FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Pak-US-Afghan cooperation is key
Updated:Sep 17, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The tripartite military talks held in Kabul between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US earlier in the week are a sensible development for at least three reasons. First, the high-level Pakistani delegation led by DGMO Maj-Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza demonstrated that the military establishment is indeed seeking continued engagement with Afghanistan and the US in the latest phase of the fraught trilateral relationship. President Donald Trump’s truculent words against Pakistan have caused consternation in policymaking circles and there is a danger that emotionalism could supplant rational decision-making. Yet, the perilous security situation and a seemingly permanent US military presence in Afghanistan are strong reasons for the three countries to continue with talks and cooperation. Suspending dialogue or whipping up domestic public sentiment against the US will only narrow Pakistan’s policy choices going forward.
 
Second, the dialogue between the military leaders is important because of the emphasis on border management. A great deal of the friction between them is because of militant sanctuaries on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan’s long-term aim of strengthening border controls, curbing the informal flow of people across the frontier and coordinating with security forces on the other side will necessarily make it more difficult for militants on either side of the border to cross over at will. In the meantime, if military dialogue can include intelligence-sharing for the identification and elimination of sanctuaries that all sides agree need to be tackled as a priority, it may help create the space necessary for deeper political engagement and a restarting of dialogue inside Afghanistan. For Pakistan, that will also mean greater coordination and policy dialogue between the civilian and military arms of the state. Given that it is Pakistan’s official position that there can be no military solution in Afghanistan, the state’s diplomatic and political arms will necessarily have to play a role in the establishment of long-term regional peace.
 
Third, the tripartite talks rightly identified action against the militant Islamic State group as a common goal of all three countries. Indeed, if there is one issue on which all groups inside Afghanistan and all external actors agree, it is the need to prevent IS from gaining space in the region. Not only is the group a common enemy that military cooperation is necessary against, cracking down jointly on the IS may help address some of the mistrust and suspicion that is preventing greater collaborative efforts in the region. Finally, the first drone strike in Fata since Mr Trump’s declaration of his administration’s strategy in Afghanistan is an early test of the likelihood of cooperation. If the strike was conducted with Pakistan’s knowledge, it would indicate pragmatic cooperation; if it was unilateral, the US may be sowing more trouble for itself in the region.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina assumed office again in Bangladesh in 2009, bilateral relations between New Delhi and Dhaka have been on a steady upward trajectory.
 
read-more
  Nearly 58 per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.
 
read-more
A unique and passionate gathering of acrophiles, or mountain lovers, took place in neat and picturesque Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram state in north-eastern India in September.
 
read-more
India’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attained a level of maturity which allows it to assert itself in an effective manner. This is aimed at protecting the country’s national interests in a sustained way.
 
read-more
With over 100 incidents of braid chopping reported in different parts of Kashmir, there is widespread fear and anger among the people.
 
read-more
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's GDP expanded 6.9 percent year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 0.2 percent above that of the corresponding period of last year.
 
read-more
As political roller coasters go, there is none as steep and unpredictable as the one shared by the United States and Iran.
 
read-more
In West Asia, the end of one war paves the way for the next. Raqqa, the Syrian capital of the self-styled Islamic State (IS), has fallen to a coalition of rebels, the Syrian Democratic Forces that is backed by the United States.
 
read-more
On “Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century”
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: The People Next Door -The Curious History of India-Pakistan Relations; Author: T.C.A. Raghavan; Publisher: HarperCollins ; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Could the North Korean nuclear issue which is giving the world an anxious time due to presence of hotheads on each side, the invasion of Iraq and its toxic fallout, and above all, the arms race in the teeming but impoverished South Asian subcon...

 
Column-image

Title: A Bonsai Tree; Author: Narendra Luther; Publisher: Niyogi Books; Pages: 227 Many books have been written on India's partition but here is a firsthand account of the horror by a migrant from what is now Pakistan, who ...

 
Column-image

As talk of war and violence -- all that Mahatma Gandhi stood against -- gains prominence across the world, a Gandhian scholar has urged that the teachings of the apostle of non-violence be taken to the classroom.

 
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive