Hamid Karzai is reluctant to immediately sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States. This is the latest issue for which he has gotten undivided world attention; within hours of the signing of the Geneva accord by the Iranians.
The Iranian deal is promising, albeit it has divided the world into two opposing camps. At least for six months, the world has been successful in halting the Shia bomb. The Sunni states have breathed a sigh of relief at this landmark agreement. The success of these talks has also given impetus to western and American diplomats to solve the Syrian crisis as well.
But as one controversy has been placated, at least for the time being, the other in the shape of the Karzai’s resistance to sign the BSA has risen its head. Why Karzai is not willing to sign the BSA is a million dollar question. It confounds us all, especially the Americans; why he is delaying signing an agreement which ensures his post 2014 survival as and when the proposed U.S. and NATO forces pull out of Afghanistan? His latest meeting with the Obama administration’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice has cropped many questions that need an immediate answer before there is a dangerous stalemate, which by the way seems to the case as far as the recent BSA is concerned.
The world might have been successful in averting a catastrophe as far as Iran and to some extent Syria are concerned, but this latest move by Karzai is reinforces the issue that Afghanistan still remains the place which has the potential to destabilize the peace of the entire world.
Afghanistan, Iran and Syria are in the headlines these days but Pakistan and Egypt are also not far behind. In Pakistan the issue of drone strikes by the CIA is a point of bitter contention between the United States and the government of Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad and that of the opposition Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) in the volatile province of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP). While in Egypt, the Morsi supporters, especially the Muslim Brotherhood is on an inevitable war path with the rulers. The recent edicts issued by the Egyptian government are not at all appreciated by the common Egyptian.
We are passing through a very critical juncture in world history. Some might say very interesting times but to others perhaps the most dangerous ever. America being the only world power at this moment in history has great responsibility resting on it shoulders to find diplomatic and political solutions to all the above noted issues. The military option has been exercised in Afghanistan and to an extent in Pakistan and it is a viable option as far as Iran is concerned if it fails to fulfill its commitments.
Let us all hope that all these burning issues are decided in a cordial manner without the involvement of military which anyway is the last option. It is in the interest of the entire world that Karzai comes to senses and puts the pen to paper as far as the BSA with America is concerned.
Editorial by Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada