Roughness Necessary

Roughness NecessaryAbid Latif Sindhu

Recently the American society of psychology came to two conclusions, one that in most of the cases the problems are of social nature which are diagnosed as psychiatric pre conditions, secondly the children require attention for their tantrum. After coming so far still the knowledge is lacking in tackling the basic questions. This also leads to the fact that technology and advancement has its limit and it frequently returns to basics when ever faced with difficult situations. Uncle Sam needs to have a lesson that whatever strategy or philosophy is applied, the basics is the essentials. Afghanistan has now become a test case for USA.

The End Game is actually the beginning, the players are poised a fresh for a new round of fierce struggle or a political  tent pegging, the horse, rider and the game all three are lined up for the  final round up. Players are well defined but goals as elusive as the morning mist. Three assertions have changed the complete paradox to new paradoxical heights, one, Hillary Clinton said that Ayman-el-Zawahiri is likely hiding in Pakistan, second American Senators are coming up for fresh demands to harness Pakistan’s security set up specially in supporting Haqqani net work, thirdly another Haqqani, the professor from Boston is asking terse question from Pakistani state about its strategic policy options, just moments back he himself was part of everything albeit quixotically.

Afghanistan end game is approaching, rather is around the corner. The relations between USA and Pakistan is at the lowest ebb .These have not come to this pass ever. Probably for the first time both are at different pages but the book is same so with little prudent measures the damage control can be done before both start reading the different chronicles(with page theory gone). The end game has also gone little complex, Obama inked a new agreement with Afghanistan ,ensuring the presence of American experts even when the troops leave after 2014, the Bigram, Kandahar and Kabul bases will remain operational much beyond the projected time line. The end game is actually the finale crescendo of the new great game song. The geography has gain further importance when now the cartographic phase of the great game is approaching. Tribal areas of Pakistan, the adjoining areas of Afghanistan, the territory south of Bahawalpur Slope till Gwader and the Indian Ocean are all linked to the end game of Afghanistan.

Robert Kaplan in his latest book “Monsoon” defined the theater of new great game by highlighting the importance of Indian Ocean after the diminishing one of the Atlantic or Pacific etc. The littoral powers are in for the dawn of a new competitive era. The most important question or the political anchorage is the opening of NATO supply or the GLOC.  The mathematics on both sides need bold corrections, Pakistani intelligentsia made the people believe that the western troops in Afghanistan will not be able to sustain this blockade for more than a month and will come running and begging for clemency in technical terms, specially on Salala and Drones etc.

But this did not happen, the NDN (northern distribution network) and ALOC (air line of communication) sustained the same for over five months. There are still no dents visible although Russia has reservations but is not in position to make sounds beyond egoistic whimpers. The American side also miscalculated the response of Pakistan by taking it for granted on illegal incursions and sans sovereignty acts of an imperial power by virtue of regal hubris. Now both, the Pakistan and USA have corrected the wrong by taking a prudent stance on NATO supply route. Pakistan could not ignore Chicago summit being an important platform and also Afghanistan specific.

Pakistan has just shown necessary roughness while dealing with USA in past few months. It is precisely required in any relationship, may it be husband and wife or Hillary’s favorite mother in law analogy.  So it should only be taken in the right context, Pakistan just showed a tinge of essential roughness in retaliation to its bashing; it was never an act of insolence towards international community. Pakistan is not a rentier state, the state policy could be loop sided but it does exist. It is both a victim and the player of the new great game with a status of the regional middle kingdom. Afghanistan end game is being played by increasing the numbers of players at its final hour; this has made the complete phenomenon global in nature and multi dimensional in its texture.

The ground realities in Afghanistan cannot be ignored, the ANA (afghan national army) is now over one lakh strong and is going to be a force of projected strength of three lakhs. Being the guarantor of peace whence the foreign troops leave, they are supposed to be well trained and well oriented towards the main objective of maintaining peace. Less about 30 percent the afghan army is rather hastily trained and prematurely poised to undertake difficult operations. Pakistan is pursuing the policy of constructive engagement, all players and stake holders have come a pass from where mere politics and petite responses are no more an option.

A concrete set of measures are required to solve the Afghan problem, the comprehensive approach covering complete ambit of Pashtun society is the answer. Blame game by Karazai against Pakistan or the controlled tantrums of USA towards Pakistan can lead no one anywhere. Americans are there to stay and so does the two geographical neighbors.  From Boon to Chicago the journey is made and history written but the question is, that can Pakistan be ignored with its unique connectivity matrix. Pakistan is fighting an extended insurgency in the complete tribal areas.Globalism has come face to face with tribalism, one using the technology as the main driver and later using the simplicity as the sin-qua-non for its existence and survival. International conferences, moots and summits without reality checks will result into a futile exercise and the perpetuation of afghan ordeals. Protagonists, i.e. Pakistan, Afghanistan and USA have to reach an operational consensus respecting each other’s sensitivities. Time is ripe for the harvest of century and the wind fall of hope, promise and prosperity.

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