The recent attack on the afghan parliament has opened raw several figurative wounds that mark the not-so-strong Pak-Afghan bond. Despite the best efforts of the new regime in Kabul to improve the ties, the security agencies continue to deeply mistrust their neighboring country. What could be the implications of such a tactic to malign the Pak intelligence agencies? Pakistani agencies and military establishment have improved their image all over the world following the recent comprehensive operation that the Army undertook in the tribal areas of the country. By implicating Pak intelligence in an attack, the Kabul-based agencies maybe attempting to rock the bond of trust that the west and Pakistan have recently developed. Secondly, many elements in the Afghan security establishment do not want blanket evacuation of US troops. By portraying to the world how vulnerable Afghanistan remains to other intelligence agencies’ attacks, those elements might be attempting to create support for extended stay of US troops in Afghanistan. Thirdly, there does remain some resentment over Ashraf Ghani’s increasing cooperation with the Pakistani security agencies. Groups within Kabul are worried about the lengths that the Afghan government might go to cooperate with Islamabad’s demands. By implicating Pakistan’s agencies in such a high-profile attack, those elements might be attempting to harden the ‘recently-softened’ stance towards Pakistan. Fourthly, many elements sympathetic to militants and the Taliban do continue to exist in Afghanistan. By implicating Pakistan in such an attack, those elements might be trying to divert attention from those particular groups.
Given all these problems, Pakistan security establishment needs a strategy to ensure that none of the objectives of such elements are achieved. A two pronged strategy should be adopted targeting the afghan government and establishment on one hand while dealing with the international front with the other hand.
On one hand, the Pakistani high-ranking officials must reach out to the Afghan government and ensure them of all the support that they might need in apprehending those behind the heinous attack. Such confidence building measures are of crucial importance in order to clear the air of confusion and distrust. Secondly, there is a need to actually share a limited amount of intelligence with the Afghan government. While this may seem like a risky strategy, it might serve better for Pakistan in the long-term. It would reverse the effect of the propaganda that was done by the Afghan security agencies and serve as an olive branch.
On the other hand, the world should know about Pakistan’s commitment to eradicate extremism from the region;
- The world should know that the Pakistani security agencies are far too engrossed in the country to get involved in any external intelligence missions.
- World should know that attacking the Afghan parliament would be of no advantage to the country’s strategic goals
- The world should know that Pakistan is committed to stability in the region and why would it feel the need to destabilize a country that has been of so much help to the Pak Army during the recent months through its intelligence sharing.
The world should know that Pakistan and Afghanistan are mutually working to wipeout terrorism from the region, operation ZarbeAzb was not possible without the facilitation role of Afghan as miscreants used to hide in Afghan territory. Currently 100 Afghan cadets are under training at Pakistan Military Academy Kakul where they are trained for fight against terrorism, which is a mutual agenda of both Pak & Afghan. How can a country attack it’s so close ally? These fake conspiracies to sabotage the mutual agreements need to be failed.
In conclusion, repairing the relations will take some time but a consistent and persevering attitude towards are eastern neighbor is necessary for the stability of the region and achievement of many of our geo-strategic objectives.