Insight Online News
By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, Dec 21 : Pakistan’s successful hosting of the 17th extraordinary session of the OrganiZation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad in an effort to find ways to save the neighbouring Afghanistan from the ongoing humanitarian crisis, is certainly paving way towards generating a much needed momentum and restructuring of its foreign policy on Kabul, which could impel Islamabad out of the current difficult position it finds itself in.
The OIC Council for foreign ministers has predominantly helped Pakistan showcase itself as one of the driving force behind logical and workable headways for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. The participation of not just the OIC member states, but also from P5 countries in the extraordinary session in Islamabad are being seen as a major achievement of the Imran Khan led-governmenty.
The forum provided Pakistan an opportunity to put forward its foreign policy and priorities for Afghanistan. During the session, Pakistan highlighted the economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and the outflow of migrants, calling on the west and the European countries to not be under any illusion of the impact of migrants, being only on Pakistan.
The forum was also used efficiently to have the Taliban leadership sit patiently and listen to what the rest of the world thinks about them and vice versa. Important concerns and demands of the west which include, rights to jobs, employment and education for females, basic representation for minorities ethnic groups and an inclusive government, have also been expressed in the forum, which again would be beneficial in helping Pakistan be seen more as a progressive facilitator to Afghanistan’s stability rather then being an ally in war only.
The Taliban regime on the other hand, has not shown much flexibility in their stance of meeting the demands of the rest of the world. However, they do claim that all demands are being met, adding that it would implement decision as per the interpretations under the Islamic law.
Many Afghans, including some ministers sitting in the current ruling Taliban government, have seen Pakistan’s historical standing as per its policy on Afghanistan, seriously negatively.
Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, in a recent interview, called on Pakistan to stop what he called, propaganda on Afghanistan.
Another minister called Pakistan’s intelligence agencies as the enemy of Afghanistan.
It should be noted that anti-Pakistan sentiments prevail among many locals in Afghanistan, who accuse the country for not only supporting the Taliban, but also playing a double game by being an ally to Washington, and allowing them to carry out air strikes in the country, which has claimed thousands of innocent lives in the past two decades of the US-led war on terror in the country.
The Taliban regime is also well aware of the support Pakistan extended to the US to carry out strikes against them in the past.
Taliban, like previous the governments in the country, have a strong opposition to the Durand line, which demarks the long rugged, untapped border between the two countries.
But today, Pakistan looks towards the new Afghanistan as an opportunity to change the narrative and keep its relevance in and for Afghanistan with a renewed focus on becoming the gateway to handling of humanitarian aid, economic crisis and further development in the war-torn country.
IANS / AGENCY