We in Pakistan and scores of helpless and innocent Afghans are anxiously waiting for peace in Afghanistan – a goal that you have stuck your neck out for. Your scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan is part of the journey towards that goal. But the path is certainly bumpy and fraught with spoilers of your peace mission in Afghanistan.
The meeting would certainly be a non-starter if you were to sing the same a song that your predecessors – filled in by the State Department and the Intelligence community – sang in their meetings with Pakistani leaders.
The planned encounter, therefore, requires careful calibration of what you both have to convey to each other for multiple reasons.
Firstly, both of you are notoriously blunt when it comes to your convictions and objectives. The bluntness and clarity of objective sets you apart from many other leaders. Reiteration of the oft-repeated songs or parts thereof could turn this bluntness into a spoiler as well.
Secondly, you have demonstrated enough dislike of the forces of status quo – those you believe hollowed out the United States from inside through military adventures abroad.
Mr.President, Khan abhors the status quo as much as you do; he is wary of all previous rulers – including meanwhile jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and under-trial former president Asif Ali Zardari – and holds them responsible for the current perilous economic situation that Pakistan finds itself in.
You want to reform the US political economy from within. So does Imran Khan who insists that for too long did the ruling elites of Pakistan opposed and avoided fundamental reforms of the governance and financial system – largely to their own benefit.
Thirdly, it is very much evident that both Khan and yourself are pitched against well entrenched beasts of the status quo – both in and outside of the United States.
Do not allow these beasts to hijack your agenda of extricating the US from the consequences of geo-political games i.e. overseas wars.
Coincidentally, you both are anti-war and ferociously focused on the fundamental reform from within to set things right at home.
Your mission of peace settlement in Afghanistan is too important to be held hostage by personal motivations of a few individuals within and outside your administration.
Lastly, there is an obvious push-back by many stakeholders to your grand scheme of peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan. Nor is there any dearth of Pakistan-detractors either. We assume many have already whispered enough into your ears.
But, Mr.President, at the moment too much is at stake to be waylaid by the detractors. The best way forward is to ignore motivated advise. The July 22 meeting offers an historic opportunity to both of you to seize for the larger collective benefit of people in the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This article first appeared in Matrix Mag and is being reproduced under a special arrangement. Click here to go to the original.