Defense News quotes South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Claude Rakisits on the Afghanistan-Pakistan security pledge:

Claude Rakisits, nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, said there is now genuine commitment from both parties to bring this about.

He highlights Pakistan’s changed attitude toward the Afghan Taliban, and “that supporting the Afghan Taliban was no longer in Pakistan’s long-term interest.”


Rakisits said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani understands former “President Karzai’s confrontational approach toward Pakistan was counterproductive at best. Moreover, it was obvious that Karzai’s chumminess toward the Indians was poor policy, and would not provide Afghanistan with additional security.

“On the contrary, Pakistan was hardly going to go out of its way to help Afghanistan fight the terrorists with Kabul getting cozy with Pakistan’s arch enemy,” he said.

Ghani’s realization of the need to enter into an effective security relationship with Pakistan is “a relationship of convenience between a big country and a smaller one trying to get back on its feet after 35 years of war,” he said.

However, the relationship can work if both parties honor their pledges, and that both China and the US also have an interest in making sure this happens and will “do all they can to see that it does.”

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