Defeating terror – 04 Feb 2023
It goes without saying that Afghanistan and Pakistan should be on the same page in defeating terrorism
Afghanistan and Pakistan are in a fix. The terror fissures have further compounded their relations, and both the countries seem to be clueless to the core. The demand from the Pakistan Foreign Office that Kabul should “sincerely cooperate” with Islamabad to address the challenge of terrorism is a synopsis in itself. Recent terror attacks inside Pakistan, especially the Peshawar mosque bombing on January 30, has completely shattered the uneasy peace that was there since the war-torn country had stabilised to an extent in the wake of withdrawal of US forces. Likewise, it also brought to fore that the ‘war on terrorism’ that Pakistan had fought in its tribal and settled areas by flushing out the disgruntled nexus is half-done, and there is a lot that is simmering on our faces.
It goes without saying that Afghanistan and Pakistan should be on the same page in defeating terrorism. The statement from the interim Afghan government that their soil is not being used by terror outfits to attack neighbouring countries is unqualified. The reality is quite different, as a plethora of unscrupulous elements and militants from all shades of belief are regrouping on both sides of the divide. This is where a real counter-terrorism operation is needed, and the major powers have a responsibility to cushion up the efforts to exterminate terrorism. Washington, Moscow and Beijing must orchestrate a regime of confidence in the region by buoying efforts to nail the terror nexus, and not to limit their engagement with Kabul and Islamabad to vested strategic strings.
While the Peshawar bombing has been claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, it’s time for Pakistan to go after them. No more politics of engagement. A purge is a must if Pakistan has to cleanse the Augean Stable at home, and going back to the fine print of the National Action Plan is indispensable. A parallel track of proactive dialogue with Kabul is a must to iron-out differences and make room for constructive cooperation. No point in indulging in blame games.