Monday, August 26, 2013

President Karzai in Islamabad - The Nation

In an attempt to patch relations between the two countries, Karzai reached Islamabad today to begin peace talks and move forward the mutual agenda of both states.
This is President's first visit since the new government has taken power in Pakistan. The main priority for both countries is to establish security in the region, and reach a negotiated peace with militant factions. To achieve this objective, President Karzai has asked Pakistan to take on a more prominent role with regards to the peace talks to be conducted between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The Afghan government has often questioned Pakistan's resolve on the issue and has claimed that it is not doing enough to bring stability to the region. The Pakistani government has continuously expressed its support and claims it is determined to ensure that peace is brought to an area fraught with turmoil.
The primary issue that the two leaders talked about was the release of key Taliban leaders such as Mullah Baradar to fast forward any potential negotiations. At first glance the talks seem to have gone well, but one can only hope that is the case because the Afghan President does have a history of backtracking on his word.
Reports have revealed that this visit was made possible by Sartaj Aziz who reminded the Afghan government about the benefits of having a neighboring ally fighting the same war as them. In a public statement, both Nawaz and Karzai reiterated their commitment to the cause and of helping each other with a problem that affects both countries adversely. Nawaz on the other hand, will not only have security in mind, but will also be concerned about the trade routes that lie between the two countries.  
This round of talks, although short in nature, may go on to have a very instrumental impact on any future dealings between the two countries. For Afghanistan, this will be seen as a renewal of commitment from Pakistan to assist in future endeavors, whereas for Pakistan, Karzai's visit implies that he is ready to end the potentially hostile dialogue going back and forth between the two countries.
Both countries must realize that the need of the hour is to stand together and attempt to end this war that is costing both countries more than they can afford and to safeguard their citizens from future threats of the like.
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