Pakistan has a good reason for assisting Washington in striking a deal with the Taliban and facilitating the ongoing intra-Afghan talks, says Sabtain Ahmed Dar, a Pakistani political analyst and author, shedding light on Islamabad’s role in the great powers game in the region.
The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) and the Taliban* are continuing to engage in sporadic clashes on the ground despite the ongoing intra-Afghan talks which started in September in Doha, Qatar, according to the Pentagon. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has recently expressed hope that the Afghan negotiations will facilitate a much-anticipated ceasefire in the country and warned that some destructive forces may try to hinder the peace process.
Pakistan’s Role in the US-Taliban Deal
The Afghan peace talks started largely because of Islamabad’s efforts, says Sabtain Ahmed Dar, a Pakistani political analyst, academic and author, highlighting that it is in Islamabad’s national interest that the nearly two-decade war end and the US withdraws from the region.
For about 15 years, Washington provided Pakistan with military and economic aid, seeing it as a major non-NATO ally in the war on terrorism. However, in 2006 the US National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan, revealed that “available evidence strongly suggests that ISI (the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence) maintains an active and ongoing relationship with certain elements of the…