Syed Saleem Shahzad reports:
Richard Holbrooke, the United States special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan who died on Monday aged 69, had come to the realization that the nine-year war in Afghanistan had to come to an end.
Stopping the war will not be an easy matter. The situation on the ground is not so simple.
For instance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) claims success against the Taliban in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, but what has happened is that al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have stepped into the vacuum and they will continue the battle.
Similarly, Pakistan claims success in its tribal areas, but a more defiant and more ideologically motivated group has emerged to take ownership of the war.
Wali Mohammad, the brother of slain Taliban commander Nek Mohammad (see The legacy of Nek Mohammed Asia Times Online, July 2004), has taken over command of militants in South Waziristan.
Last week, army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, accompanied by other top brass and members of the media, traveled to South Waziristan to showcase the military’s “victory” against militants. They were greeted by four missiles. No one was injured in the attack, but the message is clear – the militants are back.