Bridging credibility gap
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi ,in his visit of Washington, has tried to convince President Trump administration about Pakistan’s persistent efforts for the resolution Afghan imbroglio. But he could not succeed to allay the misgivings of the United States leadership about the existence of alleged safe havens in Pakistan. The Prime Minister met US Vice President Mike Pence and during the meeting he was handed over the message of President Trump repeating the ‘Do more’ demand from Pakistan and describing its actions against militant outfits insufficient.
The response from the military leadership is loud and clear. Director General Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said in an interview with Gulf News that Pakistan has eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups including the Haqqani Network from its soil through a well-thought-out military campaign Zarb-e-Azb. But all this has come with a huge price in blood of over 75000 Pakistanis and economic loss of $ 123 billion to the national exchequer. He said that there are no more organized sanctuaries and for the elimination of remaining disorganized scanty residual presence of militants operation Raddul Fasaad is in progress.
Pakistan has intensified its efforts for a negotiated settlement of Afghan problem. National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General(r) Nasser Janjua in his visit of Kabul held meeting with Afghan President Asraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah to explore the possibility of bringing Taliban to the negotiation table. The National Security Advisor has urged Taliban leadership to accept the Afghan Government offer of peace talks to end the ongoing conflict to restore peace and stability to Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s spectacular success in war against the amorphous enemy operating in the form of terrorist organizations is unprecedented but its efforts are not recognized and appreciated by Washington. The US pressure on its dependable ally will further intensify if Afghan Taliban refuse the talk’s offer of Asraf Ghani government and go ahead with their likely spring offensive. The periodicity of terrorist attacks has already increased in Afghanistan. To ward off that pressure a proactive diplomacy needs to be started immediately with clear parameters of Afghan Policy.