Implications of Iranian-Afghan leaders visit Pak
By Zaheerul Hassan
Pakistan, Iranian and Afghan leaders will sat together in Islamabad from February 18, 2012 for a regional summit at a key juncture in peace efforts with the Taliban and amid rising tensions between Tehran and Israel. The leaders will definitely try to evolve strategy which should be viable for establishment of regional peace. Peace process in afghan region is already under it way particularly after US announcement of her Exit strategy. In this connection US-Taliban negotiations have been started in Qatar. Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited Kabul this month on a fence-mending visit amid reports that Kabul and Islamabad felt isolated by contacts between the United States and the Taliban in the Gulf state of Qatar. Afghan President Karzai termed Pakistan’s support as “critical to the success” of an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process and the reconciliation.
President Asif Ali Zardari, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Afghan President Karzai would focus on expanding relations, economic ties, regional peace, guarding common interests, counter-terrorism, transnational organised crime including drug and human trafficking, border management and trade issues, and enhanced cooperation with each other.
The revealed objectives would be attainable if these three Muslim neighbouring countries would ready to fight against US pressure which is continuously exerting on them in the shape of drone attacks, potent Israeli threat of attacking, American sanctions on Iran, cutting down of economic aid to Pakistan, opposing Pak-Iran Gas pipeline project, interfering in Balochistan and interest of her establishing airbases even after leaving Afghanistan.
Pakistan and Iran both have dented relationship with US. In this regard Pakistan, the historic ally of the Taliban, although ready to support an Afghan-led peace process, but has wide degree of scepticism in Afghanistan and the United States about its sincerity. The relationship between two countries have gone worst particularly after US unilateral raid of May 2, 2011 against Osama bin Laden and attack on Salala Check in which 24 soldiers have been killed. On February 16, 2012 US has also carried out two drone attacks on Pakistan territory and killed 21 Pakistani persons. In another suicidal attack in Parachinar 24 individuals has been killed on February 17, 2012. The attacks went on when three head of states were present in Islamabad to negotiate peace process and other common interests. Again on February 17, 2012, US House of Representatives has tabled a bill which called upon Pakistan to recognize the right of self-determination for Balochistan. The bill was introduced by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) who indirectly tried to make an effort of materializing earlier set CIA agenda of “Greater Balochistan” which include territory of Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. Therefore, we can say that US drone attacks on Wazirstan at the occasion of trilateral talks and introducing the bill of “Greater Balochistan” clearly indicates that US has given the signal to the negotiators that she doesn’t care and respects the sovereignty of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
Similarly, she is not ready to digest Pak-Iran Gas pipeline deal and pressurizing Pakistan to forego with the mentioned agreement. Moreover, US has also anchored her aircrafts carrier in Indian Ocean, from where its jets are flying over “Strait of Hormu” to deter Iran. Israel has also ready to launch an aggression against Iran. In this regard India has assured Israel for provision of her airstrips and space in case of attacking Iran.
It is notable here that India is one of the major oil buyers of Iranian oil. But she is also convinced that time is coming when she will be unable to purchase the fuel as result of strict future embargo on Iran and defence pact with Israel. Nonetheless, Indian leadership moved towards Saudi Arabia for completion of her forecasted energy crises as a result of attack or sanctions on Iran. To enhance bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony visited India on February 14, 2012 and have decided to form a joint committee on defence cooperation to work out the contours of future collaboration. Saudi Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz met Antony in the presence of Deputy Minister of Defence Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz. Antony was accompanied by a high-level delegation that included Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, Indian Army vice chief Lt. Gen. S.K. Singh and Indian Navy deputy chief Vice Admiral Satish Soni.
However, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan are well aware of that Israel is determined to attack Iran and Indian move of cashing Saudi Arabia in case of Israel-Iran War. Reportedly, numbers of times Mossad head Tamir Pardo’s visited Washington for the number of times to evaluate that how the United States would react, if Israel decided to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities on its own (Newsweek magazine reports this week). In this connection, a senior American official quoted in the story said that Mossad Intelligence Chief, Pardo had come to Washington to “check the pulse” of the Obama administration and to ascertain the degree to which Washington opposes an Israeli strike. Israel this week accused Iran of targeting its diplomats in Georgia, India and Thailand, against a backdrop of speculation that the Jewish state or the United States could be months from launching military strikes against Iran.
Anyhow, the positive results of talks can only be achieved, if participants of trilateral negotiations should display harmony and get united to meet the challenges facing to them. Troika must: ask US to leave the region, Indian, Israel and US joint ventures should be strongly condemned, sanctions on any one of the country should not be accepted, anti state actors should not be allowed to foment terrorism against any one of them while using territory each other territory, Afghanistan should evict the terrorist’s camps which are giving training to anti-Pakistan elements for carrying out militancy in Balochistan and remaining parts of Pakistan. Troika should show concern over Indian hegemonic design and her future role in Afghanistan. Any effort of isolation of Iran or Pakistan has to be strongly resisted and condemned. Pakistan and Iran should speed up her “Gas Pipeline Project. In this connection, Pakistan has said that multi-billion-dollar project to build a gas pipeline to import fuel from Iran would be completed without accepting US pressure. In short Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran should make a joint effort to extend their cooperation with each other and other regional countries like China, Russia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Matters of common interests can be discussed and guarded jointly from such a platform. Implications of trilateral talks can only be materialized if these countries start implementing on the set objectives with true letter and spirit.
The writer can be approached through zameer36@gmail,com