Rate this
2 (1 votes)
“Does Trump want to solve Afghan puzzle?”
2 out of 5 based on 1 user ratings

“Does Trump want to solve Afghan puzzle?”

The US president has heightened concerns around the conflict in Afghanistan, writes Summaya Afaq, 25, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Karachi, Pakistan. She recommends cooperation, not confrontation, to solve the Afghan conundrum.

“You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes” -John Wooden

Unfortunately, it seems that the 16-year-long Afghan predicament is a result of the constant blame game by stakeholders responsible for ensuring peace and stability in South Asia.

The continent is home to one-third of the global population. It has been 16 painful years of bloodshed and war in Afghanistan. South Asian peace and development is marred by political instability, deepening rifts among the nation-states and leading to little cooperation. Amidst all this chaos and anarchy, US President Donald Trump’s Afghan policy has been a total disappointment for regional stakeholders working to achieve peace in Afghanistan.

In one of his tweets, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai deemed the policy to be “against peace and national interest of Afghanistan”. President Donald Trump had been a vocal and staunch opponent of retaining US troops in Afghanistan, but that was before he became president of the United States. In his new Afghan policy, he vehemently rejected the idea of withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and favored deployment of 4000 additional troops in the war-torn country. On top of everything, he ignored Pakistan’s efforts against the war on terror.

Pakistan has so far sacrificed 70,000 precious lives and her economy suffered over $100 billion in losses in the war against terror. President Trump blamed Pakistan for offering safe haven to “agents of chaos”. Quite surprisingly, the US President forgot that Pakistan has been a ‘heaven’ to world’s second largest number of refugees. As many rich countries of the world failed to empathise with global refugees, Pakistan set an astounding example by hosting around 2.5 million Afghan refugees. Pakistan has launched numerous mlitary operations to fight militants including the Tehreek-e-Taliban. A report presented in 2016 by Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State Justin Siberell stated that Operation Zarb-e-Azb by Pakistan weakened Al-Qaeda’s network. When global peace is threatened by brutish militant organizations like the Islamic State, Pakistan’s role has been instrumental in preventing extremism and militancy from making inroads to Central Asia.

After losing around one trillion dollars and 3000 US soldiers and military-related contractors in Afghanistan, Trump’s new Afghan policy appears ill thought-out. Without consensus among regional stakeholders, no strategy will sow the seeds of peace. Hegemonic tendencies would further plunge the continent into destruction. Continuous engagement via dialogue is the only way out.

All the partners must cooperate to coexist and understand each other’s legitimate concerns. Islamabad wants Kabul and Washington to take action against militants’ hideouts in eastern Afghanistan. China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US formed the Quadrilateral Coordination Group in 2016, as a result of which multiple meetings were held with the Afghan Taliban. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has already said that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Peace in Afghanistan is not only in the in the interest of South Asia, but also a necessity for global security. With weakening of militants’ infrastructure in Afghanistan, the network of terrorist organizations would be disrupted. Peace in Afghanistan would lead to successful execution and implementation of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project which aims to bring the fruits of multi-lateral trade activities to more than 60 countries, including Afghanistan. China is also the largest source of foreign direct investment in Afghanistan. It is clear that no strategy is viable unless it is owned and accepted by South Asian states.

In the game of blaming each other for Afghanistan’s quagmire, we are failing Afghan people, who have long been giving shoulder to thousands of coffins. They have lost their loved ones and their businesses. Their children have lost their childhood. Cooperation and constructive dialogue could solve Afghan conundrum. Confrontation should not be an option.

Photo credit: Colin Perkel

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me: I have done my masters in business administration (MBA) from Karachi University Business School. I am an ardent reader. I strongly believe in the power of social entrepreneurship and impact investment to help solve pressing global challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, poor sanitation and women’s economic empowerment.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments