From a Pakistani perspective, 2016 has been a tumultuous year for its relationship with its western neighbour. First, the Pakistan-led Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), meant to draw in the US and China along with Afghanistan while excluding India, drew a blank. Then, Pakistan was left fulminating as a new arrangement began to take shape between Afghanistan, India and the US in the form of a trilateral dialogue. While new equations were being formulated at the diplomatic level, the situation on the Durand Line worsened – the Pak-Afghan border transit points at Torkham and Chaman faced multiple bouts of closure, infuriating the Afghan government and also adversely impacting the livelihood of people on both sides.
The most obvious option would be to deliberately run down the trilateral. In fact, the elements of such an effort are already beginning to be heard. Pakistan’s special envoy Mushahid Hussain, speaking at the Stimson Center on October 6,warned that peace in Afghanistan remained hostage to a resolution of the Kashmir issue. Mushahid stressed that “the road to peace in Kabul lies in Kashmir in the sense that when you talk of peace, you cannot compartmentalise peace, you can’t segregate a section… ok you can have peace in Kabul and let Kashmir burn. That is not going to happen.” The not-so-subtle point being made here is that Pakistan will seek to make India a part of the problem, by linking resolution of the Kashmir issue with peace in Afghanistan and, till that happens, actively support those that are opposed to peace negotiations in Afghanistan.
Read the full article here.