Friday, March 19, 2010

Damned if you do, damned if you don't

Kai Eide (former UN envoy to Afghanistan), in a BBC interview strongly objected to Pakistan's recent arrests of high ranking members of the Taliban stating that these arrests have jeapordized Taliban-UN negotiations. According to Mr. Eide, "the effect of [the arrests], in total, certainly, was negative on our possibilities to continue the political process that we saw as so necessary at that particular juncture" and that "the Pakistanis did not play the role that they should have played. They must have known about this. I don't believe that these people were arrested by coincidence. They must have known who they were, what kind of role they were playing, and you see the result today."

Let's go over this one more time. If Pakistan arrests senior members of the Taliban that are promoting violence against security forces, NATO and civilians in Afghanistan (and Pakistan), then it has sabotaged Taliban-UN negotaitions. But if Pakistan denies any knowledge of these individuals and does nothing about them, it is supporting terrorism?  It seems like Pakistan is stuck in a pissing contest between US and UN with US wanting to get the bad guys and UN wanting to talk to them.

Frankly speaking, UN opinion does not matter. Yes, negotiations are important in determining lasting peace for both Afghanistan and Paksitan, but so are arrests.  In the case of the Quetta Shura; the primary group which Mr Eide had been talking to, negotiations are moot because there is no guarantee that this organization will (or can) step away from violence even if some sort of middle ground is achieved. It is true that the arrest of half of the Quetta Shura has had no impact on the never ending violence in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. But neither have these negotiations.

 And let's not ignore, Mr. Eide's assertion that UN-Taliban negotations have nothing to do with Pakistan. Considering that the Taliban and their affiliated organizations on both sides of the border are linked with each other, this statement highlights the inherent flaw in these negotiations. There can be no peace in the region if Pakistan is not considered into the equation.

The UN clearly doesn't have a clue. Let's just ignore them and move on.

1 comment:

  1. What the....

    I just have no words for this stupidity.