The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Pakistan naval headquarters not to push for the conclusion of a water-sharing agreement with Afghanistan at present as a dialogue on the topic with the present Afghan government led by President Ashraf Ghani would be “detrimental to Islamabad’s interests” as it would open up “contentious issues”. The ministry has advised the naval headquarters to “withhold the matter till the formation of a new political dispensation in Afghanistan”.
The foreign ministry’s recommendation has also mentioned that the “topic” (of water sharing) should be avoided as “Pakistan is already receiving double the share of its water from Kabul river that originally flows from the Chitral river”.
These recommendations, sent to the Pakistan naval headquarters last month, and accessed by The Sunday Guardian, have not identified the “new political dispensation” that the Pakistan Foreign Ministry is so sure of siding with Pakistan’s cause in the near future, but it is not rocket science that the Foreign Office is most likely alluding to a Taliban-led government in Afghanistan, which ISI has been pushing for even since the US-Taliban peace deal was signed.
On 7 March, The Sunday Guardian had written that the Taliban, in collaboration with Pakistan’s ISI, was working on the ground with an objective to remove the present political dispensation (Taliban eye replacing ‘pro-India’ Ghani in Kabul).
The Foreign Office of Pakistan has also asked the naval office to reconvene the inter-ministerial group, which was constituted in March 2017 to strategize Pakistan’s national interest in light of Indian projects in Afghanistan, at the earliest to deliberate on the developments.
Strategic observers, who are following the issues, believe that these developments are possible signs of ISI and Taliban making a move to remove the present Afghanistan government in the near future, as India, one of closest allies of Afghanistan, both figuratively and literally, is facing challenges of its own with regards to China.
PAKISTAN COPYING CHINA’S SALAMI-SLICING
Pakistan has also resorted to encroaching on territory belonging to Afghanistan along the Durand Line, leading to a “war-like” situation among the two countries.
The Foreign Ministry of Afghanistan recently lodged a strong protest with Pakistan after it found that 600 square metres of its territory, including a cemetery, has been encroached upon by the Pakistan army, which has now installed barbed wires there to stop Afghans from reclaiming it. This technique of clipping away small pieces of land and announcing it as its own is what China too has been doing for long now.
The Afghanistan government recently found that Pakistan military personnel have encroached on about 500 to 600 square metres of Afghan territory in the area of Sonzi and Warzhala in Tani district of Khost province and have installed barbed wire fencing around the encroached upon area.
With the installation of the barbed wire in the Sonzi area, even the cemetery belonging to the village of Sonzi and the tribes of Tani district of Khost province, has now gone to the other side (Pakistan side) of the Durand Line, The Sunday Guardian has learnt through official documents.
This encroachment, according to official reports, has caused a lot of anger amongst the locals. There was a fear that a conflict would break out in these areas, but this has now been “disputed”.
MORE TROUBLES FOR KABUL
Signs that troubling times lie ahead for Afghanistan can be gauged from the statement issued by Ambassadors of the European Union in Kabul last week on the escalating violence in the country.
“The EU Delegation in agreement with EU Heads of Mission based in Kabul believe the situation has further deteriorated since 29 May when the EU Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers declared the level of violence as ‘unacceptable’,” the statement reads.
“The attacks by the Taliban against Afghan National Defence and Security Forces are undermining the prospect for intra-Afghan negotiations; this must end and a full-fledged ceasefire enter into force. Violence against civilians has also continued. It is a violation of international humanitarian law, which profoundly undermines the confidence and trust necessary for peace negotiations. It appears to be a deliberate attempt to stifle debate in advance of peace negotiations. These crimes need to be investigated and the responsible brought to justice,” it further stated.
Source: Sunday guardian
BDST: 1232 HRS, JUL 11, 2020