- Kabul acts wisely by sharing intelligence
While the US threats can further strain relations, the Afghan government’s gesture needs a positive response. With the US authorising its commanders in Afghanistan to deny terrorists the safe haven they seek in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the prevailing tension between US and Pakistan has been further ratcheted up. Does this mean more air strikes inside Pakistan? Or does this imply ground action by the US commanders? Whatever the implications of the new Trump policy, one thing is clear. Pakistan will henceforth have to deploy more military assets along its western border.
‘Taliban threaten 70pc of Afghanistan’ is the tell-tale title of an in-depth BBC report published early this week. It reveals that the Afghan Taliban are now in full control of 14 districts (that’s 4pc of the country) and have an active and open physical presence in further 263 (66pc). Another Report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) tells of Afghan government losing control over its territory. Terrorists continuing to spread their tentacles in neighbourng Afghanistan should be seen as a bad omen by Pakistan. With so much territory going under the Taliban’s control, the US needs to review its policy in Afghanistan instead of meditating actions that could destabilise Pakistan also.
It was a welcome move on the part of the Afghan government to send a high level delegation to Pakistan comprising Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak and NDS chief Masoom Stanekzai to share intelligence about the recent attacks in Kabul. The delegation had a meeting with PM Abbasi, DG ISI, foreign secretary and important security officials. Barmak later told Afghan media the recent attacks in Kabul were planned in Chaman area in Baluchistan and that the Afghan delegation had handed over to Pakistan a list of madrassas where attacks were being planned. There is a need on the part of Pakistan to take urgent action in case the intelligence provided is accurate. It is in the two neighbouring countries’ vital interest to go the extra mile to eliminate terrorism from the region through mutual cooperation.