In a day-long seminar held at Mehr Media Center in Kabul, some analysts vividly expressed concern over the so-called 'strategic pact' about to be signed, according to some available reports, before the commencement of second Bon Conference in Germany. According to them and their supporters, comprising different spectra in society - from traditionalists having religious anxiety, to progressive Islamist, to nationalists, communalist and liberals, our neighbors would not tolerate any strategic cooperation between Kabul and Washington and, therefore, they would interfere into domestic affairs in order to destabilize the country.
With all due respect, I am somehow amazed how propaganda-like theories work so well and even affect our patriotic political analysts and experts. Seemingly, their main concern was this that after signing strategic cooperation, the United States of America would establish military bases in the country which wouldn't be tolerated by our neighbors, Pakistan, India and China and they would start fuelling instability through, perhaps, communal and religious differences, which are perhaps biggest weakness of the country.
Before going against or favor the notion, let's pitch light on the so-called strategic cooperation. Last year, when for the first time the reports released and hit the headlines of domestic and international Media about strategic cooperation, there have been many assumptions as officials of both countries avoided giving details about the context of the pact or strategic cooperation. What we heard from private sources and Media are all based on journalistic assumption or comparison of the possible pact with other pacts signed between US and its allies in the rest of the world.
Here I should confess that I neither have available resource to judge about possible outcomes of the contract. What I would like to tell is: Before passing its formal political process, it was publicized and fed media discussion for a long time.
Reportedly, initially the United States showed interest to continue its engagement in the country after the military withdrawal of the so-called international community in the framework of strategic cooperation. The US officials during this process frequently reiterated that articles of any possible pact wouldn't threaten the political sovereignty and national integrity of the Afghanistan. In another word, the draft of the cooperation would be based on bilateral trust, relationship and national interest of both Washington and Kabul. There wouldn't be anything which gives the notion of colonized and colonizer countries.
As noted, during this period, the US and Kabul officials have met to talk about ins and outs of the pact, but yet nothing has been released to help us understand the true intention of the US behind. Moreover, recently there were claims that US officials did not show much interest in signing a contract which will impose short-term as well as long-term expenses on the already strained budget boxes of the Washington. Reportedly, it wants that there wouldn't be anything to be called strategic cooperation pact, instead there would be a mere "declaration".
If it becomes a mere declaration between two States, it wouldn't a big deal, as context of declaration is not legally binding and obligatory. Unlike pact whose articles are binding and compulsory for both countries, and both have to struggle towards and remain committed.
However, the reason is said to be evasion from long exasperating hierarchical legal process by US officials, because of bipartisan controversies between G.O.P. and Democratic Party. But it should be noted that if the likely coming contract remains in the form of a mere declaration that will not bear much political and economic importance as that a pact will.
It should be noticed whether the cooperation continues in the form of a pact or a declaration, it is highly possible that US keep or even establish military bases in order to cope with the growing threat of terrorism and insurgency which was the main cause of US-led attack in 2001. Both Kabul and Washington are in need of security and military insurance.
The US needs to be ensured that Afghanistan, on which it has spent billions of dollars and lost lives of thousands of its well-trained troops, will not turn back to its previous stage 2001. In other word, it should be guaranteed that Afghanistan will not become the safe haven for terrorism and its allies through which it organizes attacks and threatens the regional and global security.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan also needs a security and military insurance which assists it in urgent times. Since 2001, Afghan people have paid and made huge sacrifices, acquiring current state of democratic institution, economic welfare, and, more importantly, freedom and liberty.
What if after the military withdrawal of international community, insurgency reestablishes its damaged establishment and its supporters help it again to fight fiercely with Kabul government? Wouldn't it be existential threat? Of course it will be. With the presence of US, the supporters of Taliban-led militants would not dare to support them openly or in such extent to be deemed as existential threat to Kabul government.
In addition, lack of strategic cooperation, in deed, means a complete disengagement of US, which would prove a terrible mistake as it happened after military withdrawal of USSR that paved way for extremism and fundamentalist to fill the gap of central power after the outstation of Najib government. Leaving Afghanistan once again is the same strategic mistake that would be compensated by paying invisibly economic price. But the cost will hit the height and prove too costly both for Afghanistan and international community.
Sincerely speaking, disengagement means once again allowing sectarian and communal forces which have been fuelled largely from our neighbors during decades to play role and shape the political and economic destiny of the country. That would be a calamity as the national interest of our neighbors generally cross cut our national interest. In such situation, who will prefer others' national interest on his own? But the case differs with the US; as our prime National interest - stabilizing the country and eliminating insurgency - is in line with the US national interest.
Thus, I humbly request our experts not to spark concerns and anxiety over any possible cooperation between Washington and Kabul and unintentionally do not lead the country towards chaos and political instability.