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Exasperated with terror, Afghan to drag Pakistan to UN

The massive car bombing outside a building of the National Directorate for Security in Kabul on 12th April killed 64 people and injured more than 300 others. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. US asked Pakistan to take concrete action against the Haqqani network and Afghanistan’s deputy presidential spokesman Dawa Khan Menapal blamed Pakistan for supporting and arming Haqqani network that carried out the attack. The director of the US State Department’s Press Office, Elizabeth Trudeau, commented ‘We have consistently expressed our concerns at the highest level of the government of Pakistan about their continued tolerance for Afghan Taliban groups such as the Haqqani network operating from Pakistani soil.’
‘Attacks such as this clearly undermine US, Afghan and Pakistani efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan,’ she said and ‘pressed the government of Pakistan to follow up on its expressed commitment not to discriminate between terror groups regardless of their agenda or their affiliation by undertaking concrete action against the Haqqanis’ . Within hours of the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vowed ‘vengeance for each drop of blood spilled’, while his chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, cancelled a May 2 visit to Pakistan, citing the findings of a preliminary investigation.
In a somber speech to the Afghan parliament on 25th April desperately called on Pakistan to battle some factions of the Taliban rather than try to bring them into peace talks. Exasperated Ghani bemoaned that Afghanistan faced a terrorist enemy led by Taliban ‘slaves’ in Pakistan but displayed moderation by promising to keep the doors of negotiation open for a limited period for those Taliban ready to stop bloodshed. He rebuked Taliban leaders sheltering in Peshawar and Quetta as ‘slaves and enemies of Afghanistan for shedding the blood of their countrymen and called on Pakistan to wipe them out. While pledging war against terror groups, Ghani just stopped short of declaring a state of national emergency.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States have been unsuccessfully trying to revive peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban. The terror group has already rejected peace talks as long as Western forces are still in Afghanistan and was scornful of Ghani’s comment. Afghan security forces have fought back Taliban attacks on Kunduz, in what probably was its last major success. Ghani emphasized that the forces fighting alone since the end of NATO’s main combat mission in 2014, were in a stronger position than last year but facts on the ground are different.
Large parts of the southern province of Helmand are now in insurgent hands while heavy fighting continues in several other provinces from Herat in the west to Kunar in the east. Just a fortnight back the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive and then followed up with the current biggest single attack seen in Kabul since 2011. With frightening prospects of more intense fighting in coming days, the stalled peace process is as good as dead. Fighting the Taliban, Afghanistan suffered casualties of 11,000 civilian and 5,500 security forces in a year. Pakistan flaunts loss of 60000 Pakistani lives and destruction of billions of dollars worth infrastructure and property to buttress the claim that it too is a victim of terror but that is the fallout of its promotion of terror groups.
Both Afghans and the U.S have been calling on Pakistan to ‘do more’ and ‘fight’ Talibans but Pakistan renegades as Taliban provides strategic depth.
The fire Taliban stokes will incinerate it one day to deliver strategic deaths more so as neither American military might could defeat nor US-Trained Afghan Army could contain the menace. Pakistan is arrogant that all roads to peace in Afghanistan should go through Islamabad and those serious for peace should knock its doors. It has officially admitted to having ‘some influence but no control’ over Taliban; there is severe trust deficit between Afghanistan and Pakistan. After succeeding Karzai in 2014, Ghani courted Pakistan for over a year before disenchantment set in now, which may hopefully change Afghanistan’s Pak policy for the better.
The terror state has been harboring militants on its soil to torment neighbors on both sides of the border. JuD and LeT have been thorn in India’s flesh for a decade and Afghan Taliban and Haqqanis are villains for Afghanistan. It is Pakistan’s responsibility to undo what it has been doing in FATA for last 10 years. Master of deceit Pakistan denies harboring and aiding the Taliban while Wall Street Journal report reveals the banned terrorists, especially the state sponsored ‘useful’ ones, have been openly loitering on the streets. Ghani urged the Pakistan government to ‘fulfill promises and carry out military operations against those whose bases are in Pakistan’ reiterating there are ‘no good or bad terrorists, they are just terrorists’, and ‘Pakistan must understand that and act against them.’ Ghani is echoing exactly what India had been stressing for years. Heartening comment by Ghani speaks of Afghanistan’s agony but callous to its angst Pakistan rejoices.

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