The need for serious talks with US over security pact

Monday, 31 July 2017 03:06 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 185 times

Criticism of the form of Afghanistan’s relations with the United States, especially the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), is growing with each passing day. Most Afghans, from lawmakers to ordinary citizens, believe the security pact has, against expectations, contributed to escalation of violence instead of security and stability. 

 

Americans were campaigning for the security accord ahead of its signing as the only option to salvage Afghanistan. During that time, Americans were telling Afghans through various channels that the government would collapse and the war-weary nation would once again embroil in civil war if the BSA was not signed. 

Caught between a rock and a hard place, the Afghan side was forced to sign an agreement which was largely one-sided, and did not contain necessary obligations for the United States. Because of these flaws and a lack of guarantee to restore peace to the country, the Karzai-led administration that had a long work experience with the United States and better knew there was a dichotomy between the words and actions of American officials refused to sign the deal without its terms fully satisfied. 

The National Unity Government (NUG), which owed the United States a favor for its mediation in the electoral dispute in 2014, unconditionally and without respecting the decision of the former government signed the security pact, whose fallouts are crystal clear.  

Following widespread criticism of the BSA, the Afghan government said in early June it intended to initiate high-level talks over the pact with the American side, but either they have not been kicked off yet or their results have not been made public. Americans continue to target Afghan civilians and security forces, and the government leaders have remained silent on such incidents. 

Both parties to the BSA signed the pact to protect their national interests, and any commitment to the agreement is unfair if it protects the interests of one side. While it is right that the United States, as the powerful party of the agreement, can impose many things on Afghanistan, a completely unilateral behavior with an ally that has paid a heavy price in the war on terror and for American military presence is a disrespect of the Afghan side. The Afghan government should treat the United States based on mutual respect, and hold comprehensive talks with American officials about the implementation of the security pact, which protect the interests of both sides.