Iran and Pakistan extremely concerned about the probable Afghan- U.S. strategic Partnership
While the Afghan government is in the process of signing a strategic partnership with the U.S. government in the near future, the mighty neighbors of Afghanistan both Pakistan and Iran are closely watching the progress in this regard as they are highly concerned about the U.S. long-term commitment to Afghanistan and their possible stay post 2014 in the region.
In his recent interview the Iranian defense minister Ahmad Waheedi urged the Afghan people to strongly oppose any strategic deal with U.S. while the Pakistani government has already submitted their demands and alternatives to the Afghan government which clearly portraits the importance of such a crucial deal to our evil neighbors.
On the other hand, Afghanistan as a sovereign state has the right to pursue its long-term interests in the region even if signing strategic partnerships with its partners is required to get assurance for such national matter. No doubt, the Afghan government is obliged to find ways to bring a reasonable balance in its relationship with regional and world players and certainly reassure our neighbors about Afghanistan not being used as state against them. In fact, the government is to maintain friendly relationship both with its neighbors and allies certainly based on mutual respect and integrity of each others sovereignty.
We the afghan people have experienced the devastating consequences of our neighbors’ interferences in our domestic affairs in the past and certainly realize that if the coalition forces leave Afghanistan, the decade long internal conflicts will restart and Afghanistan will once again become a platform for our neighbors to interfere and take Afghanistan back to the quagmire of darkness and bloodshed.
Based on these hatred experiences the intellectual community of Afghanistan strongly supports any strategic deal with our international partners which will bring out a lasting peace and stability to the war-torn country and pave the way for a rapid economic development of the country. While at the same time, we also realize the fact that you can not change your neighbors and you have to compromise and respect their concerns and sovereignty while they should have the same approach towards your dignity and interests.
Now the question is that, if the prevailing government is capable of explaining the gains from such a significant deal to the mass public or will the newly appointed commission in this regard be able to deliver the message to the ordinary afghan, being optimistic about the issue, so far the government has not been able to establish a direct connection with the mass and has clearly failed in communicating with the roots of the society and as a result it has been quite vulnerable to the enemy’s intentions and if it continues to be the case I am afraid we might be in the verge of wasting another futile step for our country’s prosperity which is certainly the strategic deal with the U.S. government.
Most importantly, today the U.S. president announced his troops withdrawal plan from Afghanistan which will take place at the end of this year starting with 10,000 troops and continue to additionally 23,000 military personnel by summer 2012, now that the exit strategy is announced it is to the Afghan government to look for alternative ways to further boost its long term relationship with its partners in terms of signing strategic partnerships as we no longer afford isolation from the rest of the world and have already seen the negative consequences in the past.
As the U.S. president stated in his address today that it is time to focus more on resources and investments at home since ultimately it is the Afghan security forces who have to take the responsibility of securing their country and lay the foundation for a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan in the future, we should be wise enough to accept the reality and prepare ourselves for the post 2014 when the transition is completed.
Author: Naser Koshan
June 22, 2011