Pakistan seeks to dominate the Afghan peace talks
Pakistan is in direct contact with four groups of Afghan peace actors/players. The first three groups include Afghan domestic actors. The fourth group includes global actors. This broad/extensive contact is a sign of Pakistan’s sensitivity to the issue of peace in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s declared policy is in support of the Afghan peace process. According to this policy, Pakistan seeks dialogue between all parties to the war. It has stated that a military option is not the solution and that the warring parties should negotiate.
In line with this policy, the country has been in constant contact with three groups of domestic actors in the peace of Afghanistan. The first group includes the official institutions of the Government of Afghanistan with which it has direct contact with. This group includes the Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliament of Afghanistan. The Pakistani government has been working with these institutions on agreements that require the two countries to adhere to the principle of good neighborliness and not to interfere in each other’s affairs.
The second group Pakistan is in direct contact with is the Taliban which has revived support by the country since its inception. Pakistan is also considered one of the founders of this group. It is clear that the future position of the Taliban in Afghanistan is important for Pakistan. For this reason, Islamabad has had the most contact with the Taliban in connection with peace in Afghanistan.
The third group includes party leaders and political figures outside the Afghan government. At this level, Pakistani officials have met closely with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Latif Pedram and Mohammad Karim Khalili. Arrangements have been made to contact other Afghan political figures, including Hamid Karzai.
Along with these groups, Pakistan is in contact with world powers and some regional actors in connection with the peace of Afghanistan. From among these powers, Islamabad had the most contact with the United States. China, Turkey and Iran are other players that Pakistan has entered into talks with.
These extensive contacts and talks are, above all, a sign of Pakistan’s sensitivity to peace and the future of Afghanistan. The focus of these talks are mostly Pakistan’s concerns and hopes for the Afghan peace process. Also, joint actions that can address these concerns and bring Islamabad closer to its dreams.
Pakistan does not think it will not achieve this goal unless it brings all or at least most of Afghanistan’s peace actors to their side. Together with these actors, another goal of Pakistan, which is to dominate the Afghan peace process, will be achieved.
Pakistan also does not want post-peace Afghanistan to be a haven for Pakistani separatist groups and if Afghanistan is not enemies with India in its foreign policy, they do not want it to be friends either. Pakistan wants Afghanistan to put an end to its border claims and open the way for Pakistan to cross into Central Asia for free. Therefore, Pakistan is in contact with these actors at various levels and promises to cooperate with each of them according to their preferences.
The fact is that Pakistan has not achieved this goal for many years. The country’s efforts to establish a submissive and authoritarian government in Afghanistan have so far failed and it is unlikely that Pakistan will achieve this goal.
It has been said many times that instability and insecurity in Afghanistan is not in Pakistan’s interest. This is a fact. Part of the insecurity and political instability in Pakistan has been affected by insecurity and the political situation in Afghanistan. This situation, in addition to causing human casualties for Pakistan, has also caused economic damage.
Pakistan’s promise to the leaders of Afghan political parties and figures to form an interim government is not constructive. Its support for the Taliban to establish a political order without the republic is also not beneficial. Weakening the central government by using these actors will not lead to a favorable peace agreement in Afghanistan. The best solution is to persuade all actors to agree on the political order of the republic and to give full support to the Republican Party of Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, there will be a lasting peace agreement in which the values of the republic are crystallized. Obviously, the first country to benefit from this peace is Pakistan; a country that has so far pursued its own interests by exploiting Afghanistan’s instability.