With the unprecedented rise of terror attacks across Pakistan in the recent past, targeting army personnel, ISI officers, police officials, and ordinary citizens, the men in charge of security establishments in Pakistan are still blustering with no pragmatic approaches ahead.
Being a nuclear power in the world, and equipped with sophisticated American and Chinese weaponry, as well has to have 600,000 strong army, the country’s internal security is still at risk at the hands of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups.
To help the Afghan Taliban to overtake power in Kabul was a miscalculation for the Pakistani government and politicians for many reasons. For years, the notion that the Afghan Taliban is somehow different from the Pakistani Taliban was instilled in the public through massive propaganda, although both are ideological twins.
On the contrary, Afghanistan’s de facto authorities taunt Pakistan and dismiss allegations of TTP hideouts inside Afghanistan. The many expectations that the Pakistani government had from the Afghan Taliban before coming to power are gradually fading away.
The back-to-back cross-border shelling which took place between Pakistani and Afghan border security forces in December in the Chaman-Spin Boldak area resulting in the death of security officials and ordinary citizens is a clear example of souring relations between Kabul and Islamabad. Apparently, Pakistan has created for itself a hostile neighbor and a nightmare.
Meanwhile, the TTP has its demands which obviously contradict the Pakistani constitution. The terror and chaos the militant group creates among the general public need to be dealt with using full force, however, the main question remains unanswered, what does the TTP want, and why should the relationship remain sour with Afghanistan?
A pragmatic approach to dealing with the TTP and normalizing the situation with Afghanistan should be a major priority for the Pakistani government. Removing border fencing and delegitimizing Pakistan’s claims on areas bordering Afghanistan is not something that would undermine the sovereignty of Pakistan. However, it will pave the way for finding a comprehensive solution with the militant groups through negotiations instead of picking up arms, which failed to bear positive outcomes over the past years.