Pakistan and Afghanistan are two overwhelming Muslim states among the Muslim countries. The America’s notorious “War On Terror” which is now stated as “Countering Violent Extremism” by Obama’s administration has devastatedly affected both countries.

“Countering Violent Extremism” started after 9/11 with the objective to prevent America from terrorist threats.

As the president George W Bush said on November 6, 2001, “No group or nation should mistake America’s intentions: We will not rest until terrorist groups of global reach have been found, have been stopped, and have been defeated.”

And putting a glance on history, Mujahideen were created as a cure back in 1980s to eliminate Soviets from Afghanistan. But what was the incentive of eradicating Soviets from Afghanistan that was the national interest of America along with other countries. And the national interest in the 80s and after 9/11 were that no harm happen to citizens of America and polices like this, is the right of government toward their citizens of every nation not only America’s.

America’s ways towards salvation from terrorism were odd but follows the national interest. Apart from this, the ruthless destruction of Afghanistan by decades of wars and conflicts has put peace out of the dictionary. Hope is not subjective in case of bringing back peaceful life in any country. Concrete polices and hard work is what both countries require.

Afghanistan’s suffering is beyond explanation but they have learnt that these mujahideen or talibans have saved Afghanistan from the Soviets during the cold war and Afghanistan has to tolerate them, this is the only way to govern and to control the Afghanistan because if taking down Taliban was such a piece of cake then NATO would have done it by now. So Taliban-free-Afghanistan is impossible. Negotiations with them are just a way to handle the circumstances. Afghanistan has understood how to pursue their national interest.

Pakistan neighbouring to Afghanistan has somehow failed to understand their areas of interests but possess each and every source to become a part of developed world. It has a vital geo-strategic location in sense of trade and provides route from one side of the world to the other. Enjoys friendly relations with the world leading economic giants like China, Turkey, Suadi Arab and others. But unfortunately we are still fighting with terrorism and sectarian conflicts, which are continuously being injected to destabilize Pakistan, to curb its development.

Remember stability in Afghanistan means stability in Pakistan, this has been confirmed by the officials from foreign office several times. The peace process requires solutions not blame games, it requires agreements on mutual areas of interests and strict polices for their execution. Which are being discussed during high-level bilateral talks.

The United States also acknowledge the positive trend and increased cooperation between Islamabad and Kabul and has promised to continue its support in bringing both countries even closer to ensure regional peace. Time will tell and history will record that to what extent Americans have cooperated for this regional peace process.

Prioritising national interest and enhancing relations with our allies are what time demands. History should never be considered as something to read but it’s for learning from past. Everything has a past so do every country.

History’s biggest lesson is about national interest that what countries have done in the past for their area of concern, where security and stability are on the top. Irrespective of how they did? What does it cost to other countries? How much it harmed civilization?

– The writer Muhammad Farhan Sheikh is a student of bachelors in mass communication.