Pakistan Relation With Afghanistan Essay

On many levels, our Track II was a dialogue of dissonance.Take the political and security situation in Afghanistan, perhaps the most compelling reason for the United States and Pakistan to cooperate. objectives in Afghanistan (does the United States wish to stay in the country to push back against Chinese influence or to combat terror?Deepening Divergences However, when it comes to the countries’ other chief concerns, our discussions reinforced what the constant tensions in U.

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In contrast, the Obama administration launched and oversaw a U.

S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue process that entailed annual high-level meetings on a variety of security and non-security issues.

The Trump administration has so far not continued this process. contributions to CPEC, though participants conceded that private-sector partnerships may be more realistic than government efforts. Two of the most promising and actionable areas of cooperation to emerge from the dialogue were discussed in considerable detail at all four rounds.

Nonetheless, participants identified several concrete options for non-security collaborations. S.-funded regional connectivity projects like the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and the CASA-1000 hydroelectricity project involving Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Other suggestions that would arguably have been more feasible in the pre-Trump era included scaling up economic investments in Pakistan and facilitating access to U. One is counterterrorism cooperation targeting terror groups that threaten both countries — groups such as the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda, but especially the Afghanistan/Pakistan-based faction of ISIL, a more recent entrant into South Asia’s militant milieu.

When it comes to pathways for future cooperation, however, our discussions suggested the pickings are slim.

One problem is that participants proposed and embraced a number of ideas that may prove too ambitious for a U. administration likely to focus narrowly on hard security issues in U. This is, after all, an administration that has sought to marginalize — by cutting budgets and refusing to fill senior positions — the State Department, typically the agency that manages the non-security aspects of U.Participants recommended that the United States and Pakistan model anti-ISIL efforts on the successful intelligence-sharing regime to target al-Qaeda in the years after the 9/11 attacks of 2001.This cooperation endured even in 2011, when relations were in deep crisis.Nonetheless, both of these pathways for cooperation have precedents.If successfully taken forward, they could help strengthen stability in Pakistan — one of the few genuinely shared interests between Washington and Islamabad.The Right Time for a Track II The timing for our dialogue was propitious. “The authors of the strategy did a great disservice to U.S.-Pakistan relations,” lamented one of our Pakistani participants. Secretary of Defense James Mattis could involve some uncomfortable discussions.The other notable convergence relates to border security management along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier.Several participants from both sides expressed robust support for reviving the border coordination center that was originally established a decade ago, but was suspended when U. The crisis was catalyzed by CIA agent Raymond Davis’ killing of two Pakistani men in Lahore, the raid on Bin Laden’s compound, and an accidental attack by NATO helicopters that killed 24 Pakistani border troops — and prompted Islamabad to close down NATO supply routes on its soil until the Obama administration apologized for the tragedy nearly a year later.Over the last year, our respective institutions, the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and the Regional Peace Institute in Islamabad, co-hosted four rounds of Track II dialogue on U. The a volatile partnership is in a precarious state thanks in large part to a new South Asia strategy in Washington that has rankled Islamabad, but also to Washington’s increasing impatience with what it sees as Islamabad’s consistent inaction against terrorists who threaten Americans.Two rounds of dialogue took place in Washington, and two in Islamabad.


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