Brigadier, retired Said Nazir, (Defense Analyst)
Pakistan and Afghanistan are brotherly countries, which have strong bondage and historical linkages. It is a very welcoming gesture that Islamabad and Kabul are directly engaged with each other on political, diplomatic and security fronts. Reciprocal visits and dialogues between the two sides will help reduce tensions and misunderstandings between the two countries. Cooperation on common grounds is imperative to counter the menace of terrorism in the region. Pakistan has rendered matchless sacrifices in the fight against terrorism. The international community must recognize and acknowledge those contributions. Problems are always sorted out through dialogues. Pakistan has always emphasized that the only viable solution to solve Afghan dispute through negotiations between the right stakeholders. A joint action plan is imperative for eradication of terrorism, reduction of violence and peace and reconciliation.
Ali Sarwar Naqvi (Former Ambassador)
Despite of being an alliance in the war against terrorism, relations between Pakistan and the United States have remained under strain for last many years. The outlook of Pak-US relationship is gloomy, however there are some voices within the United States, which have advised the policy makers not to frame harsh anti-Pakistan policies as Pakistan is imperative to achieve desirable results in Afghanistan. Pakistan has adopted very clear stance that it can only pursue its cooperation with the United States and Afghanistan in accordance with its national interest. We do not desire to cut off our relations with the United States, however, this relation must be based on mutual respect. The situation might further be improved between two countries in future, but it depends on the better understanding between the two countries.
Brigadier, retired, Tipu Sultan (Defense Analyst)
Pakistan and Afghanistan have common challenges of security situation and terrorism. Pakistan has eradicated the menace of terrorism from its land, however, the Afghan government remained failed to establish its writ on a large portion of the country. Kabul is habitual of blaming Pakistan for its worst security situation. It is proved that terrorists have their safe havens in Afghan ungoverned areas. Pakistan has always offered its diplomatic, political and military assistance to sustain durable peace in Afghanistan. We have always endorsed every initiative taken for peace in the region. The present Afghan government is under the Indian influence. Despite of intensive force, the United States could not sustain peace in Afghanistan. Multilateral dialogue between all the stakeholders concerned is the only viable solution to Afghan dispute.
Dr. Huma Baqai (Expert on International Relations)
Despite of strained relationships between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Kabul must realize that dialogue and intelligence sharing is the ultimate solution to Afghan issue. Blame game will further escalate the tensions between two countries. Initiation of dialogues process between the high-level delegations of the two countries is a very positive and appreciable step. The Afghan government must not be oblivious of the elements, which are against the collaboration and coordination of both countries. International community also favors the collective efforts against the menace of terrorism. Pakistan has always sincerely offered its cooperation to achieve desirable results in Afghanistan. Kabul needs to improve its policy regarding Islamabad. ISIS is also strengthening their foothold in Afghanistan, which is a serious threat to the whole region.
Dr. Sarfraz Khan (IR Expert)
The initiation of negotiation between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a good gesture. The continuity of high-level meetings between the two countries is imperative for regional peace and stability. The regional powers also support the direct dialogue process to attain the desirable results in Afghanistan. Thousands of innocent people have lost their lives, homes and businesses in various terrorist attacks on both sides of the border. Serious and collective steps should be taken to counter terrorism in the region. Pakistan is ready for intelligence sharing with the Afghan government to promote peace in the war-torn country.
Dr. Pervez Iqbal Cheema (IR Expert)
The positive engagement between Islamabad and Washington is a welcoming step. The US policy makers realize this fact that desirable results in Afghanistan cannot be achieved without Pakistan. The United States is exerting pressure on Pakistan in order to maintain good relations with India. The Indian lobby in Washington has strong influence on the US policy makers. Pakistan is an important stakeholder in the war against terrorism. Isolating Pakistan will further escalate the tension in Afghanistan.