Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, June 4th, 2023

No Trust between Kabul and Islamabad: The consequences


No Trust between Kabul  and Islamabad: The consequences

Terrorist attacks have inflicted heavy casualties upon Afghan and Pakistani nations. The Taliban and Haqqani network carried out large-scale attacks in Afghanistan within the last years, which generated a tension between Afghan-Pak officials. With escalated militancy, a blame game ushered in between Kabul and Islamabad.
Afghan and Pakistani nations bore the brunt of casualties as a result of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings. The Taliban, Haqqani network, the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and many other terrorist networks tried to sow the seeds of fear and disappointment in Afghanistan and Pakistan through violence and bloodshed. For instance, sectarianism prevails in Pakistan and large number of ethnic groups are killed there in cold blood.
The widespread sectarian violence in that country curtails the freedoms of ethnic minorities and poses threat to dignitaries, who are killed on the grounds of their race, color, creed, political orientation, etc. With the death of SP Chaudhry Aslam in Karachi and ANP leader Bashir Bilour in Peshawar in 2016, Pakistan’s then director general of the Intelligence Bureau, Aftab Sultan, said that TTP was responsible for major terror incidents in Pakistan adding that the group had been realigning with Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Sipah-i-Sahaba.
Likewise, the attack on Bacha Khan University was claimed by TTP Geedar group’s commander Aurangzaib alias Khalifa Umar Ameer Naray, who was also involved in attacks on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014 and Air Force’s Badabher camp in September 2015.  After all, Shiite ethnic minorities were killed in Pakistan every once in a while. Radical militants target the Shiite group in mourning proceedings, street, etc. They are showed no iota of mercy and even women and children are gunned down in streets.
Similarly, Afghans suffer severely in the wake of deadly attacks carried out by the Taliban and ISIL group. The spate of recent attacks which killed and wounded hundreds of people, mostly civilians, has increased the sufferings of the public and triggered a strong sense of fear and hatred. The recent attacks reveal that the Taliban and the ISIL group show no respect to civilians’ life.
In the past three years, the ISIL loyalists carried out systematic attacks against ethnic minority groups in Afghanistan with the intention of fomenting sectarian violence. They sliced the throats of children and spilled the blood of men and women to spread fear and disappointment and confirm its presence in the country.
With the deadly and systematic attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a sense of mistrust resurfaced between the two countries which played a destructive role and failed to mitigate insurgency. Furthermore, the trust deficit was one of the reasons behind the peace stalemate. The mistrust between Islamabad on one side and Kabul and Washington on the other side – especially when Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by the US drone attack in Baluchistan – Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) comprising of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the US could not nudge the Taliban to negating table. Hence, trust deficit led to a horrible consequence.
Meanwhile, the harsh rhetoric between Afghan-Pak officials let militant fighters fish in the troubled waters. With the resurgence of mistrust, the militants seek to compound the issue through carrying out deadlier attacks.  As the Afghan, The US and other Intelligence Agencies evidence show many of these attacks have been planned in Pakistan and even by the ISI support. As a result, Pakistan can make specific measures not to counter these terrorist groups, especially the Haqqni network, if it wants to restore the trust among the two countries. However, it is thought that the continuation of the blame game will aggravate the challenges more than ever before and will leave no room for mutual bonhomie. If this game does not stop here and now, the peace stalemate will not be brokered at all. Thus, it will be the two nations to suffer casualties. To view the fatalities of the two nations, who are targeted by common enemies, both Pakistan and Afghanistan need to campaign against terrorist networks in the strongest possible way.
The two countries will have to protect the rights and liberty of nations and form a civil society where all could exercise their rights and dignity without a sense of fear. To strengthen democracy and advocate the rights of people, especially women and children, combating terrorism is the first precondition. If militants and the roots of militancy are not eliminated, there will be no end to the sufferings of Afghan-Pak nations and fatalities will continue unabated. It is self-explanatory that the Taliban outfit has constantly held out against peace process and continued shedding the blood of combatants and non-combatants.
The struggles made by Kabul and Islamabad to bring the Taliban to peace table were proved abortive. Now Pakistan and Afghanistan, along with its international allies, will have to intensify their attacks against militants and their hideouts so as to put an end to the civilian casualties. If the militants are not rooted out from Afghan-Pak soils, peace will remain elusive.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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