Pakistan-Afghanistan Agree On New Afghan Setup ?

March 10, 2010

 News Analysis By Absar Alam | The News

ISLAMABAD: A strategic shift in Pakistan’s three-decade old Afghan policy has taken a quiet but effective shape as Islamabad has successfully negotiated a peace plan with Mustafa Zahir Shah, the grandson of late King Zahir Shah, who would play a key role in future political dispensation comprising all ethnic groups. “It is a strategic coup by Pakistan against rising Indian influence in Afghanistan,” an analyst tartly remarked commenting on the development. As Islamabad has agreed to untangle the complicated jihadist network fabricated by General Ziaul Haq in 1979, it has acquired ‘iron-clad’ guarantees from Washington and other world capitals to gain advantages not only in regional political and economic affairs but also to get peaceful nuclear technology related benefits, sources privy to the most significant development taking place in the region in more than quarter a century, claimed.

Prime Minister Gilani’s spokesperson Shabbir Anwar, when contacted, said Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan. “We will do whatever we can in strengthening of the political institutions in Afghanistan.”

Anwar, however, said the Foreign Office would be in a better position to comment on such a development. The foreign office spokesman could not be reached despite repeated attempts as his cell phone was switched off.

“Karzai is fast becoming a seat-warmer for Mustafa Zahir Shah,” a diplomat commented. “But the young leader will have to perform a very complicated balancing act by satisfying both sides of the ethnic divides in the world’s one of the least governable countries.”

To continue to have a political foothold in Afghanistan and counter Pakistan’s thriving liaison with Mustafa Zahir Shah and the Northern Alliance, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went to Saudi Arabia to get help in establishing contacts with Taliban. Saudi Arabia reportedly has refused to oblige.

According to the clinched deal, Islamabad would help cobble together a consensus political dispensation in Kabul comprising all ethnic groups, help ensure its stability, dismantle the dreaded militant infrastructure and carefully comb its security apparatus to avert the rise of radicalism. On all counts, Pakistan has already started delivering and brick-by-brick demolition of Jehadi infrastructure has already set in motion. A high-level Pakistani delegation held a final round of negotiations with Mustafa Zahir Shah and Northern Alliance in Kabul a couple of weeks ago.

Islamabad’s diplomatic circles are abuzz with this new, exciting development taking shape during the last few weeks. “To convince Mustafa Zahir Shah to lead, and make the leaderships of Northern Alliance and Taliban share power among themselves is a major breakthrough successfully engineered by Pakistan to reclaim its lost position in Afghanistan,” the sources said.

In addition to winning over the confidence of Mustafa Zahir Shah, the weaning off Northern Alliance from India is the most important milestone in Pakistan’s foreign policy as ties between the two sides had been strained for Islamabad’s tilt towards Taliban. As final touches are being given to level the rough contours of this win-win policy, the diplomatic sources in Islamabad are attributing great significance to the sudden dash of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to Kabul over the weekend.

In return for the success of this policy, the sources claimed, Washington has given guarantees to Islamabad that it would support Pakistan’s efforts to buy nuclear power plants from France for peaceful purposes, limit India’s political role in Afghanistan and Pakistan would have the right to buy oil and gas on less-than-market price from the proposed oil and gas pipelines originating from Central Asia and Afghanistan to India. The royalty that Pakistan would earn on these energy pipelines passing through its territory would be in addition to the above benefits.

DG ISPR Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, when contacted to ask if Pakistani officials were engaged in negotiating such an understanding with the help of the US and the Nato in return for political and economic benefits of the country, he said: “It is a political issue and I have no comments”.

When asked about the high level contacts between Pakistani officials and Mustafa Zahir Shah and Northern Alliance leaders, Abbas said: “Not to my knowledge.” The arrests of top Taliban commanders from Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar two weeks ago to Abu Yehya Gadan over the weekend is a testament to Islamabad’s sincere commitment with this new approach.

In his weekend visit Gen Kayani met Afghan President Hamid Karzai to, what the sources said, discuss his role, if any, in the new setup. Almost a week prior to Kayani’s visit to Kabul, a high-level delegation comprising officials who have been handling the Afghan strategy for decades, visited Kabul and met Mustafa to finalise the future peace plan for Afghanistan. The success has been reached following a series of behind-the-scene meetings in and outside Pakistan between Pakistani officials, Mustafa Zahir Shah, Saudi and US officials, and key leaders of Northern Alliance who have earlier been sceptical of Islamabad’s intentions.

The difference this time would be that Pakistan would ensure the acceptance of this new formula both by the Northern Alliance and Taliban with Mustafa Zahir Shah leading the brood. Sources claimed that the new plan would guarantee Pakistan’s political and economic interests in the region as well as the existence of a peaceful Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US and the Nato troops.

The sources claimed that the establishment is quite serious now in reigning in radical elements who have been creating difficulties for Pakistan in the past. “Now they will not be given a free hand anymore and the elements within the establishment supporting such ideologies and activities would be sidelined in the next round of promotions starting from next month,” source said.



  1. Geo Pakistan!
    Geo Army!

    Jao Zardari(democracy). lol

  2. On whose backing Zardari thinks he is all that strong,and invited Karzai to address the Parliament?

    Pak Army has sabotaged this plan.

    What next? Why this un-necessary confrontation?

    O Allah,save Pakistan.

  3. This is simple plain BS. Taliban is the most potent force in Afghanistan and they will only accept Mullah Omer to lead that country.

  4. Ok, the drone guy will be here any moment now to verbally lash and spank our General Kiyani.

    • You mean last drone attack did not finish the job?

      • lolzzzzz

      • @ Anonymous

        Yaar time will tell…..LOL

  5. It is indeed a crucial turn that Pakistan will be spearheading the effort to have a widely representative dispensation in Afghanistan. During1990s, Pakistan failed to play evenhandedly in Afghan theater by supporting only the Pashtoons – first Hikmatyar’s Hizb-i-Islami and then Taliban. Pakistan’s Afghan strategy proved to be a disaster for the Muslims of this region. The enemies then found it rather trivial to fuel the civil war in Afghanistan and keep the Afghans bleeding. The intelligence agencies from far flung countries started playing a dirty game and meddling in Afghan affairs to effectively block the establishment of a representative Islamic welfare state in Afghanistan. Afghans are now getting another opportunity to make a broad based government in Kabul representing all authentic groups in Afghanistan. We, however, need to ensure that, this time around, the external powers do not succeed in sowing the seeds of disunity and infighting among Afghans.

    It is, however, strange why the so-called win-win situation is pegged on the hopes to get cheaper gas from the pipelines going to India through Pakistan. It effectively amounts to invite Indian mischief in Afghan affairs once more. We really need have a broader vision for this region as a conduit for trade and transit of Central Asia’s vast natural resources, transportation and sale of natural gas being only one component of the overall mega economic activity. It is not difficult to imagine that the gas from CARs flows to Pakistani port of Gwadar where it is condensed into liquefied fuel and then transported in huge tankers to the rest of the world. India can be one of those destinations. Instead of allowing dedicated gas pipelines for specific countries with an aim of getting paltry transition fee (but with huge responsibilities and enormous liabilities), Pakistan will be better off becoming a hub for the export of natural gas and other petro products. In other worlds, Pakistan should import gas from Central Asia, process it (condensation, chemical processing, productization, etc) and then sell all that in the global market. How much Pakistan pays for getting the gas from Central Asia must be independent from how much it sells its petro products for. Whoever likes or needs it, buys it. No obligation and no liabilities for Pakistan at all. In addition, gas can be brought to Lahore and liquefied there in bulk. Surplus liquefied gas can then be exported to India too.

    Some short-sighted observers believe in allowing a gas pipeline through Pakistan to India under the ridiculous name of peace gas pipeline. Once India becomes dependent on that gas, they believe, Pakistan would be in a better position then to stop India from stealing Pakistan’s water in occupied Kashmir. This argument is more mischievous than it first appears. First of all, the water issue by itself is a direct consequence of illegal Indian occupation of J&K. Dealing with water issue in isolation from the overall J&K dispute is tantamount to accepting Indian occupation of J&K. Second, one wonders what else India would not demand from Pakistan as a reward for uninterrupted water flow to Pakistan. Remember, blackmail has no limits. Third, the Kashmir dispute (and as a corollary, the water issue) is not linked to any obligation on Pakistan. Why then we are hell bent on linking it with uninterrupted supply of gas to India.

    Pakistan has a real potential of becoming a trade and industrial hub for Central Asian states. The whole world would enormously benefit from such an economic activity of overwhelming scale. The western countries have been playing as a rouge in the past hoping to one day come and occupy the vast resources of Central Asia. Now that their dreams of becoming the masters of economically enslaved world have shattered, the next best option for them would be a peaceful development of this region and shared utilization of its resources. It is the time for Pakistan to assume a leading role in bringing peace in Afghanistan by establishing a representative and moderate government in Afghanistan, kick start economic activity, and develop vast infrastructure. Pakistan alone, of course, can not do all that of its own. We need to develop a broader regional understanding and move forward in cooperation with Iran, China, Russia, and western powers.

  6. inshaAllah baby-killer army wont have its way. Future belongs to Islam only.


  7. pakistan is looking like a usa colony and at will murders its civillians in north waziristan through the drone attacks the only thing the goverment of pakistan can do is lodge a strong protest even the american think tank cofirmed that the majority of the strikes killed ordinary civillians the only country in the world that lets this happen having its airspace violated by an ouside power
    nujat pakistani pakhtun

  8. @ Anonymous and Tareen,

    No, the last drone attack did not finish the job *disappointed*

    • Never mind.Better next time.


  9. it will take more then a drone to finish me of mates
    nujat pakistani pakhtun

    • Its obvious nujat. No doubt about it, technlogy fails miserably sometimes and it did.

    • Thats the Spirit!

  10. its nothing to do with technology our lives are pre
    destined by our creator when your time is up it is surely up drones or no drones mr chaudery
    nujat pakistani pakhtun

    • Nujat,

      I don’t know when you are joking and when you are serious.

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