Speaking at the Chiefs of Defense Conference held at Afghan Capital Kabul, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) general Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated that the path to regional peace and stability passes through Afghanistan. He said Pakistan had eliminated all terrorist sanctuaries from its soil; however, residual signatures of terrorists, who take advantage of presence of 2.7 million Afghan refugees and absence of effective border security coordination, are also being traced and targeted through ongoing operation Radd ul Fasad. He assured that Pakistani territory is not allowed to be used against any other country and Pakistan expects the same in reciprocity.
The Kabul defense conference is an important event towards the formulation of a collaborative strategy to effectively fight the scourge of terrorism which has spread its tentacles in this region. The participation of General Joseph Votel, Commander USCENTCOM signifies realization of this approach in the President Donald trump administration. The main thrust of the US Resolute Support Mission (RSM) forces is directed against Afghan Taliban, giving almost a free hand to Daesh international terrorist organization under whose umbrella other militant outfits have also united in Afghanistan. The entry of Daesh in the Afghan conflict has posed a sever terror threat to all the countries of this region. The complacency of RSM about the presence of Daesh stronghold in Torabora gives credence to accusations of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai against the United States. In a TV interview, he alleged that fighters of this terrorist organization were brought in unmarked helicopters and they are getting financial resources and military hardware from foreign forces. The selective approach in RSM operation against the terrorist groups inside Afghanist6an is beyond compression.
Afghan Taliban are stakeholder in the current conflict and cannot be excluded from the dialogue process for restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan. They were invited to participate in the 12 party Peace Conference held in Moscow last year. The United States did not honor Russian invitation to attend the Moscow Peace Conference. It should have supported the regional peace initiatives aimed at the peace and stability of Afghanistan. Hopefully, the valuable input from the Chiefs of Defense Conference will help in working out a collaborative strategy to root out terrorism from this region and the United States will wholeheartedly recognize Pakistan’s efforts and sacrifices rendered in war on terror.