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★ Pakistanís bumpy road to Afghanistan
  Posted: 4 years ago   |   Posted By: Abid Latif Sindhu   |   Category: Politics-and-Government   |   Views: 1013 views
Afghanistan is fast becoming a country difficult to govern and manage; manage is rather a rude impression for a country to denote. Nationalism is otherwise a declining phenomenon owing to globalization and the neo-information age where G for generations of every now and then of some new gadget is hard to maintain pace with.

Known as the umbilical brother of Pakistan, it is known to have a historical backyard and the natural hinterland of people living at this side of the Indus. Historical connections are sometimes more of a burden than the privilege of distant connectivity.

Historicism with different narratives is another name of conflicts or at least the likelihood of same at a time of least expectance. This is not a leaf from a book of medieval traveller; it is a reality going on between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Instead of having a mutual bonhomie, both the countries are merely maintaining ties albeit through mutual friends. This is unfortunate on the grounds that Pakistan has made maximum sacrifices for this half-brother and on the other hand, distant neighbours are taking due advantage of the situation.

To do its bit once again Pakistan has once again assured that it will not influence the presidential elections of Afghanistan in any way. The future of Afghanistan depends squarely upon two things or happenings, if one may call it so, the presidential election and the accentuation of BSA-cum-SOFA agreements.

These two are very important, and are the barometers for all the future atmospherics. Let us explain these already unriveted ones. The elections are a significant activity for a people who had seen a lot of political disruption and discontinuity. Historically speaking, during Amanullahís time the country got liberalized both politically and socially; this was followed by a reactionary civil war and suppression.

Similarly, the democratic growth of Zahir Shah, which included the establishment of Afghanistanís first parliament and the nascent growth of political parties, was followed by a return of authoritarian rule of Daud Khan in 1973. This short but incisive chunk of political history of Afghanistan tells one thing, that abrupt political liberalization or transformation can have adverse effect, leaving all but the radicals for a gradual and evolutionary change. The Afghan society is divided along four ethnic hues: the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and the Hazaras. For any other country the democracy moves in one direction, for Afghans it moves in all directions. So for Afghanistan the political road has two road signs, short term priorities and long time goals. Therefore election 2014 is a challenge for the state, the people, the onlookers and the Taliban as well. As the results of April round were inconclusive and the repoll is completed, the Taliban could not dent the process as they were claiming to do so, although in the areas of their dominance two things happened, the proxy voting and the electoral fraud.

The commissioner of IEC (independent election commission)Mr Zia-ul-haqamarkhil resigned on the charges for electoral fraud . Taliban supreme leader is cloistered but even the key deputies showed restraint in disrupting the process with the fear of losing support in their areas. Taliban is a hierarchy that is why it is under an authority, at the same time it is a classical fraternity, and therefore the local commanders have a high degree of discretion in choosing how they behave in their conduct and deeds of war and peace.

The elections were planned in April which was also the time of poppy harvest, the shenanigans of local political economy. For the people democracy is far secondary to security , be it the economics of poppy cultivation. The most important phase of Afghan elections is the one which will take place in 2015, the parliamentarian elections. The change will be the first time likely participation of young candidates, mind you majority of these are AEIIs (Afghans Educated in India). This will create a real problem for Pakistan as they will be no takers. The other fix will be the upcoming non-patrimonial structures dominated by war lords. Whoever wins the presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah or Ashraf Ghani, for Pakistan the road is bumpy.

The second most important thing is the signings of BSA and SOFA agreement between the USA and Afghanistan. Once Rumsfeld is reported to have said that ďA trained ape could get a status of forces agreement signed, it does not take a genius.Ē

Things have seems to come back to square one, Karazai is not enjoying good relations with both the countries who supported the Afghans the maximum, Pakistan and USA. Pity the circle that Afghanistan recognized the Crimea as part of Russia.

USA on the other hand is shrinking to give financial assistance to ANSF for a longer time, if it happens than the afghan national army will melt away like a Caribbean chocolate.

Moreover it is also likely that when international forces are reduced than there will be reemergence of ethnic and regional factions by Ismail Khan in Herat, Abdul Rashid Dostum in Uzbek areas and Mohammad Mohaqqiq in Hazara areas. Again a big minus for Pakistan.

It is therefore in the interest of Pakistan and USA that the BSA and SOFA agreement is signed and reasonable international troops are made to stay and augment the Afghan national army. The status of forces agreement should also clearly define the exclusive jurisdiction and should include the lease of bases if required by the international forces. The presidential election and the bilateral agreements of Afghanistan with USA and also with Pakistan will be going to be the main drivers around which the complete security of the region will likely be woven.
  About the Author: 1013 views
Writer: Abid Latif Sindhu
He is one of the most popular article writer in Pakistan.
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