A recent high-profile delegation visit led by the Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to Kabul resulted in talks on security cooperation. Experts see Security Cooperation as the next step in Pak-Afghan relations, as both parties share borders and resultant security concerns. “Peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan,” General Qamar Javed Bajwa emphasized the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
During his visit to Kabul, COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. During his visit, he met with Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, and Chairman HCNR, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. Both of whom acknowledged Pakistan’s role in the ongoing peace process; they also highlighted the potential that Pakistan holds in influencing the Taliban to return to the negotiating table. The UK Chief of Defense was also present at the meeting with President Ghani, and the Army Chiefs held a separate meeting as well.
“Peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan,” SAid General Qamar Javed Bajwa emphasized the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Pak COAS Visits Kabul Amidst Rising Violence
As the tussle between the Taliban and the Afghan government persists, the security situation continues to grow more volatile. Recent atrocities in Dasht-e-Barchi, and the killing of civilians during the Eid ceasefire, is further evidence of the presence of spoilers in Afghanistan.
In order to counter the presence of spoilers, Pakistan is taking steps to improve security cooperation with its brotherly neighbor. Sources suggest a security pact in the making that will be the cornerstone of Pak-Afghan security cooperation. Additionally, it will be aided by the UK & US in some aspects. According to sources, the agreement will ensure greater support from Pakistan to Afghan Security Forces. Moreover, it will also affirm that no non-state actors and proxies use the soil of either country to hurt the other. Various MoUs will come together to build this agreement. It will include military training and assistance, and other capacity-building measures.
the agreement will ensure greater support from Pakistan to Afghan Security Forces. The support will be offered in the form of training and assistance.
Pak-Afghan Security Pact
Analysts have predicted the main outcomes of such a pact, which include Pakistan and Afghanistan’s ability to effectively counter interference from their mutual threats. Moreover, experts hope that Pakistan can help Afghanistan, establish better threat identification and response mechanisms against these mutual threats. Furthermore, points of discussion may also include strengthening border security through fencing and security posts/watchtowers.
Geoeconomic Paradigm Shift
According to sources, Pakistan has chosen to include trade and transit under the border security, evidencing Pakistan’s interest in shifting to a “geo-economic” outlook in its relations with Afghanistan. The largely porous borders of Afghanistan have resulted in free movement of humans, guns, and drugs. However, if peace in Afghanistan is to prevail, strict border controls are necessary for the benefit of both countries.
In order to ensure Peace in Afghanistan, after the US Withdrawal, China has also voiced its support to Afghanistan’s counter-terrorism initiative. Beijing has also offered to host peace negotiations and has said it supports an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace process.
China’s Role in the Afghan Peace Process
As levels of violence remain high, Security Cooperation, with Pakistan and China can help Afghanistan’s pursuit for peace. The two countries are supporting the political settlement of the conflict.
Aside from counter-terrorism and border security, other forms of security should also be included. Meanwhile, both parties should also consider including and collaborating to improve cyber-security. While additionally addressing health, humanitarian assistance, energy, food, and environmental assistance. As more visits are expected, Non-traditional security matters should also be addressed.
In order to ensure Peace in Afghanistan, after the US Withdrawal, China has also voiced its support to Afghanistan’s counter-terrorism initiative.
According to one study, focus on such non-traditional security, can help in building trust amongst states, while improving the region’s traditional security outlook. Lastly, security cooperation helps improve global standing (as in the case of China); furthermore, it contributes to countering the negative influences of powers present in the region.