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A kick in the teeth or a new intrigue

The atrocities faced by the nation are showing no signs of ending. There is no lull in the grief and troubles of the nation. We have been watching the show of bloodshed and terror for the past four decades. The extreme of misfortune is whenever there is a glimpse of hope a new wave of intrigue is triggered. For instance, we sustained the floodgates of brutalities by the Taliban, and the government used its energies in finding out the possibilities of how to put an end to the conflict, which is taking heavy toll on the nation in men and material, yet there was only occasion that we started building castles of hopes. It was when the representatives of Kabul and the Afghan Taliban sat face to face in Pakistan’s hilly tourist resort “Murree” in July 2015.  The two sides agreed to continue peace talks round continued, but the process was blown up by the news of Mullah Omar’s death—the supreme leader of the Taliban, in whose name messages were released to media for at least two years. And this is where Kabul’s felt itself betrayed yet again. This time, very much deeply. Soon, Kabul responded that it will never seek Islamabad’s support in peace talks. The already bruised trust of Kabul in Islamabad wounded to an extent of perhaps no healing. Since the collapse of peace talks in July, Pakistan has offered two to three times to facilitate the talks, but Pakistan’s continued support to Taliban and keeping the news of Mullah Omar for almost two years, were the reasons, Kabul’s confidence in Islamabad caved in. Pakistan’s Prime Minster, Nawaz Sharif, hurled a brazen statement during his recent trip to the United States. He said that Islamabad will not push the Taliban to table of negotiations until the Afghan government ceases aerial raids against them. After his unabashed remarks, his security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, too hogged headlines, for his ludicrous statements that Pakistan didn’t have any control over the Afghan Taliban. He said the other day situation has not been ripe for resuming peace negotiations between Kabul and Afghan Taliban. The sporadic but incoherent statements by Pakistan’s top political leaders show two things—either the indifference of Kabul is a kick in the teeth of Taliban and their master, or they want to make the peace process more confused and complicated. So far, the government couldn’t make its standpoint that it will talk to the Taliban only from the position of strength, worth buying. This standpoint, so far, is not worth buying because just a cursory sight on the developments on the ground is enough to make you believe this is not a standpoint but a bluff. Security has been deteriorating. The glut of jobless youth is growing. More people are turning into IDPs. Then how the government can talk to the Taliban from the position of strength? And on top of that, neither the US nor Afghanistan has brought any seismic policy shift when it comes to dealing with Pakistan for its covert and over support to terrorists. It means the night of terror is prolonging and the nation is destined to sustain more bloodshed. Pakistan will play on political rhetoric. The US will keep funneling dollars into the cash-and-energy starved Pakistan. And Afghanistan will be sitting idly while thinking peace will come in its own.