Opinion
 
Pak role significant in post-2014 Afghanistan
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May 31, 2013
The history of Afghanistan presents an interesting number of events which reformed the country's identity. Though the country has been afflicted by war, battles and political instability which have ripped the country apart, it has come a long way and established itself as one of the most politically difficult countries of the world. Afghanistan braved 11 years of war and is still facing the presence of Nato forces.

After a decade of presence in Afghanistan, the US is entering its final phase of withdrawal. Washington is under domestic pressure and as a policy of appeasement announced the withdrawal of troops by 2014. Therefore, it signifies political and security transition in Afghanistan. The post-2014 mission is thought to necessarily include some continued counter-terrorism effort against transnational global threats — the training of, and advice and assistance to Afghan troops and provision of support to other US government agencies working in Afghanistan.

There is no clarity on Nato troop strength in Afghanistan after 2014. The phased withdrawal of troops is being done in accordance with the Transition Framework defined at the London and Kabul conferences on Afghanistan in 2010.

The US and Afghanistan signed a strategic partnership agreement in May 2012, which signals long-term commitment to Afghanistan beyond this deadline because the US also decided to maintain its bases in Afghanistan which will not be acceptable to the regional actor. Two major actions will create troubles in Afghanistan. Directly or indirectly, Afghanistan will be under the US influence. Indeed, Afghan Taliban warned, “The Afghans should be granted control, choice of government and sovereignty of their country. If not, then our sacred jihad will intensify and forge ahead successfully even if one foreign soldier is present in our country…”

Pakistan has a vital role to play in the post-2014, when the coalition forces leave and also wants to maintain friendly and stable relations with Afghanistan which is not harmful to its national interest, but one important aspect is that Pakistan does not want close Indo-Afghan ties. Pakistan must be included in negotiations to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan. Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, “If we are to ensure long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan, we also need a positive engagement of Afghanistan's neighbors, including Pakistan".

The government in Pakistan changed recently and Nawaz Sharif will soon swear in as prime minister for the third time. So the US wants to know his stance on the 2014 withdrawal. He shared his point of view regarding the NATO troops’ withdrawal.

“American troops are being withdrawn in 2014. We will extend full support to them and we will see that everything goes well, smoothly with them. We will facilitate the Americans as far as the withdrawal is concerned.”



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