The Forthcoming ‘Heart of Asia’ Conference
Paper No. 6035 Dated 18-Nov-2015
Guest Column by Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi
With a new government in Kabul and Islamabad getting pressurised by the firm determination of America and also with the consensus of all the major and regional powers expected to participate in the forthcoming Conference, a common formula for containing and eventually eliminating terrorism from Afghanistan and also from the region can be satisfactorily found out which may finally pave the way for the global peace and security.
The forthcoming crucial regional conference on Afghanistan nicknamed as “Heart of Asia” ministerial meeting of twenty-six representatives of neighbouring countries is scheduled to commence on 7-8th December 2015 in Pakistan. It will be significant on various counts as it is going to be the first broad based conglomeration of all stakeholders of the area around Afghanistan, including India, China, Russia, Iran, UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, besides the remaining countries of the expanded neighbourhood after the recent withdrawal of the US’ forces fighting the Talibani terrorists and other Muslim fundamentalists for the long past, particularly since the macabre 9/11. The Conference will highlight the increasing importance of Asia in global affairs as the global geo-politics is said to moving towards East. Hence it will be of considerable importance with a view to contain terrorism not only in Afghanistan or the entire Asia but also in the whole world, besides addressing the core socio-economic issues pertaining to reconstruction of Afghanistan.
War against Terror:
This terror attack on the US soil had not only broken the myth of ‘invincible America’ but also had bewildered the US government, as the extremely perplexed President Bush Jr. decided to come down heavily on the accused Al-Qaida global terror network supposed to be hidden in the rugged mountainous terrains of Afghanistan and adjoining Pakistan. He got launched the global war against terrorism under the US leadership, called Operation “Desert storm” and “Enduring freedom”, in his bid to eliminate the entire terror organisations in the world because it was, perhaps, the first realisation by the US that terrorists are not only the “enemy number one” of America but also the worst ever enemies of the whole humanity. After initial success in this mission against terrorism, the resultant situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan gradually deteriorated due to Talibans regaining their positions in almost entire Afghanistan in reaction to the continuing US led military operations against them and also due to the spurt of terror activities inside Pakistan leading towards its utter failure as a sovereign state. This became so because the Pakistan’s “ruling trio” the government, its secret agency I.S.I. and hardliner mullahs together had already been hobnobbing with several terror networks including the notorious Al-Qaida in its sole mission to export cross border terrorism in India and, for this purpose it (I.S.I.), it had harboured these terror organisations inside its territory with all kinds of monetary and logistical support. But these terrorists soon went out of control of the trio due to their inherent recourse to violence, fanaticism and extremism- thereby destabilising the Pakistani society and polity- in order to establish their supremacy in the country. Thus Pakistan failed in its effort ‘to both ends meet’ because it was unable to come out of the utter dilemma of ostensibly supporting the US led war against terrorism, on the one hand, and providing shelter to various terror groups on its soil, on the other. Obviously, this Pakistani dilemma enraged both of them and, consequently, they lost their faith in the Pakistan’s ruling establishment and both of them took their turns to become more and more violent.
Emboldened Terrorists & US Dilemma:
With the passage of time, the US’ led global war against terror converted into the sole US war against terror and that further aggravated the problem of the on-going terrorism in the entire region. The sudden rise of “Arab Spring” in the Arab World yet again emboldened the terrorists of all hues and shades who actively collaborated with the strong revolutionary groups in these countries and that heightened this menace in the whole world. As a reaction, the US became more and more arbitrary and ruthless in its approach relying heavily on the military solution, instead of taking recourse to political solution. As a part of its strategy, it deployed majority of its armed forces in Afghanistan to wipe out terrorism but it could not bore the desired result and it had to withdraw them last year. In order to weaken the fighting Taliban, the US also tried to drive a wedge between them by courting with ‘good Taliban’ against the, obvious, bad one which, in fact, failed miserably and the questioned the very credibility of American intentions as regards its war against terror. Earlier, the US had faltered by turning blind eye over the proven records of Pakistan’s involvement in supporting and promoting terrorism in several acts of ghastly terror in India and also in Afghanistan. This too encouraged the merchants of terror, who are closely interlinked, to intensify their nefarious activities all across the world. Thus the US itself got entangled in the dilemma of its own creation and was compelled to pull back its forces from Afghanistan.
Now, with a new government in Kabul, the hope is that Islamabad can be easily brought round by the firm determination of the US, and with the consensus of all the major and regional powers, expected to participate in the forthcoming Conference, a common formula for containing and eventually eliminating terrorism from Afghanistan and also from the region can be satisfactorily found out. Though there are certain hardships in this process due to persisting mutual bickering between many of the participating nations in the Conference like India-Pakistan, Saudi Arabia - Iran, Russia-China etc., but defeating a common enemy of humanity in the form of terrorism is now the primary objective and duty of all countries today. Hence a mutually agreeable solution against terror can be easily worked out by them in the interest of global peace and security. This will ultimately discourage terrorism and their perpetrators elsewhere in the world too, because ‘nothing is beyond human endeavour’.
(Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi, Associate Professor, Political Science, M. D. P. G. College, Pratapgarh (UP)