In a recent interview, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said, “Afghan army cannot survive six months without the help of United States of America.”
The statement shows the disastrous situation of Afghanistan. It also bolsters Pakistan’s stance about Afghan army’s inability in thwarting cross-border attacks from its soil.
Pakistan has started fencing its side of the border and has deployed 2 lac soldiers on its Western frontier along with Afghanistan.
Pakistan Army has eliminated all sanctuaries and strongholds of terrorists in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The border on the Afghan side is porous.There is no border patrolling and surveillance mechanisms.
Pakistan Army is singlehandedly fighting terrorism in the region. Meanwhile, Afghan Army’s inability has created a vacuum for terrorist groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) to emerge.
According to reports, ISIL after its defeat in Iraq and Syria are now turning their focus towards Afghanistan. ISIL has claimed most of the recent devastating attacks in Afghanistan.
Amid the changing regional scenario, every regional state is following its own interests. Russia does not want the presence of Islamic jihadists in its periphery.
Moscow paid a huge price for its war against Chechen and Arab jihadists in post-Cold War era. It is still facing low-level Islamic insurgency in Caucasian region.
Russia is closely watching developments in Afghanistan primarily regarding the increasing influence of ISIL.
Moscow believes that fragile law and order situation in Afghanistan is a threat to its territorial integrity and does not affect the United States, as Washington has no geographic affiliation with Afghanistan.
On the other hand, China too like Russia is concerned about the rise of ISIL. In addition to that Beijing believes that fragile situation in Afghanistan will provide safe haven to its Uighur militants which are a serious threat to its sovereignty.
Moreover, Chinese strongman Xi Jinping’s signature One Belt One Road (OBOR), which will connect Western China to the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa through a network of land routes, is facing threat in the form of the American presence in Afghanistan.
Beijing believes that America is following the Cold War era policy of containment against it. Afghanistan’s location in China’s proximity makes it the vital part of Beijing’s foreign policy.
Iran being the stronghold of Shiite sect of Islam wants its proxies in Afghanistan to expand and increase their influence. Tehran’s objectives are to minimize the American and Sunni groups influence in Afghanistan.
According to some reports, Iran is also supporting extremist groups inside Pakistan.
Pakistan desires peace in Afghanistan more than any other nation in the region due to the shared long border. The deteriorating law and order situation in Afghanistan badly affects Pakistan.
Islamabad should project its sacrifices in the war on terror in a more proactive manner in the international arena.
Article 51 of United Nations charter states that “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security”.
According to Article 51 of the United Nations charter, a member state can intervene in another state for self-defense. If attacks on Pakistani soldiers and civilians continued from the Afghan soil than Pakistan has the right to intervene in Afghanistan and eradicate all anti-Pakistan elements.
If the influence of ISIL keeps on increasing and Afghan forces failed in countering the group than Pakistan has the right to launch surgical strikes inside Afghanistan and eradicate safe heavens of ISIL.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has failed miserably in Afghanistan. It is time for regional countries like Pakistan, Iran, China and Russia to turn their focus towards Afghan conundrum and find common solution.