Fate of the Crucial Security Pact
The United States is once again trying to persuade the Afghan government to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement between Kabul and Washington that would allow presence of US forces in Afghanistan after 2014. Recently, a US official warned that the Obama administration expected the agreement to be signed as soon as possible. During his visit to Kabul, Ash Carter, the US Deputy Secretary of Defense said that it would be a tragedy if Kabul and Washington fails to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement as quickly as possible. However, the government of Afghanistan seems to be in no hurry to sign the pact that will allow the residual forces of the United States to stay in Afghanistan after NATO ends its mission next year.
Despite the fact signing the security agreement is also an urgent of Afghanistan; the Afghan government is dithering in signing the bilateral security agreement. Afghanistan is at the difficult juncture of its history, and many challenges are threatening the future stability and development of the country. As there is an ongoing security transition from foreign forces to Afghan security forces, Afghanistan is facing a crucial election next year that would define the future course of the country. Any hesitation on the side of the Afghan government to sign the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States would virtually jeopardize the future stability of Afghanistan. Experts believe that Afghanistan must act quickly to sign the BSA to better tack with threats from neighboring countries and intensified activities of the insurgent groups.
There have been a long wait for signing the security pact between Afghanistan and the US not only in foreign capitals but also among Afghan political spectrum as well the people of Afghanistan. The security pact between Afghanistan and the US is seen as a receipt for better security and stability in the country after the bulk of US forces leave the country by end of next year. The security agreement will mean suitability of Afghan security forces with sustained support from Afghanistan’s foreign allies in forms of equipments and trainings. Confusingly, the government of Afghanistan seems to be hesitating on signing the crucial pact. It is insisting that the US should comply with all demands of Afghanistan regarding supporting Afghanistan against external threats, building military of Afghanistan that is well-equipped and establishing security and stability in the country.
It seems there are differences among the two countries over the ongoing peace efforts and Afghan demand that the US protects Afghanistan in case of any hostile incursions by neighboring Pakistan. Regarding the peace efforts, the Afghan government is deeply suspicious of US over its role in the negotiations with the Taliban as Kabul has accused foreign powers, the US, Pakistan and Qatar, of pursuing plans to give parts of Afghanistan to the Taliban. As rightly stressed so far, the government of Afghanistan should insist on the peace efforts to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. Thus, the delay in signing the security deal with the US is not in interests of Afghanistan and the Afghan government should quickly sign the deal after patient and extensive negotiations.