A Dream of Things That Never Were

I laughed out loud when I read this short post, “Why Can’t Pakistan Facilitate a Long-Term Ceasefire in Afghanistan?”, by Umair Jamal at The Diplomat. In it the author lists two reasons. First that Pakistan just doesn’t have much influence over the Afghan Taliban and second that for that to happen any solution to the carnage in that part of the world must further Pakistan’s strategic interests.

Perhaps the author is being overly kind in that second. Let me put it another way: the Pakistan government sees the carnage in Afghanistan as being in its strategic advantage.

But let me suggest the most important reason that Pakistan can’t facilitate a long-term ceasefire in Afghanistan. The government in Islamabad can’t even facilitate a long-term ceasefire in Pakistan. Two of Pakistan’s provinces are in more or less a state of permanent insurgency against the Islamabad government and have been for decades.

I can’t remember where I first heard it but the characterization of Pakistan as a government without a country is only a partial exaggeration.

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