Negative role

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60

A resurgent Taliban seem increasingly determined to drench America’s closing act in Kabul in analogous bloody hues. Any sensible state would have rolled up its sleeves and got down to cleaning its house. After all, the Taliban’s military success is a pretty simple recipe for its own downfall. But instead, the Afghan government is busy giving Pakistan a black eye. What an ironic tragedy! One fine day, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani decided to lash out at Pakistan for its alleged negative role in the precious peace process. Blaming a country about to be most affected by the turmoil in his halls of power was a very miscalculated move if speaking the language of diplomacy. However, the word on the street is much viler; much starker. What to make of a country that pays no heed to our gracious hosting of no less than three million refugees? Mind you, with open arms! Why on God’s green earth would Islamabad favour a Taliban dispensation in Kabul when it was amongst the worst hit neighbours, back in 1996? It is very easy for outsiders to sit in their cushy thrones and find faults with our handling of affairs. Having the guts to actually face a long string of cross-border attacks, shambolic breakdown of the security situation on top of incalculable fallouts, probably not so much! Then again, what can be made of an administration that is falling like a house of cards; giving away over 85 per cent of its controlled land. Despite being trained, equipped and financed by the world’s military superpower, Afghan forces are not putting up any fight; let alone a strong one. Instead of hanging his head in shame at steering a fast sinking ship, Mr Ghani has pursued the comfortable route of pointing his guns in our direction! A below-the-belt punch, indeed! As if his tirade in front of the international community had not ruffled enough feathers, the Afghan Vice President decided to jump aboard the mud-slinging bandwagon. Calling out Pakistan Air Force for the provision of support to the Taliban made for colourful headlines as our adversaries around the world ganged up to raise the ante again. Amid heated critiques of the 90s avatar, Pakistan is left alone to scavenge for both its safety and Afghans’ future amongst the ruins of Kabul. Civil unrest is practically being waged at our doorstep. But PM Khan continues to have his arm twisted over his commitment to credible peace. The unfortunate episode revolving around the daughter of the Afghan ambassador has further frayed the regional tinderbox. Pakistan’s feverish efforts to broker an amicable arrangement stand in stark contrast to the Afghan’s wrathful smear campaign. Of course, cabinet members like Sheikh Rashid should have been more careful about hatching conspiracy theories. Though National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf could not be more spot-on in his handling of attempts to “vititate bilateral relations,” undiplomatic terms like “idiotic statements” would only fan the nefarious flames. The kaptaan should be prudent enough to nip this disaster in the bud. Maintaining composure is the only way to go otherwise a hostile Kabul (especially its national security adviser) is more than ready to rub salt in!