Pakistani analyst calls for Indo-Pak dialogue on Afghanistan

By EuAsiaNews,

Brussels : A well-known Pakistani expert and analyst on Afghanistan and Taliban , Ahmed Rashid , has called for a regional solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

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Speaking at an event organised by the Brussels-based think-tank, European Policy Centre, here Monday afternoon, he said there are new realities in Afghanistan which the Americans, NATO and the EU are not aware of, or are not tackling them.

“This war in Afghanistan is no longer confined to Afghanistan. It is a regional conflict. Today there are not only Afghan Taliban, there are Pakistan Taliban, Central Asian Taliban, there are Sunni groups in Iran who are trying to overthrow the regime who also believe in Taliban ideology,” said Rashid.

“The solution to this has to be a regional solution,” he said speaking on the topic “Pakistan and Afghanistan interwined – is solution still an option.”

The Pakistani anaylst , currently on a visit to Brussels , called for an end to the Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan.

“You will not get peace in this region as long as you keep treating these sanctuaries as a misnomer or as a mistake. In order to end the sanctuaries you have to start talking to India about Afghanistan and its role in Afghanistan and try to appease the Pakistani military in some way that they are not under threat from the Indian presence in Afghanistan,” he said.

Rashid suggested that this can take the shape of Indo-Pakistan dialogue on Afghanistan, perhaps sponsored by the United Nations.

There is widespread belief in Afghanistan that the west will cut and run from Afghanistan or patch up a deal with the Taliban which will leave Pakistan in a very powerful position, opined Rashid.

This fear will make the regional powers keep supporting their proxies.

Commenting on the recent terror attack against the Indian embassy in Kabul, Rashid expressed his sadness that Indians have accused the ISI of carrying out the attack.

“It is certainly going to be a major setback on relations. The right-wing in India is going to jump on this, the BJP is to jump on this, the opposition is to jump on this to embarrass the Congress,” he said adding that the aim of the Taliban is to see a crisis between India and Pakistan.

Rashid’s new book titled “How the War Against Islamic Extremism Is Being Lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia” was published recently.

In 2000, Rashid published a book titled “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia,” which became a best-seller after 9/11 attacks in the US.