Analysts doubt Pakistan ability to revive Afghan talks
Since the unity government’s formation in late September, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has repeatedly insisted that bringing peace is his top priority. Pakistan has promised to help Afghanistan advance the peace process, but no practical steps have been taken so far.
Former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yusfu Raza Gilani visited Afghanistan last week.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in Kabul on his second visit and first since the new government’s installation in Kabul. He is accompanied by his army chief and other top civil and military officials on the day-long visit.
The Pakistani delegation is expected to discuss with Afghan leaders ways to step up joint battle against militants on both sides of the border.
Political analyst Wahid Muzhda told Pajhwok Afghan News the ongoing visit would be no different from the previous ones and the same promises would be repeated.
He said Pakistan had recently promised to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, but practical steps in this regard were still awaited.
He added the Taliban had clearly stated that the Afghan government wanted peace through Pakistan which was not plausible.
Muzhda said Pakistani officials had intensified their Afghanistan visits to assure Kabul that the Taliban would eventually be prepared to sit across the negotiating table.
Recently a two-day conference -- Afghan Dialogue -- was held by Canadian-based Pugwash Council in Qatar, where representatives of Taliban and Afghan government informally discussed the peace process.
Muzhda said Pakistan’s inability to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table has recently alarmed officials both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Pakistanis think that the relations with Kabul might go back to square one that’s why their leaders have intensified visits to Kabul to stop the recently generated goodwill from fading away,” he added.
“Pakistan does not have the ability to bring the Taliban into negotiations. The Afghan government shouldn’t have counted on them much because the Taliban won’t talk through Pakistan.”
Muzhda insisted the Taliban won’t talk through Pakistan because they would consider it a political suicide. “The allegations that the Taliban do not have political independence and Pakistan takes decisions on their behalf will prove right,” he added.
However, other political commentators say Pakistan has direct influence over Afghan Taliban and its spy agency ISI has been involved in Afghanistan’s matters over the last four decades.
Javed Haqparast, another analyst, said Pakistan had promised that peace negotiations would start in early March, but no tangible progress could be seen.
“Either Pakistan is not honest in its promises or lacks the capability to bring the Taliban into negotiations.”
He believed the visiting Pakistani leaders would just repeat the past promises and nothing new would come out.
He added expectations from Pakistan were waste of time and the unity government should not pin hopes on Islamabad
Former president Hamid Karzai, who visited Pakistan 21 times, had said he failed to achieve positive results from his trips.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.