Blessing in Disguise
The United Nation’s report on alleged torture of prisoners by Afghan officials brought transfer of inmates and prisons to halt by the United States. Delay in handover of the detention centers to the Afghan government strained relations between Kabul and Washington. Delay is the deadliest form of denial.
Hence, policy makers in Afghanistan showed remarkable skepticism regarding change in attitude of US officials. During last ten days several statements of Afghan officials floated in media, urging Obama-administration to honor his promise and resume transfer of the detention facilities. Bilateral relations were fractured in a short span of time to great extent.
But, still after the several downs and falls and observing mounting volume of pressures, both countries clearly demonstrates the will to move forward and reshape their ties. Positive gesture to bridge the gap between the two countries emerged when the possible US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told senators that the United States would not leave Kabul alone at this critical juncture. He shed light on various fluctuated issues in his briefing to the Senate’s committee. Hagel supported the Afghan-led peace process and told the committee that Washington would take all possible measures to facilitate the Afghan government for making the peace talks with Taliban result-oriented, as it was the only and best way to end violence in the war-hit country.
It is believed that he was giving an indirect reply to President Hamid Karzai that US would not interfere in the reconciliation process. Because, few days ago President Karzai said that foreign countries were contacting Taliban and Afghan politicians to jeopardize the peace process. The Afghan president also claimed that bids aimed to derail the peace process were foiled.
Hagel also conveyed the message to Karzai’s administration that Washington is in favor of the talks with Taliban because US considered it a viable solution to end violence in Afghanistan.
He made it cleared that the United States would ensure that insurgents were not violating human rights or challenging writ of the Afghan government when talks become successful. The nominated US Defense Secretary also urged neighboring countries of Afghanistan, particularly Pakistan and Iran, for wholeheartedly support in this regard.
Washington’s readiness to train and assist Afghan security forces after 2014 is appreciable. However, there is need for practical steps to restore the trust that was observed in early stages after fall of Taliban regime. As a token of goodwill the United States should hand over prisoners and detention centers to Kabul as soon as possible. Moreover, it should provide all required military equipments including fighter jets to Afghan security forces. It would help Americans to regain trust of Afghans as well as in fight against terrorism.