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Torkham problem

Pakistan’s Isolation | Editorial


The Torkham problem is just one example of Pakistan’s foreign policy problems as the ruling party completes three years in office. The Afghans have never been happy with us, but they’ve been particularly upset since we could not convince the Afghan Taliban to come to the talks. And now the bitterness is intensifying. The best any doze of sanity can do at the moment is getting the two sides to talk about ending the hostilities. Beyond that there’s little on the table. There’s no way Ghani is staking his credibility by going soft on Pakistan again.

The Americans are also unhappy. It’s not just about the F16s; they are working on tying further aid to quantifiable progress on very specific points – like the Haqqani Network, Dr Shakeel Afridi, further presence of Afghan Taliban in Pakistan, etc. And since little Pakistan has done on these counts has impressed them so far, and there’s little chance of a course of action in Islamabad, a meaningful thaw is not in the offing anytime soon. The best that can be hoped on this front is continuation of the sometimes-good sometimes-not-so-good nature of the relationship at the moment.

The security establishment was pretty upset recently when the Iranians, Afghans and Indians got together for the Chabahar Port agreement. Some even called it a stab in the back of Pakistan. It would have been far more beneficial, though, if they had taken it as a wakeup call instead of imagining conspiracies being hatched against Pakistan. Other countries got together because our particular brand of diplomacy could not keep pace with developments in the region. Considering that the country is in the hands of a government that is fighting to stay alive, and there is still no full time foreign minister, the isolation becomes easier to understand. Unfortunately, the government is nowhere near understanding the depths of these problems, or it would at least have appointed a foreign minister, especially since the prime minister – who is also the foreign minister – is away.

valent in rural areas where education is next to being absent.

Sadia Aziz says, “People in the rural areas need to be taught the fundamental values of a decent society, where respect for opposite gender is upheld.”

“If this continues it will breed negativity and intolerance in the society. A division of the school of thoughts will be diversely negative. Freedom of expression and harmony is the way to go,” says Amna.

An anonymous source added, “People have started to realise the intolerance women face, and that it is now time to fulfil the responsibility in order to uphold standards of due diligence and take steps to the rights of women, before it’s too late. This why there must be education and awareness.”

If intolerance continues to prevail, it will destroy the society. In order to change that, to avoid destruction, the society needs to be educated.


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