Afghanistan is the last tribal society in Central and West Asia. All the other tribal societies in these regions have changed or been transformed into modern democratic states. Unfortunately, though Afghan society is also in the process of such a transformation, but the trajectory of this transition is destructive, full of upheavals and instabilities.
At present, as the time for NATO drawdown approaches, there are four transitions which are underway in Afghanistan. The first is the Security transition, which has almost been completed in the form of the establishment of the Afghan National Army and Police, and the handing over of control to these forces; the Political transition, which is going to come about during this year with Presidential elections in Afghanistan; the Economic transition, in the form of international aid which major economic powers have pledged for Afghanistan, almost $8 billion USD per year up till 2017, and finally the Societal transition, which is perhaps the most volatile and unpredictable of these transitions.
In this backdrop, Pakistan, which is an immediate neighbour of Afghanistan to the east, recognizes that there will be numerous implications of NATO’s Afghan exit strategy, whatever form it may take, on Pakistan’s internal security and the overall stability of the region. What then are the policy options for Pakistan at this very significant juncture of history?
Lt. Gen. (R) Syed Muhammad Owais HI (M)
Former Ambassador Ayaz Wazir
Lt Gen (R) Asad Durrani