The Pentagon report has indeed echoed the renowned fact that Taliban are the pawns of ISI used as proxy forces against the people and the government of Afghanistan. The report in fact acknowledged Pakistan’s duplicity in the war against terror and alarmed the new Afghan government that a positive change from Pakistan’s civil and military establishment is a waste of time.
However, the importance of this report lies in the following three aspects. First, as stated many times by the Afghan officials, the Afghan Taliban continue to operate from Pakistan territory to sabotage the Afghan and regional stability. The Afghan Taliban are trained in the military campuses that were established by the United States in 1950s to train the Pakistan army. By accepting this fact now it is the duty of the US government to suspend the financial assistance to Pakistan in the name of “war on terror”.
Second, the report concedes the duplicity of Pakistan’s civil and military establishment. “These relationships run counter to Pakistan’s public commitment to support Afghan-led reconciliation. Such groups continue to act as the primary irritant in Afghan-Pakistan bilateral relations,” This gives a crystal clear reminder to Afghanistan that Pakistan is, and will be the main hub of all problems.
Third, the report indicates that Pakistan has lost its influence in Afghanistan. “Pakistan uses these proxy forces to hedge against the loss of influence in Afghanistan and to counter India’s superior military”.
In view of the above, the new Afghan government has no reason to trust Pakistan, unless there is positive comeback from Pakistan. ISI-Pak Army combine, is the master mind behind the scene and seems it has no intensions to cease support for Taliban. Pakistan is maintaining terrorists training camps and provides them with necessary facilities
Now this is the time for the Afghan government to use this report as strong evidence to convince the international community to pressurise Pakistan and stop it from its reckless strategy. It is the duty of Organization of the Islamic CooperationOIC and UN Security Council to take necessary actions against Pakistan and play a vital role in this regard. On the other hand, the Afghan government should also use this report to convince its international allies particularly the U.S government to take necessary measures against Pakistan. The US government, without any doubt has the power and influence to call for tough action against Taliban fighters from Pakistani establishment.
The Afghan government should also work on strengthening its security institutions and tightening its control over the border with Pakistan. Afghanistan and Pakistan have 2,200 kilometer border, mostly porous with 94 gateways. Among the 94 gateways, less than 10 are legal and under control of both government. However, the remaining are free for Taliban to commute between their military bases and safe havens in Pakistan. Afghanistan needs to put in place a new mechanism to restrict free Taliban movement. The Afghan government should increase its military patrol over the border and stop any illegal crossing. This requires better border management and resources, and the Afghan government has the ability to do that and it must.
Ahmad Hasib Farhan is a graduate of Kabul University and holds a Master degree from Japan in Public Policy and Economics. Farhan is an Afghan analyst and commentator on political and socio-economic affairs in Afghanistan. Farhan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.