Why Pakistan Should Have Participated In Bonn Conference

After a very unfortunate attack that occurred on November 26th, that resulted in the tragic death of 28 Pakistani army officers, Pakistan refused to attend the much awaited and anticipated conference on Afghanistan. Now proponents of this decision may call this decision of not attending, a step to protect or re-claim “national honor”. But I digress. This call or claim to “national honor” has come a tad too late.

After this horrendous attack Pakistan after a long time had U.S and NATO by the scruff of their necks. Whatever the US and NATO, might say or do now, they simply can not justify the attack on Mohamand agency like they justified the May 2nd attack. To let go of this opportunity, when Pakistan could have put pressure on the U.S, NATO forces and tried to get its way, would be nothing shot of a blunder!  It would have better for Pakistan to have kept its options open. Pakistan could have attended and made a protest using the Bonn Conference stage. It could have lobbied and used the sympathy of world after the recent attack to its favor. But NO.  It is not in our “national honor” that has led us to this shameful state.

What use is a fight that is lost even without fighting? Changes occurring in Pakistan’s neighborhood will not affect America or the NATO forces like they would affect Pakistan. Especially in the light of NATO troops leaving Afghanistan in 2014, when there is a chance of deal to happen between Taliban and U.S. And if Pakistan continues its stubbornness then no one but Pakistan will emerge as a sore and sole loser.

This continuous policy adopted by Pakistan of ‘I-Won’t-Talk-To-You’ has not led us anywhere.  Instead of trying to enhance and project a peaceful Pakistani role in Afghanistan, we have again used our reactive foreign policy when it was time to use a pro-active one. This policy of Pakistan resembles that of a child whose candies get stolen by a bully and that kid instead of claiming them back by a fight or other means, runs away from the field, telling the bullies he won’t talk to them. This policy has not been beneficial in the past and will bear no benefits even in future.

Pakistani policy makers, those sitting at the highest echelon should have a clear, proper vision. They should conduct a cost/benefit analysis before reaching any final conclusions that will have deep effects on Pakistan. It will be a poor way to repay those who have bled and given their lives for this country, if advantage of this situation is not used wisely by the Pakistanis.

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