Rabbani’s visits seen as exercise in futility
KABUL CITY (PAN): Some political analysts are pessimistic about the result of the High Peace Council (HPC) chairman’s proposed trips to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to drum up support for a negotiated end to conflict.
They argue Pakistan does not want peace in Afghanistan and Riyadh has no interest in the reconciliation peace process either, and hence the futility of Salahuddin Rabbani’s visits to the powerful Islamic capitals.
President Hamid Karzai told participants of Thursday’s Heart of Asia Conference that Rabbani would be travelling to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. He said the role of the two nations was crucial in bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.
Political analyst Habibullah Rafi told Pajhwok Afghan News that Afghanistan’s stability could be ensured only when Pakistan stopped interference in the country’s internal affairs and Saudi Arabia agreed to effective cooperation in taking forward the peace process.
“Pakistan is promoting its own agenda and it has never been supportive of peace and development in Afghanistan, while Saudi Arabia has no interest in the reconciliation drive,” he commented. Coming hard on the peace council, he said if it had a proper policy and neutral people, its efforts would have yielded good results.
Rafi said peace negotiations would not produce the desired positive outcome as long as impartial and uncontroversial people were not appointed to the panel.
Another political analyst Mohammad Hassan Wolasmal also predicted Rabbani’s trips would fizzle out under the prevailing circumstances. "There is no doubt that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia can play a positive role in ensuring peace in Afghanistan.”
“While Islamabad can’t be expected to lend its weight to stabilisation efforts, Riyadh hasn’t so far played the concrete role it is supposed to play.” The expert said Rabbani lacked the ability to play a proactive part in making the peace process a success.
He accused Pakistan of harbouring Al Qaeda operatives who sneaked into Afghanistan for terrorist activities, something Islamabad wants to see in Afghanistan. “They will never extend a helping hand to Afghans in this regard,” he insisted.
Wolasmal also faulted the composition of the peace council, saying that individuals having role in the war against the Taliban had been appointed to it.
Both Pakistani and Saudi foreign ministers voiced their support for the peace effort at the Heart of Asia conference in Kabul on Thursday.
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