“History is repeating itself with vengeance”: Ambassador G . Rasool Baluch
“My speculation would be based on what happened the last time round”: Asia-Pacific based analyst
“A very uncivil conflict among Pashtun/Pakhtun, Tajik, Uzbek and other ethno-political militias (e.g., Hazara, Turkmen) will spill much blood, fragment Afghanistan and force neighbors, specially Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China (Russia no longer shares borders, but Tajikistan and Uzbekistan do), to protect their respective interests by supporting favored warring bands. It will become a magnet for ‘foreign fighters’ of various inclinations. Large-scale flight of escapees will disturb countries far and wide. For as long as militias retain the ability and will to pursue ‘control’, blood will flow. Then, unless external powers intervene, Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks will secure their own ‘homelands’. All or some of them could then attack Hazaras until Iran sends large-scale aid. It will be a grim and horror-filled destruction of Ahmed Shah Abdali/Durrani’s Afghanistan”.
The bordering and non-bordering stakeholders “shouldn’t allow civil war to decide the winners. They should take responsibility, specifically the powers that were in Afghanistan for four decades”: Ambassador G . Rasool Baluch
“Nothing can be done about Afghanistan. Afghanistan is suffering from Naegleria fowleri, colloquially known as a brain-eating amoeba. The Afghan society is in self-destruction mode. The irony of Afghanistan is that no one is sincere to this country. Not even Afghans themselves”: Pakistani Defense Official based in a major Mideast capital
“I think Americans will also like to disown any memories of Afghanistan like a bad dream”: A senior Pakistani defense official
“Afghanistan is not a priority for the U.S. any more. It’s China, and China will be contested primarily in the Pacific, and the secondary theater would be the Indian Ocean. The U.S. will talk about Afghanistan for few months, just to give the semblance of concern, and thereafter will disengage completely”.
“May be not. Proxy war could continue, West’s elusive presence in the region will be there, backed by high tech tools, in Pakistan and in Afghanistan”: Analyst
“No more do more”. But Pakistan was asked to do more, a source says.
The U.S. administration has denied it sought air base and or air corridor.
“We want to be ally for peace, not ally for war”: PM Khan (Aug 2018, Jun/Jul 2021)
“Enduring stability in the region”: Pak Army Chief Gen. Bajwa (2019 & 2020)
That requires peace in the region and a broad consensus on geoeconomy amid geopolitical spoilers and inter-nation historical rivalries in the broader region.
Pakistan nation is on board it appears -unlike during the Afghan war in 80s and the War on Terror post-9/11.
Defense and economy remain top priority for Pakistan with Kashmir dispute settlement as non-negotiable nuggets –peace within and in the region depends on these.
The good news is “there is a broad and above party national consensus on four major issues”: Sen. Mushahid Husain Syed (Jun 2021)
“In a first, Pakistani society is galvanizing as the only way forward…its battle-hardened military and the political community have been using peace arsenal”: Senior political observer
“Khan’s peace ally not war partner battlecry, Bajwa’s enduring peace in the region intellectualism, and Mushahid’s all parties are above board, have national consensus as political resolution, add up as an impressive heavy paperweight on the table”.
Irshad Salim, Islamabad