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Home | Editorial | Pakistan’s new premiership must renew Afghan policy

Pakistan’s new premiership must renew Afghan policy

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Pakistan’s new premiership must renew Afghan policy
 History was repeated on July 28 when Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was sent home after the Supreme Court disqualified him under the country’s constitution for misdeclaring his assets when he was just 10 months away from completing his five-year tenure in office.  He became the 15th prime minister of Pakistan who got sacked without completing the term. He also became Pakistan’s first prime minister who was elected thrice but couldn’t complete even a single term.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s ruling party named senior lawmaker Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as successor to the deposed prime minister on Saturday. Sharif proposed Abbasi as interim prime minister at the meeting of Pakistan Muslim League party in Islamabad. His request was endorsed by lawmakers from his party, as Sharif’s party enjoys a comfortable majority in the parliament, his longtime loyalist Abbasi is expected to easily win the required vote when National Assembly meets next week.
In a televised speech Saturday, Sharif said that his younger brother, Shahbaz, who currently is chief minister in Punjab province, would contest election to the National Assembly, in the seat which fell vacant with his removal.
Disqualification of Sharif comes as the White House is trying to determine a strategy for Afghanistan that has been stalled amid concerns about how to deal with Pakistan, where both the Taliban and the Haqqani networks have sanctuaries. The White House has held up a Pentagon request to send additional troops to Afghanistan while US politicians grapple with how much pressure to put on the Pakistani government to crack down on the groups.
Pakistani government has not been yet honest to take significant actions to prevent those groups from threatening Afghan people and forces despite receiving huge amount of funding by US in war on terror. The President Trump administration has signaled displeasure with Islamabad’s failed efforts against the Haqqani network, a ruthless wing of the Taliban based in Pakistan that has become an integral part of the insurgency’s leadership.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan hopes that the next Pakistani prime minister to take practical and honest steps in war on terror and spare no effort in removing terrorists’ safe havens in Pakistan. The country must not let the militants to fish from troubled waters and carry out their destructive activities against the Afghan nation.  To mitigate the insurgency, Kabul and Islamabad must launch not only defensive but also offensive attacks against the Taliban. Meanwhile, the gap between the two countries should be narrowed instantaneously. 
The government of Pakistan should understand that the Afghan government has never been in favor of violence and has always been trying to settle problems through diplomatic traditions because war and violence are harmful to both countries as both people have been victims of terrorism every day.
Pakistan has always maintained that a stable Afghanistan was in its favor, the same can be said that a stable Pakistan is in the best interest of Afghanistan. Pakistan’s new premiership should come together and support Afghanistan’s peace initiatives. The country is needed to bolster its relationships based on the mutual respect and sincerity and stop the blame game.

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The President Trump administration has signaled displeasure with Islamabad’s failed efforts against the Haqqani network.
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