Trump’s Afghan policy has alienated Pakistan while it continues to bring more suffering to Afghanistan. Among other drawbacks it links Afghanistan with Washington’s South Asia policy introducing India as a major player. It has thus deepened regional tensions.
Afghanistan has suffered the most from the flawed US policy. With a larger involvement of US Air Force in anti-terrorism operations, civilian casualties have increased leading to protests. The attacks by Afghan Taliban and ISIS have meanwhile multiplied. On Tuesday Kabul TV station came under attack.
A day earlier a Pakistani consular staffer was shot dead in Jalalabad. In October more than 2,500 people were killed and wounded in 169 attacks across Afghanistan, indicating a 39 percent increase in casualties compared to September.
This is creating widespread resentment among the Afghans against the US. With a bigger involvement of US troops in frontline action, the rate of casualties among the US military personnel is also likely to increase, further deepening war weariness in the US.
COAS Bajwa’s visit to Kabul last month was meant to improve mutual understanding between the neighbouring countries. There is a need on the part of the US to realize that reliance on military force has failed to put an end to the longest war fought by the US in its history and there is a need now to resolve the issue through talks with the help of the countries sharing borders with Afghanistan. To start with there is a need for Afghanistan and Pakistan to resume and strengthen political, diplomatic, military and intelligence co-operation at all levels.
The 4th round of US-Pakistan Bilateral Dialogue was initiated to deliberate on ways to ease the strains in Pak-US ties. Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua who participated in the dialogue has told Senate that the US had assured Pakistan that no group, including RAW, would be allowed to launch attacks on Pakistani soil from across the western border.
Further that US officials had “recognised” that their objections to CPEC projects in “controversial areas” were incorrect. This indicates a welcome change in the US policy. Hopefully the Trump administration will stick to its undertakings.