Will it be different today if Pashtuns were given due proportionate in politics and power structure in Afghanistan?
Taliban’s core majority is Pashtuns kept out of power loop and not given due share. They have not been in crafting the Afghan constitution. If they had been adjusted, most probably today's picture would have been different. Here comes a question if they are invited today, will they accept this offer which has lost significance after watershed in shape of these attacks. But this ongoing war and policies pursued by the US and its allies has deepened divisions in Afghan social fabric. Whatever happens, in post-US Afghanistan, there will be a civil war among the domestic stake-holders to gain power. No matter who proceed to throne, but would jeopardy the regional stability as regional actors would come to fill this power vacuum and guard their vested interests. They would surely come to strengthen their factions and hence again this may fall in chaos and shadows again. So a pragmatic solution to this puzzle is to invite all the intra-afghan stakeholders to renegotiate and seek solution which apparently looks nowhere because a mature and proven-established insurgency may not agree now on to share power cake which they have been denied for eleven years.
If the US kept aligned with Pakistan and not wooing India over Pakistan which latter felt ‘ditched and bypassed’ could Afghan peace be achieved?
The Taliban attacks also triggered the US-Pakistan relations who are odd bed fellows. The US has sidelined Pakistan. Whatever happens in Afghanistan, it puts the blame on Haqqani Network and Pakistan. It is evident from the past engagements that the US and Pakistan are tactical partners with divergent objectives and overlapping strategic priorities. For US, India is a bigger actor, come what may, to counter China in Asia, ignoring the fact of long acrimony of Indo-Pak. It woos India for Nuclear Energy and refuses the same to Pakistan at the same time. Another concern is of drones which is hampering US-Pakistan ties and affecting the War against Terror. The only solution to Afghan puzzle is ‘political settlement’ which apparently looks impossible ignoring the role of Pakistan. The US must be less placatory towards India for the stability in Afghanistan and bringing Pakistan back to the loop and avoiding the ‘red lines’ which already jeopardized the relations between them. One has truly said, devil lies in the details so avoid generating new concepts to confuse more rather solving the puzzle you already have.
Concluding, the given puzzle with its contours demands an adroit and pragmatic strategy to deal with this rather blaming each other. Pakistan, US and Afghanistan have to sit together to draw a consensual line of action if three musketeers want a ‘fair show’ and avoid any future threat which are hovering in terms of insurgents’ resurgence to topple peace.