Article

Intelligence and security
cooperation: A panacea for
a stabilized Af-Pak region

Written by The Frontier Post

Ihsan Dawar

Afghanistan’s security has been a serious matter since day first for the world in general, and region in particular, and people have been suffered on both sides of the border, and beyond in the region.
The rough, bouncy, and lengthy border of Afghanistan with Pakistan is a tough challenge for both governments to effectively control the malicious activities of the warmongers, who are active in the region to ruin the peace and stability. It is, therefore, of immense importance for Kabul and Islamabad to closely cooperate and interact in terms of intelligence sharing to effectively cope not only with these warmongers but every enemy of peace and development. Although, Pakistan, as a neighbor country, has all-time strong economic, political, and cultural relationships with almost every Afghan government, including the Taliban, the issue of security in the region is always a thorn in their eyes that becomes a serious hurdle in their mutual relationship and progress. Not only Afghan leaders but some of the world powers including India constantly blaming Pakistan for the instability and insecurity in Afghanistan in particular and in the region in general which Pakistan has always denied but the trust deficit is still existing between Kabul and Islamabad. To settle down this issue of trust deficit and build trust relationships between the two neighbors, it is high time to develop a strong intelligence and security cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad that seems a panacea for a stabilized Pak-Afghan region.
Pakistan, in today arena, constantly asking the Taliban-led Afghan government to deal anti-Pakistan elements with iron hands that is active on their soil but so far neither country has been able to receive the demanded and required level of cooperation. Therefore, not only a broad-based engagement in dialogue is must to continue that can help lower tensions at the heart of the relationship but to practically extend their mutual cooperation also in term of intelligence sharing and their security management. It must be widely appreciated that Pakistan has already offered to train Afghan police and other security personnel to effectively deal with the militant sanctuaries in the country. This best suit the Afghan government to seek Pak support in this regard particularly after the withdrawal of American forces; and it is the need of the hour too to do the same in the current scenario of the region as other powers of the region want their own interest to be protected. It must be dealt wisely and diplomatically, but this dream cannot be fulfilled without the strong intelligence sharing and military cooperation between the two states. Yet, if Afghanistan and Pakistan are to stabilize their relationships and bring peace to the region, it is in the intelligence sharing, security and peace arena that cooperation will be a key for this purpose.
For Islamabad, It is favorable opportunity to extend all its cooperation and collaboration to Kabul in this regard with the strong support of regional and international powers to effectively and efficiently control the security situation and achieve amicably their mutual interests that have invaluable and good far reaching impacts on the people of the region.
The recent wave of attacks on Pakistan security forces in the tribal areas especially in North Waziristan and Baluchistan is a clear indication that speaks about the sensitivity of the situation in the region. Last month a cease fire between Pakistan and banned outfit of TTP with reportedly support of Afghan Taliban was considered to be a good omen in the back drop of Taliban’s takeover of Kabul but all the hopes and expectations faded out when soon after the ceasefire, Pakistani security forces observed frequent attacks conducted by TTP as is claimed time and again by their so called spokesperson Muhammad Khurasani. Many of the analysts are of the opinion that Taliban in Afghanistan have strong control over Taliban in Pakistan i-e TTP and other sects active in Afghanistan after Military operation in North Waziristan started on June 14, 2015. Again issues are to be seen on Pak afghan border with Taliban commanders due to the border fencing in the recent days also depicts that things are not as sweet as are considered by the people inside Pakistan and even the rest of the world who thinks that Taliban are under the influence of Pakistan. It’s no doubt that Pakistan and Taliban have good relations but it also doesn’t mean that they are fully under the dictations of Pakistan. When it comes to the issue of border, they (Taliban) are no more subservient to Pakistan and they act as they want.
So the most feasible and peaceful way to cope up with the current unrest and untoward situation it is highly desirable for both Kabul and Islamabad to sit together and devise a way with both the states’ intelligence and law enforcements agencies and extend mutual cooperation and information to stop the way of the miscreants that are equally fatal for both Islamabad and Kabul.
It is also a fact that survival of Taliban without full support of Pakistan is almost impossible and they have to gain the trust and confidence of Pakistan if they want to survive amid tough financial constraints from the world’s side. For this purpose, Taliban are supposed to stop TTP and other banned outfits from creating issues to Pakistan inside and alongside Pak Afghan border as is seen in the recent past that have caused lot of damages to lives and installations of Pakistani forces. If this type of situation prevails alongside Pak Afghan border, a time will come that both the countries will definitely cease to cooperate with each other and if it happens; it will be fatal for everyone alike. To sum-up the entire scenario in a nut shell it is very much necessary for both the countries to cooperate with each other on intelligence and border security lines and ensure that both the sides must be cleared from wrong doers that will relax the tension on the border and lives of the people of both the countries especially that if the tribal areas residing on Pak afghan border.

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The Frontier Post