As the date of the withdrawal of the coalition forces and the US troops approaches, the fear of a horrendous Taliban takeover haunts the minds of millions.The stakes are high and fatal nevertheless insufficient measures and strategic failure will mourn the US draw-down for decades after the event, it seems.
The respective governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan suffer from the turbulent paranoia of the fall of the Afghan Government and a Taliban seizure in the region after the withdrawal of the US troops. The Afghan forces, security agencies and police forces lack way beyond in competency in grappling with the insurgency which is expected to surge after the US draw-down. World over, hopelessness lingers over the Afghan war.
Despite achieving a number of targets such as decrease in the momentum of militancy in regions under extreme Taliban strong-hold, killing or capturing of distinguished leaders of the Al-Qaeda and security of areas of prime focus where insurgents ruled once, the war seems never-ending. US representatives of the forces out of their desperation are searching for secret tunnels to carry out ground missions on Pakistani lands and on both the sides, the blame game is on the rise.
There have been statements and confessions by aristocratic representatives around the globe calling out for dialogue and negotiations with the Taliban without which ' the war would be leading to nowhere' according to common perceptions. The US, out of embarrassment however joins with the voices rather in a whispering display yet the realization is widespread.While all the strategic and operational measures applied by the NATO and the US have been proven fruitless, talks and negotiations can be the only immunity against long term disaster in the region.
In Pakistan, there is a common perceptive that negotiating with the Taliban is highly offensive.The trust deficit between the intelligentsia and armed forces on both sides is on the high tide and it will continue to expand as Pakistan has been viewing the US as a short-term partner and a risky alliance. The country struggling between its tattering economy and a surge in militancy is now desperate to sort out reasons to escape the gruesome aftermath of the war which has so far claimed thousands of Pakistani lives, government and public property and threatens to do the same in coming years. After witnessing the failure of the joint efforts of the NATO, US and Pakistan military forces and armed troops, the world is now swiftly shifting towards the idea of negotiating and handling it on the table instead of the battlefield.
The Taliban, on the other hand, are cantankerously intractable on these terms. Their peevish demands of not indulging into peace talks before the complete withdrawal of all the foreign forces from the Afghan lands have made peace-building mechanisms a far-flung notion. The long war stretching across an entire decade have so far yielded no prolific results.
The fate of the Afghan nation and that of the other stakeholders in the region, thus depends upon the happenings after the final draw-down after which peace-treaties and negotiations will be the final option left behind. What matters is how these affairs will be handled by the US and undoubtedly representatives of the Pakistan Government, Military forces and Intelligence agencies hold paramount importance in a post-NATO Afghanistan.
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|Allen L. Jasson|
|William John Cox|