Prime Minister visit to Kabul
The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his one day visit of Kabul held wide ranging talks with President Mohammad Asra Ghani, pertaining to restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan, eradication of terrorism and expanding economic cooperation and bilateral trade. It was decided in the meeting that that the national security advisors of the two countries and the ministers of foreign affairs would finalize the action plan for peace and reconciliation.
The high level contacts on regular basis between Pakistan and Afghanistan is inevitable to remove the trust deficit between two neighbor Islamic countries. Pakistan has already welcomed President Ashraf Ghani peace initiative of inviting Taliban for peace talks and assured diplomatic and moral support. Afghan Taliban has not yet given a clear and positive response. On the other hand President Trump South Asia policy envisages defeating Taliban by using military might which accounts for the latter reluctance to give an encouraging response to peace overtures of Afghan leadership.
The United States has started a campaign to contain China and Russia in Eurasia and this policy of containment of two world powers will impact the Afghanistan peace process. It also explains as to why the United States did not accept Russia invitation to attend the international peace conference on Afghanistan held in Moscow in April, 2017. Washington branded it a unilateral Russian attempt to assert influence in the region. It did not appreciate the Beijing moot on Afghanistan in December 2017 which supported a broad-based and inclusive process to bring peace to the war torn Afghanistan and stressed the need for a dialogue between government in Kabul and Taliban militants. The United States ignored the regional peace initiative of Afghan Peace Conference held in Tashkent in March in which 20 countries and organizations declared their support for direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban to end the 16 years conflict.
The US military has committed itself and the nation to a three front geopolitical struggle to resist Chinese and Russian advances in Asia, Middle East and Europe. Central command Commander General Joseph Votel told the Senate that the containment of China and Russia has become an integral part of Centcom future strategic mission and of particular concern is the Chinese managed port at Gawdar which could contribute to China’s military posture and force projection. The United States will plan a long term presence in Afghanistan which will make the peace prospects in Afghanistan illusive.