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Dr. Ashraf Ghani’s visit to Pakistan and our foreign policy…?

The two-day visit of Afghan president Dr. Ashraf Ghani to Pakistan has positively triggered an outbreak of optimism. The visit is anticipated as icebreaker in the tensed relations of the physically neighbors but heartedly distanced states to name Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pakistani media and political pundits have termed it a great opportune advent for both governments lending hands to each other to nub the evils of terrorism from their soils and open doors of opportunities and peace for their ill-fated people. That is a good omen but the question is who and how the foreign policy in Pakistan is controlled. It is thought that the military establishment of Pakistan – if it wished – could push the Taliban towards a peace process that the international community has struggled with for years. Former President Hamid Karzai, in his farewell address last month, said that the keys to the reconciliation process with the Taliban are Pakistan and the United States. Is the visit of Ghani to Pakistan imperative? And Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is all and all authority to bury the hatchet and has weight to dawn a new era with his injured neighbor Afghanistan if not then Ghani is surely just shaking hands with a gloved-hand.

The meetings of the leaderships may continue in future too but the core issues need to resolve the genuine problems that have ceased the peace to prevail in the region. The bones of contentions between the two states are apparently terrorism, violation o the Durand line [disputed Pak-Afghan border] and forty years persistent intervention and interference in Afghanistan. Mostly both sides blame each other for supporting and nurturing Taliban in their soils. The 2,200-km Durand line the ‘Porous border’ demarcating the virtual border between Pakistan and Afghanistan has always remained focal point of row during ‘off the record and on the record’ dialogues between the leaders of the two sides. Both sides blame each other for loose control that enables the militants to illegally cross it.

Pakistan has always blamed Afghanistan for what she alleges ill-managed border mechanism that enables the terrorists crossing the border and carry out terrorist activities on the other side. Along with Afghanistan, Pakistan has customarily border tensions with all its neighbors including Iran, India and China. All the four are accusing the other side for not eyeing the terrorists that gently cross the borders. The recent accidents of firing on Pak-Iran and Pak India borders sadly caused big human losses to each country. It is yet ambiguous if such row, along the 900 kilometer long Sistan-Baluchistan border between Pakistan and Iran, is something understood between or something hatched for future plans. Similarly, the tension at LOC with India is somewhat analyzed as Pakistan wants to gauge the political temperature of the India’s newly installed Modi sarkar. Similarly, China has pointed at ally Pakistan’s hands in Xinjiang unrest as she has overtly blamed terrorists trained in Pakistan for an outbreak of deadly violence and imposed heavy security in a bid to prevent further unrest.

Alike, during Pakistan’s military dictator president Pervez Musharraf epoch, fencing was started on the Afghan border in order to alleging infiltration of Taliban but was stopped after many protests by the Afghanistan’s bordering areas people. The option of trenching the border along the Durand line in Chaman area of Pakistan was also used to counter terrorism but the cross border intervention as the Kabul claims, is still penetrating in the Afghan land from the Pakistani side. International community and former Afghan president Hamid Karzai have persistently demanded that solution of the Afghan issues is in the hand of Pakistan. A spokesman of NATO, in a statement reiterated that Islamabad should make effective progress against the Taliban. The local Pashtun nationalist politicians in Pakistan also urge on purging of the safe heavens and other hideouts of the Taliban and Alqaida militants in Pakistan bordering areas with Afghanistan.

Pakistani government has launched around 23 semi and full military operations against the ‘rambunctious boys’ of General (R) Javed Nassir and colonel Imam, Pakistan’s army retired officers. Reportedly, they have also killed hundreds of alleged militants in the ambushes and targeted operations. According Inter-services of public relations-ISPR, Pakistan’s army media cell, 11 hundreds foreign Uzbaks have been killed in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber-One in North Waziristan while security forces have seized 132.5 tonnes of explosives and more than 12,000 different types of weapons during the clearance operation. The presence of the mammoth number of Taliban and Alqaida and other foreign militants in Pakistani areas is a question on the performance of Pakistani security forces for either they are willingly not working effectively or they still have soft corner for these elements miscreants to use them as proxies in future for their strategic depth policy.

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