The year 2013 may be very significant from regional as well as domestic stability point of view. This is indicated with a government changing in Pakistan, ongoing pullout of sizeable US forces from Afghanistan and redefining of indo-Pakistan relations in the backdrop of designate premier of Pakistan’s remarks about India. As a matter fact, peace environment in Pakistan is largely dependent on its prudent Afghan policy and balancing of US-Afghanistan-Pakistan and US-Pakistan-India equation. Foreseeable, in the coming scenario of Pakistan achieving such a balance seems viable.

The militant groups, may be local or otherwise, are themselves seem weary of fighting. Due to unabated US drone strikes, they have suffered and are likely to suffer further heavy losses. Their recruitment areas are also likely to shrink due to economic stability in coming days. Another factor contributing towards this phenomenon is US’ own desire to settle the issue peacefully with Taliban for its easy and smooth exit. Reportedly, an office of the later has also been established in Qatar for the purpose. Nevertheless, the peace may not be forthcoming while bypassing Pakistan.

The only worrisome aspect could be an uncontrolled situation on the western borders after a sizeable withdrawal of US and allied forces from Afghanistan wherein the pro-US forces and anti US warring factions may not collide with each other as it happened after withdrawal of Ex-Soviet Union in the late eighties. Such a state of affair can once again put the regional stability at stake. Furthermore, the US drone strike policy, as intended by US government, is also likely to hinder the peace process or the desired peace talks with Taliban. An effort is though visible to prevent a re-happening of post Russian withdrawal milieu nothing much is expected to shun drone attacks. As a matter of fact, a well thought out plan is required to avert re-eruption of such hostilities. With all said and done, there is a ray of hope that future prospects are not very gloomy.

NAJEEB AHMED,

Lahore, July 24.