Situation in Afghanistan: Pakistan’s Security Concerns and Likely Scenarios
The strategic landscape of Afghanistan is witnessing a steady shift as the draw down date for coalition forces, set to be 2014, approaches. It would be pertinent to conclude that 2014 represents a transition point not only for Afghanistan but for the entire region. The political and strategic ground work done to meet future challenges in this time frame will largely determine the outcome for the future of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region.
Pakistan as an important regional player continues to monitor the developments in Afghanistan and will be willing to play a constructive role in bringing the war in Afghanistan to an end in the interest of stability in the region.
Pakistan’s foreign minister Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar in her key note address at German Council of Foreign Relations stated that:
“Pakistan, in its own core national interest is irrevocably committed to achieving stability in Afghanistan through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. It is for the Afghans themselves to define the contours of reconciliation 1 “
Important questions, however, persist about the nature of post 2014 geopolitical situation in Afghanistan. For example what will be the future political setup in Afghanistan that can ensure stability in relations with all its neighbors? , what will be the nature of US led ISAF commitment to Afghanistan? , Will Afghan security forces be able to take on the security responsibilities from withdrawing coalition forces? And most significantly the role of India in future political settings in Afghanistan, border security mechanisms between Pakistan and Afghanistan etc.
Newly appointed US secretary of State Chuck Haigel’s 2011 remarks as revealed recently, made in his then capacity as US senator, about Indian efforts to finance instability in Pakistan through Afghanistan have confirmed Pakistan’s fears regarding Indian activities in Afghanistan.