Pakistan still cannot be trusted

Monday, 12 June 2017 03:08 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 114 times

Efforts are underway to repair the strained relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. As part of these efforts, President Ghani has met Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif on the sideline of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Kazakhstan. A presidential press statement states that both leaders have agreed to intensify their fight against all forms of terrorism. Additionally, President Ghani and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have also consented to revive the stalled quartet Afghan peace initiative involving Beijing and Washington besides Kabul and Islamabad.

 

Afghan ties with Pakistan have been rocky since the inception of the National Unity Government (UG). Though President Ghani initially broke diplomatic norms by visiting Pakistan’s Army Headquarters to drum up the support of Pakistani Army for Afghan peace, tensions between the two countries escalated into a blame game, and then reached a level where President Ghani announced Afghanistan and Pakistan were in a state of undeclared war following the debacle of Afghan peace initiative -- the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) -- thanks to Islamabad’s failure to fulfill its commitments. 

Taking into account the ups and downs in bilateral relations between the two nations, Pakistan still cannot be trusted because it remains home to anti-Afghan government militants, though Pakistani officials not only impudently reject Islamabad’s support to insurgents, but also accuse Afghan government of backing anti-Pakistani militant groups. So Islamabad still cannot be expected and trusted to honor its promises given its double-faced policy. 

Once again, Pakistan seems to have prepared itself to play a double-game against Afghanistan, and use its ‘ask-much-to-have-little’ policy against Kabul. The Afghan government should be overcautious in dealing with Pakistan because of its past history of betrayals. Reactive policies and emotional decisions can have catastrophic consequences for Afghanistan because of being weak both politically and militarily. The government should embrace a stance based on a clear and long-term policy that can protect the country’s best interests. The Afghan government’s emotional trust in Pakistan will have grave ramifications, which will be difficult for Afghan government leaders to justify this time. If Pakistan makes any pledge with Afghanistan with regard to peace, there should be a guarantee for its implementation, and should not remain on paper a usual.