani remains in power for next five years the chances of this peace process making any headway is bleak. An important question whether Joe Biden will adhere to May deadline of withdrawal of 2500 US troops from Afghanistan is not certain it may be delayed if Taliban do not stick to the agreement. This the Americans know and unless the new administration finds logical answers to these questions its readiness to review the whole process seems reasonable.