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Editorial: Nawaz Sharif on peace in Afghanistan

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Perhaps it is much naïve to hope that change will happen in the region, even after a biggest disastrous incident like the Peshawar school bloodbath on 16th December, Pakistan didn’t change its narrative on good and bad Taliban.

Change and development have never been accidental. It’s always bound to be the product of commitment to change, development, intelligent planning, and above all continued efforts and investment in the two. Given that one is all mouth about change and development, but does the opposite, needs to be in a fountain house instead of being in a country’s leadership houses. It is commitment that makes a society developed and a civilization thriving, but what happens when one wants to herald changes through mere lip service. All of us, living in the region, irrespective of religion, color, creed and gender know that our destinies are bound together; we cannot make ourselves developed at the cost of others’ death and destruction. All those living in the region should know that freedom, security, access to education, an environment free of terror, are some of the fundamental rights which is missing. To be free of terror, to have access to education, to liberate our women from the clutches of poverty, traditions, and to give our posteriors, we will have to throw away our past—which was full of animosity, blunder, and political differences. What the politics of the past has given us except death and destruction, hatred and intolerance, religious fundamentalism and gender discrimination, weaker political institutions, and endemic corruption. When Pakistan says that a stable Afghanistan is in its favor then it should mean it. It shouldn’t be for the purpose of political rhetoric. Words are no ointment and remedies. What is needed is putting them into action. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, commenting on the ongoing Zarb-e-Azb military operation in North Waziristan and Khyber-One in Khyber Agency, said that terrorists’ networks have been dismantled and reiterated that a stable Afghanistan has been in Pakistan lager interests. If there is any seriousness in his words, we the people of Afghanistan appreciate it, however if he wants to soothe the wounds of those being affected by terrorism (their houses reduced to rubbles, near and dear one killed ruthlessly by the Taliban, aerial bombings) with words, then he should know that he is playing with fires. Nawaz Sharif should inform his nation why he has failed so far in launching crackdown on Punjabi Taliban—considered to be the good Taliban. Why Punjab provincial government allocates funds and budgets to Punjabi Taliban? Just to escape their wrath or to use them in Kashmir as strategic assets? Though, after the bloodbath in Peshawar on 16 December when militants killed over hundred kids in a school in Peshawar, Nawaz Sharif said there is no discrimination between the good Taliban and bad Taliban, but perhaps his anger was timely as he wanted to quell the searing outpouring of anger of general public, particularly Khyber Pakhtunkwha. For time being the government of Pakistan lifted moratorium on execution and also an all parties’ conference was convened to approve establishment of military courts. However, is this long term solution or just a timely reaction? Will the military courts cover militant cases in Punjab or they will just cling to Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh? Even most Pakistani analysts look at the establishment of military courts with suspicion as they think they will be used against Balochs and Sindhi separatists and Pashtun nationalists. Nawaz Sharif told an Afghan delegation of lawmakers, in Islamabad, that neighboring countries were committed to not allow their soils to be used against each other. If his words have even slightest honesty, then of course, the current scenario in the region will change, and if no then of course we should all be ready for the worst to happen.

Editorial

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