COAS Qamar Javed Bajva’s Kabul trip-a positive initiative towards right direction

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Amidst growing tension commenced with recent shift in US Afghan policies and multiplied by BRIC China summit declaration, Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Gen, Qamar Javed Bajva visited Kabul and had exchanged views with President Dr. Ashraf Ghani and other high ranking officials of that war ruined country.
Whatever might be results of COAS visit to Kabul and talks with Afghan authorities but it could be considered a positive step as it lead to resuming of formal contacts between the two neighbouring countries, suspended with killing of militant commander Mullah Akhtar Mansour on May 21, 2016 last. During this period, relations between the two countries were badly affected and even encounter on crossing points at Torkham, Chaman, Kharlachi and others caused losses to precious lives on both sides. In reaction, Pakistani authorities went a step further with tightening restrictions on crossing points and also succeeded in fencing of border along with Afghanistan at different points.
Gen. Qamar Javed Bajva had lead most important delegation to Kabul as beside high ranking military authorities like Director General of ISI and Military Operation, it also included Secretary Foreign Affairs. In recent past, similar initiative made by former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani who along with his aides responsible for internal and external affairs and former COAS and ISI chief had visited Kabul in mid of April 2010 last and held detail talks with former President Hamid Karzai and his cabinet members. Since collapse of Taliban regime in November 2001, high level delegations are flying between Islamabad and Kabul, exchanging views on bilateral relations, especially on terrorism and extremism. But outcomes of such shuttle- visits and parlays are very disappointing. Instead of settling the issues, high ups from both the neighbouring countries entered into trade of allegations and accusations against each other’s.
No one can deny the fact that Afghanistan is not only a land-locked but a war destroyed country. Not only almost of its state organs are dismantled but even its people have been disintegrated and didn’t trust each others. Former President Hamid Karzai after assuming the office in December 2001 last had not only attached great hopes with Pakistan but even had declared Pakistan and Afghanistan as indispensable for each others. Pakistan has got a golden opportunity of gaining a lot from the reconstruction process and as a result bilateral trade was reached to around 5 billion US dollars in 2004-2005. But later differences developed between the two countries, thus enabling no other than other regional countries like India, Iran and Central Asian Republics of filling the vacuum erupted with return or withdrawal of Pakistan.
However, amidst growing tension and hostilities between rulers, some of politicians, technocrats, analysts and parliamentarians on both sides have continued their struggle for bringing close the two neighbouring countries. At each and every forum, these peace loving individuals have insisted on resolving of rifts through dialogues and mutual understanding. They unanimously declared peace is equally essential for both the countries as they facing identical issues of terror, extremism, poverty, corruption, unemployment and economic disorder. But a few circles, mostly individual or self-styled amirs and commanders have opposed such a realistic approach and even they declared Afghanistan as another worst enemy of Pakistan after India.
Recent developments like shift in US Afghan policy in according to President Donald Trump’s previous August speech and declaration adopted in BRIC summit held at China had forced policy makers in Islamabad to re-visit its policies, especially towards Afghanistan. And similar progress reported in Kabul whereas the rulers have directed military, police and other law enforcing agencies to ask militants (Pakistani) to leave urban towns and villages and shelter along the border. And now not only the Afghan National Army but even Afghanistan with collaboration of US led allied has established a special force for chasing of these militants. So far outcomes of these initiatives yielding positive results.
COAS Gen. Qamar Javed Bajva’s visit to Kabul could be considered a positive step towards right direction. All these militants whether they are from Pakistan or Afghanistan generated from one phenomenon. At crucial stages they are extending financial and logistic support to each others. In the light of understanding developed between President Dr. Ashraf Ghani and COAS Gen. Qamar Javed Bajva, the two countries needs to establish joint working groups to discuss ways and means for eliminating the terrorists who have put in danger future of innocent people on both sides of Pak Afghan border.

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