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Powell can’t disguise the limits of monetary policy

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has made his first policy announcement since unveiling the central bank’s new monetary strategy in August. Financial markets have plenty of questions about the plan, but Powell on Wednesday provided no further answers, except to keep saying it would be “very powerful.” That’s certainly questionable — but the fault isn’t Powell’s. With interest rates close to zero, there’s only so much the Fed can do, and only so much the chairman can do to pretend otherwise.

The new strategy aims, in effect, to convince investors that the central bank will hold interest rates at zero for longer than it would have under the old approach, allowing inflation to rise above its long-term 2% target, even with the economy at full employment and following years of steady expansion. Building that expectation into investors’ economic forecasts would indeed provide some additional monetary stimulus.

Yet the Fed won’t say how far above 2% it would let inflation rise, or for how long. In a sense, that’s understandable. It can’t let anybody suspect that it no longer takes its long-term target seriously, and policy makers want to retain the discretion to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The problem is, it’s hard to keep this room for maneuver and make firm promises at the same time. For the policy to be “very powerful,” it has to be both understood and believed.

The Fed’s new economic-policy projections, released alongside the announcement, might have shed some light — but, as it turns out, they don’t. They show inflation rising slowly to 2% by the end of 2023, with unemployment at 4% (a shade below the estimated longer-term rate, suggesting higher than “full employment”), and interest rates still at zero. The test of the new approach is how much longer the Fed would keep rates there, with its dual mandate accomplished, if inflation kept going up. The projections give no indication. The Fed is silent about what might happen between 2023 and an unspecified “longer run” that shows inflation at 2% and interest rates comfortably back at 2.5%.

In truth, the projections also gloss over far greater uncertainties — concerning the course of the pandemic, any lasting structural harm to the economy and above all the outlook for fiscal policy. The Fed’s policy makers are presumably betting that there’ll be further fiscal stimulus at some point, and this assumption is implicitly embedded in their respective projections. But the stalemate in Washington and the impending elections mean that the scale and timing of additional budget support are anybody’s guess. The Fed is paying the price of being competent. It adjusts the limited policy instruments at its disposal skillfully and deliberately, striving at every point to explain what it’s doing. Congress and the administration have at their command the far more potent tool of fiscal policy — under current conditions, changes in public spending really would be “very powerful” — but can’t manage to discuss it intelligently, much less wield it effectively. As a result, the central bank is left to do everything. Whatever the Fed’s new strategy turns out to mean, US economic policy is falling short. The longer the country’s political paralysis goes on, the more obvious the limits of monetary policy will become.

Bloomberg

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Getting off the hook

It is happy tiding that PTI government of razor thin majority managed to pass three crucial FATF related legislations in the joint session of the Parliament with a slim margin of 10 votes on Wednesday. The Bills which have been passed include the Anti-Money laundering (Second Amendment0 Bill, the Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Bill and the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill 2020. The first two Bills were rejected by the opposition dominated Senate last month after their passage by the National Assembly. Likewise, the Anti-Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill was passed by the National Assembly but earlier on the day of  joint sitting of the Parliament opposition dominated Senate rejected it with 34-31 vote. Now all the three FATF related legislations have been passed from the joint session of the parliament with 200 voters in support and 190 against them. The passage and enforcement of these laws were inevitable to get Pakistan of the greylist when FATF Plenary meeting, in October, will take up the matter of implementation of 27 points Action of this global financial watchdog by Pakistan.

Pakistan had been put on the greylist of countries with weak ant-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism financing regimes in June 2018, before PTI led government came to power. In the tenure of last PML- N government FATF showed some leniency after its plenary held in Paris in February 2018, asking for commitment on the implementation of action plan when it is handed down to Pakistan. A short leash of four months was given to previous government for this purpose. Former Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal gave lambasting reaction of blaming the FATF to have decided to destroy the flourishing economy of Pakistan, much before Pakistan could receive the contents of action plan. The response of former state minister for finance Rana Muhammad Afzal (late) was sagacious, while telling that FATF has not yet shared the action plan with Pakistan. On the contrary, former finance minister Dr. Miftah Ismael claimed that Pakistan Anti-Money Laundering and Counterterrorism regimes were best in the world. Hence deliberately, the last PML-N government left the filth of money laundering and weak counterterrorism financing regime to caretaker government, which culminated into grey-listing of Pakistan in June 2018.

There was bold indication that PML-N defacto Supremo Nawaz Sharif was pulling the strings of opposition from self-imposed exile in London to block the passage of FATF related legislations to pave the way for placing Pakistan on the blacklist, about which BJP government of India released rumors through media. After the rejection of two legislations by Senate last month Prime Minister Imran Khan had to say that opposition wants the country to be blacklisted by FATF.  Later in a tweet Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said that opposition tried to make a bargain with government during negotiation on FATF related Bills. On the Senate rejection vote he said that opposition gave precedence to self-interest over national interest. In fact opposition wanted to incorporate certain amendments in NAB Ordinance, making this institution toothless.

The multilateral donor agencies were telling that removal of Pakistan from the greylist is essential for uninterrupted inflow of foreign capital. Speaking at seminar at Institute of Policy Studies in Islamabad last year IMF representative in Pakistan Ms Teresa Daban Sanchez had cautioned against it.

PTI government has showed that Pakistan is a responsible member of the United Nations. The government has fulfilled its responsibility of complying with the provisions contained in UNSC resolutions numbering 1267 and 1373 to effectively curb the twin menace of money laundering and terror financing. But it is also a bare fact that FATF members like the UK is not cooperating with Pakistan to bring money launderers to justice, who have taken refuge there. The UK government had not entertained the request for extradition of Nawaz Sharif family money laundering “Guru”, former Finance Minister Isaq Dar. Is not a classic example of double standard?

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Kalabagh dam controversy

Just out of blue, opposition Senators imaginatively raised the controversy of Kalabagh dam project in Senate. Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, while giving ruling on the matter, said that decision about construction of Kalabagh dam needs consensus among the provinces and approval of Council of Common Interest. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan dispelled the wrong impression of making decision on launching of this dam without the approval from provinces.

Per capita water availability has gone down from 5000 cubic meter to 1000 cubic meters. The water storage capacity has reduced in the reservoirs of Tarbella and Mangla dams, which is now hardly enough for 36 days, whereas other countries have developed water storage capacity for 120 days.

Kalabagh dam project had been conceived in mid 1960s and it was not controversial even after the completion of Tarbella dam in 1975. From 1985, only ANP leadership opposed this project, without giving a plausible technical explanation of their opposition to this dam. The only objection was that of back-flooding, which occurred in July 2010 even though no mega storage dame existed in Punjab downstream Tarbella on the Indus River. A Sindhi Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo did make serious effort to build consensus in a meeting of the Federal Cabinet held in April 1985 in Governor’s House Peshawar. Minutes of that meeting, if available, can provide a useful input for building consensus on this multidimensional hydropower project. There will be no risk of back-flooding to Khyber Pukhtunkhwa when Mohamand dam on River Swat and Diyamer Basha dam on River Indus are completed.

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Road towards Israel’s supremacy

Parameters of President Donald Trump so called Middle East Peace Plan are becoming clear and clearer. The Plan was labeled “Deal of Century” in his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington in January. An agreement of opening diplomatic relation has been signed between Israel, UAE and Bahrain at White House between Israel, UAE and Bahrain on Wednesday, setting a precedent for oil rich Arab countries to follow suit. Establishment of Israel’s supremacy in the Middle East was one of the important components of US led New World Order. Destruction of Iraq and Libya militarily and economically, wave of Arab Spring and the ongoing Syrian civil war are other attributes of the world order.

After signing of formal agreement by the officials Israel, UAE and Bahrain, titled “Abraham Accord” US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Ministers of UAE and Bahrain walked out to the balcony of White House to receive a jubilant applause and standing ovation from the crowd gathered outside. On this occasion US President Donald Trump welcomed the accord as “New Dawn” for the Middle East and boasted that doors of Alaqsa Mosque in Jerusalem will remain open to Muslims to say prayers. Prime Minister Netanyahu hailed the accord with two Arab states as “Historic Event” He felt rightly optimistic that other Arab countries will tread the same path of making peace with Israel. The point of view of Israeli Prime Minister was tacitly corroborated by President Donald Trump by referring to the likely  such deals between Israel and other Arab countries, which he did not name but indication was there that eventually Saudi Arabia will also follow recognise the Zionist state, being a staunch ally of the United States. President Trump also said that Iran wants to make deal but for that Tehran has to wait until the outcome of upcoming US Presidential elections.

In an interview with a private TV Channel Prime Minister Imran Khan had rejected the possibility of recognizing the Zionist state of Israel. He recalled the loud stand of Quid-e-Azam that unless Palestinians get their right of freedom, Israel cannot be recognised. The Prime Minister said, “My conscience will not accept it.”

The emerging scenario in the Middle East brings both risks and opportunities for Pakistan. Pakistan is now a non-aligned state in the true since as India has strategic alliance with the United States in this region. In case of Pakistan the US has never been a reliable partner. Pakistan has closer cooperation in defence and economic fields with China, which are growing.

But full benefit of Russia window needs to be reaped both in economy and defence. Relations with Russia are moving on the upward trajectory. General Nadeem Raza, Chairman Joint Staff Committee has visited Moscow on September 5. He has met Chief of General Staff of Russian federation General Valery Gerasmov and discussed matters of bilateral military cooperation and regional security dynamics. The scope of bilateral cooperation needs substantial expansion at the political and economic level as well. In this regard Pakistan is well placed when compared with Turkey and Malaysia. In the Syrian conflict Turkey is simultaneously sailing in the American and Russian boats. Being a member of NATO it is not a non-aligned country. After the exit of Dr. Mahatir Mohammad from power in Malaysia, the new leader Mohiyodin does enjoy the influence at regional and world level which his predecessor commanded. At this point of time the non-Arab Islamic countries of OIC will certainly be looking up to Pakistan for a leadership role, which its ruling leadership had performed in February 1974 by convening the second Islamic Summit Lahore.

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A selfless lobbyist

A Republican Party supporter Pakistani American Sajid Tarar is selflessly and diligently doing high profile lobbying for Pakistan in the power centers of United States. He assumed the status of an iconic face of President Donald Trump since he articulated his point of view at the convention right after the Republican President elect took oath of office. Sajid Tarar insight of a political analysis and prediction is superb. Right from the primary round of nominations in 2016 till the day of elections he was quite confident and upbeat that his favorite candidate Donald Trump will win. On the day of election results, a Pakistani American affiliated with the Democratic Party appeared on CNN and claimed that Hillary Clinton will turn the table on Republican candidate , when results from California and other Democrats strong hold states come. Sajid Tarar rebutted that claim like soothsayer.

An American NGO, Pakistan American Press Association organized an event with regards the upcoming US elections. Speaking on this occasion, Sajid Tarar tried to allay the misgivings that President Donald Trump is against Islam and Muslims. In his opening remarks Sajid Tarar said that it is wrong impression of Donald Trump,  “he is nether against or the Muslims.” Likewise, he defended the immigration policy of President Trump.

Sajid Tarar support for the Republican Party and Donald Trump is based on realism and rooted in ups and down of Pak-US relations since mid-1950s till 2007. It is a matter of common knowledge that tilt of Republican Administration has been visible towards Pakistan. During these administrations Pakistan used to get valuable military and economic assistance, whereas during the administrations of Democratic Party, Pakistan had to face embargo on the supply of military hardware and sometimes squeeze on economic assistance. The recent example is the dinted relations between Pakistan and the United States during President Barak Obama Administration, although the previous governments in Pakistan claimed that Secretary of State Jhon Kerry is the friend of Pakistan. The ruptures in ruptures in relations were then repaired and reset in President Trump Administration.

Lobbying for Pakistan single handedly in the US is a herculean task, near to impossible, when one is confronted with a strong Indian lobby supported by the united Indian community comprising businessmen, traders, doctors, academia and intellectuals and above all by their diplomats.  Such unflinching support is hardly available to an influential Pakistani American if he wants to do lobbying for Pakistan. It is incumbent on the Pakistan’s diplomats to mobalise the Pakistani community by keeping a close liaison with them for strengthening the hands of selfless lobbyist like Sajid Tarar by way of public diplomacy.

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Kalailzad visit

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalzad met with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed with him matters pertaining to the Afghan peace talks, being held between the representatives of Kabul government and the Taliban regional security and economic cooperation. After discussion in the meeting with Pakistan’s military leadership, the US point-man on Afghanistan felt confident that solution to the decades’ long Afghan conflict can found, if national interest is given precedence over personal interest. Zalmay Khalilzad euologised the sincere and the positive and active role of the Prime Minster and Chief of Army Staff for bring the stakeholders of Afghan conflict to the negotiation table.

In the meeting with US Special Representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa reinforced Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Vision regarding peace and connectivity in the region, adding that all elements of national power are united to making that vision a reality to ensure the long awaited peace, progress and prosperity in the region.

Just after forming government, the current political leadership framed and implemented a clear Afghan policy that aimed at bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan, on which hinges the security and connectivity of entire region that encompass central Asia and South Asia. The ruling political leadership of Pakistan did engage all Afghan opposition groups, President Ashraf Ghani and Head of the Afghan High Commission for and Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah and Abdullah to bring all stakeholders to the negotiation table for reaching an inclusive political settlement of Afghan conflict. The efforts bore fruit and at last the cherished dream of holding intra-Afghan dialogue came true.

Ironically, the US administration on the one hand appreciates the positive role of Pakistan for maintain peace and stability in the region but on the other it supports the Indian narrative of cross border terrorism by maligning the freedom struggle of Kashmiri Muslims. The statement issued after the 17th meeting of US-India Counterterrorism group held in Washington DC the other day pointed an accusing finger on certain militant groups banned in Pakistan to be involved in the so called terrorist activities in the occupied Kashmir. As a matter of fact the Kashmiri Intifada that started in 1989 is a homegrown freedom struggle, which the United States has unjustly equated with terrorism to support the Indian stance.

The Indian held Kashmir is under siege since August 5, 2019 after abrogation of its special constitutional status by scraping Article 370 of the Indian Constitutions. Since then atrocities are being perpetrated on innocent Kashmiris and their youth is being picked from homes and later killed by way of extrajudicial killings. The US Administration has adopted an oblivious attitude towards the gross human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir and has shut eyes to the BJP government policy of genocide and ethnic cleansing in the Kashmir valley under the Hindu Supremacist ideology of RSS of Hindutva. The demography of occupied Kashmir is being changed by gunpoint to implement the anti-native domicile policy and establish numerous Hindu settlements to convert the majority of Muslims into minority.

Last year Hurrat Leader Syed Ali Geelani had made an SOS call to the international community cautioning against the brute policy of ethnic cleansing in occupied Kashmir. The US Administration did not treat it worth consideration, although every year State Department issues report on human rights violations made in various developing countries. It is highly irrational that the United State is creating paradoxical situation by applying double standards in the context of regional stability. They should not forget that Pakistan has always been an ally of the US in the pursuit of peace and stability of the region. Its vague policy on Kashmir gives license to India to continue brutalities in occupied Kashmir.

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Rashakai special economic zone

Setting up of nine special economic zones had been conceived under the umbrella of CPEC to herald second phase of industrialisation in the country. The ground breaking ceremony of one such zone in Faisalabad, Allama Iqbal economic zone, was performed by the Prime Minister last year. Pakistan and China is signing an agreement to develop Rashakai Special Economic Zone near Mardan in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. The economic zone will provide favourable business environment to attract foreign direct investment, said Chairman Board of Investment Arif Bukhari in a presses release.

The provincial government on its part had acquired land and had built road infrastructure and developed industrial plots. The provision of electricity and gas fall within the domain of federal government. Nothing has yet come to light as to whether power division has finalised the PC-1 for the building of 200 KV Grid Station for electricity supply to Rashakai Special Economic Zone. Similarly, a PC-1 has to be finalised by Petroleum Division for the supply of gas to this economic zone.

Local entrepreneurs are eager to have joint ventures with foreign investors, which will be possible only when the technological base of existing industries is upgraded to contemporary technologies. Chairman State Engineering Corporation had drawn the attention of business leaders towards it in his meeting with them at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Majority of local industries, except few, have Research and Development units. Foreign direct investment yield maximum benefit when programmes of indegenisation of imported technologies and skill development are implemented. At present launching of these programmes have not been priortised. Government organisations of R&D are redundant as under public sector 0.42 percent of the GDP is spent on it. Private sector is shy of investment in R&D. Moreover, no linkage exists between government organisations of R&D and private sector industries. Likewise, the institutes of vocational and technical training are not producing the skilled manpower of the required caliber, which would be needed for the industries to be set up in special economic zones. Proper homework has to be done by the federal and provincial governments to provide all ingredients that make economic environment conducive for foreign direct investment.

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Targeted operation against militants

Over the past several months spike in militancy has been witnessed, particularly in the two southern districts of North Waziristan and South Waziristan. There have been frequent attacks on security forces and target killings of civilian. Security forces are carrying out successful intelligence based operations that are targeted against the hide outs of militants, sneaking into the tribal districts from Afghanistan through unfrequented routs. Splinter groups of banned TTP have united inside Afghanistan, which has enhanced the threat level of terrorist activities in the merged districts of frontline province of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.

A high value terrorist commander, Ihsan Ullah alias Ihsan Sanary along with three other terrorists were killed on Sunday in an Intelligence Based Operation in Ghariom, Shaku near the inter-district boundary of North and South Waziristan. The ruthless militants’ commander had masterminded numerous terrorist attacks. In the recent one in Shaktu several soldiers and officers including Captain Sabih and Lieutenant Nasir were martyred. Earlier on September 7, in such operation had killed a high profile terrorist Wasim Zakria and five other militants in Mirali and 10 were arrested. Wasim Zakria had masterminded 30 terrorist attacks since September, 2019. He was also involved in target killing of senior civil servant Zubaidullah Dawar on the first day of Eidul Fitar.

 Keeping in view the fencing along Pak-Afghan border and its strict management, the theory of presence of militants’ sleeper cells will gain currency, to the activation of which the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Quershi had made a categorical reference. He said that India may activate militants’ sleeper cells in Pakistan to divert attention from Ladkh debacle and situation in occupied Kashmir. A well-coordinated combing operation shall be needed to wipe out these cells.

The new wave of terrorism necessitates implementation of National Action Plan in letter and spirit. Notwithstanding their beautifully worded occasional statements in support of this plan, the political leadership has shown reluctance to give ownership to it, putting implementation of certain very important points on the backburner.

No legislation has been done by the parliament to reform criminal justice system.  Speaking at a national conference on “Expeditious Justice Initiative: Roadmap to Time-bound Criminal Trial Regime at Federal Judicial services Academy on April 14, 2019, Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had regretted that parliament did not accord priority to justice system, sarcastically adding since they (legislators) had bigger things to attend. Former CJP had told the conference that Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan had submitted about 70 reports to parliament and law ministry for attending different part of the law, which need amendments or substitutions of different provisions. But unfortunately none of the reports had so far been taken up by the parliament. Sensitizing the executive and legislative braches of the state, former Chief Justice of Pakistan had made it clear that judiciary is performing well its part of the responsibility. And the executive and legislature to take interest in justice system so that the entire system could be reformed and make it start delivering.

The counterterrorism watchdog, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), under which joint intelligence directorate was conceived to be formed, has not been made fully functional. It is no longer a secret that NACTA is not getting a fair deal in budgetary allocations. It is for the government and opposition to join hands for implementing the remaining points of National Action Plan and formulate inland security policy.

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Amendments in CPC

Speaking at full court reference Chief Justice Lahore High Court Muhammad Qasim Khan said that implementation of the amendments in Civil Procedure Cod (CPC) will facilitate speedy decisions and help avoid unnecessary delays and adjournments of under trial cases. The full court approved the proposal to implement the amendments with effect from November 1, 2020.

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice had cleared the CPC Amendment Bill, 2019 on August 22 last year. The proposed amendments included reduction of average time frame for a law suit from 30-40 years to less than a couple of years; abolition of second round of litigation by treating the Supreme Court order in the first round as final; and conducting simultaneous proceedings of litigation by two civil judges, one for stay matters and other trial proceeding of a case. The stay proceedings would lapse automatically on the completion of trial proceedings.

The amendments in CPC provide the right of appeal to a plaintiff against order of civil judge to a single bench of High Court, instead filing appeal in Session Court. It does not allow intra-court appeal in High Court and the plaintiff will approach Supreme Court for appeal against the order of High Court.

The federal and provincial legislatures have concurrent powers for approving amendments in the CPC. However, legal fraternity in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa had rejected the amendments in this code when it was passed by the provincial legislature and went on strike. The provincial government had to issue a suspension ordinance, which was also left to be lapsed. Punjab Assembly had not passed the amendments in CPC. In the opinion of legal fraternity, of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa it will overburden the High Court with cases of civil nature. Moreover, they objected to the new procedure of appointing commission for recording evidence outside the court premises as it will put extra financial burden on the plaintiff. Likewise, simultaneous proceedings of stay and trial matters of case will also add to his financial burden. They suggest that within the ambit of existing CPC, bench a bar can ensure speedy and inexpensive justice, provided the exemption privileges available to government departments are done away with.

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Intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha

First round of peace talks has opened between the officials of Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister of Qatar attended the opening ceremony in person, while Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Memood Qureshi and officials from several other countries and OIC attended it virtually. Bye and large an atmosphere of desire for peace was visible.

Addressing the opening ceremony of Afghan peace talks, US Secretary of state Michael Pompeo said that at last Afghan have chosen to sit together and tread the path of peace to chart a new course for their country. On this occasion Foreign Minister of Qatar was more vivid in his remarks about intra-Afghan dialogue and reminded lesson of history that long military conflicts had never produced the intended solutions. He emphasied that stakeholder of the Afghan conflict should forget the bitterness of the past and think about future. Foreign Minister of Qatar expressed the hope that the talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban will succeed, enabling the people of their country to achieve a sustainable peace.

Head of the Afghan High Commission for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, while thanking the Taliban for engaging in intra-Afghan dialogue, articulated his desire for peace and stability of Afghanistan.

Pakistan on its part, particularly under the present leadership, has performed a positive and supportive diplomatic role for bringing Afghan political groups to the negotiation table. In his address via video link to the opening round on the occasion of Doha peace talks, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s commitment towards a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and appreciated the efforts that have been made for starting the intra-Afghan peace talks and wished that it will produce a positive outcome to bring durable peace to the war torn country. He cautioned against repeating the mistakes made in the past, a reference to fratricidal war between the Mujahideen groups after the withdrawal of Soviet troops under Geneva Accord of 1989 and subsequent fall of President Najeebullah government in Kabul. The foreign Minister said that a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan will bring new opportunities and open numerous vistas for cooperation and connectivity in the region and beyond. He urged the international community to lend support to Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process, while respecting the consensus that emerges from intra-Afghan negotiations.

Meanwhile President Trump Special Representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalzad during telephonic interaction with journalists made it clear that decision on Doha peace talks will be made after US elections in November. However, he acknowledged that the peace talks are Afghan owned and Afghan led and expressed optimism about the dialogue being held between the Taliban and Official of Kabul government but hinted to wait for the US elections results regarding discussion on further drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan. 

With regards to the spoilers of Afghan peace process, Zalmay Khalilzad said, “Daesh has been responsible for quite a lot of violence in Afghanistan as it does not want peace process go forward.” This sort of point of view about Daesh Khorasan is vague as leaders of countries that have common borders with Afghanistan and Russia do not subscribe to this simple accusative theory. In his opening remarks at Afghanistan Peace Conference held in Moscow on November 9, 2018, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had emphasised the threat posed by Daesh in Afghanistan, which relies on foreign sponsors in a bid to “turn Afghanistan into a springboard for its expansion in central Asia.” Let us hope that US will design and lead Syria-Iraq style military operation against Daesh in Afghanistan, before further drawdown of its troops after the success of intra-Afghan negotiations and inclusive political settlement.