Afghan Citizens arrive at the border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan in chaman on August 19, 2021 to return back to Afghanistan.
AFP | Getty Images
Pakistan was one of the first countries to welcome the return of the Taliban in power in Afghanistan last month, after the collapse of the US-backed citizen government. Now Islamabad has somewhere to worry over to make of the consequences of the Taliban’s success next door, former diplomats and political analysts said.
“Maybe it’s not that easy for Pakistan, as its leaders may have thought,” Husain Haqqani, who served as Pakistani ambassador between 2008 and 2011 in the US, CNBC told in a recent interview.
Prime Minister Imran Khan reportedly said: that Afghans “had broken the shackles” of slavery.” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pakistani national security adviser Moeed Yusuf urged in publicly on international community engage with Afghanistan – die, in essence, now means the Taliban.
Pakistan, despite being a US ally, had long been accused of covertly aiding the Taliban during their 20-yearyear revolt in Afghanistan – an indictment die Islamabad denies.
The main issue what Haqqani and others point to is safety risk asked by the domestic terror group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, also known as the Pakistani Taliban – de group separate from the Afghan Taliban. Last week, the TTP reportedly claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Pakistan that at least three dead people and left 20 injured.
The group will “certainly be encouraged by the” success of their brothers in Afghanistan,” Haqqani said. “The Pakistani Taliban would like to repeat what happened in Afghanistan in at least the Pashtun areas of Pakistan – so that is one problem.”
Pashtuns are an ethnic group native to Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. The controversial colonial-era Durand line, die the international land border between the countries, separates Pakistani Pashtun-dominated areas from Afghanistan. The latter claims die areas as part of An traditional homeland Pashtun.
According to the Council on Foreign Affairs, Islamabad believes that the ideology of the Afghan Taliban emphasizes Islam over Pashtun identity. Both the Afghan Taliban and the TTP are predominantly Pashtun.
“Given the Afghan Taliban’s ties… with the Pakistani Taliban – both operationally and ideologically – Pakistan should really be concerned over the risks die a resurgent TTP met entails for Pakistan,” Madiha Afzal, a colleague of David M. Rubenstein in The foreign policy program at Brookings Institution, CNBC told.
“It has already what seen of die risks become reality with the Edition of TTP inmates from prisons in Afghanistan in recent weeks and an increase in to attack against Pakistani security forces,” Afzal said.
The Afghan Taliban have yet to denounce the TTP of recognize the Durand Line as the formal border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Taliban have held diplomatic talks with a number of countries in their attempt for international recognition – inclusive die from Pakistan biggest rival india.
the militant group has tried distance from being oneself past atrocities as it tries to achieve that global recognition, what could give them access until international staff die Afghanistan hard need. But many, including Haqqani, say they are not convinced by the Taliban’s commitments.
“If the Taliban don’t in be able to international recognition and there are sanctions against them, there will be a fall-out to be on Pakistan”, Ambassador Haqqani, who is also director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute, said.
He explained that Pakistan would be forced to use some form of international sanctions placed on Afghanistan and it wouldn’t be an easy task given its porosity of the international border. There is also “widespread sympathy for the Taliban in Pakistan‘ said Haqqani.
Pakistan would also may have to fight with a large influx of refugees as the situation in Afghanistan is destabilizing by: future fighting between the Taliban and other insurgent groups, he added.
Brookings’ Afzalo added that the perceived proximity to Pakistan with the Taliban would also to be important problems for to be global reputation, after the country spent years trying to get rid of an associated image with terrorism. “That relationship with the Taliban in in particular could tax Pakistan already difficult relationship with the US,” she said.
the Taliban last week formed an all-male interim government.
politics risk consultancy Eurasia Group said the acting government “isn’t the ideal outcome for Pakistan, which has been working on cultivating non-Pashtun support” in Afghanistan.
Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs consulted with leaders of the former US-backed Northern Alliance over the possibility of their joining a Taliban-run government, according to Eurasia Group. “But the Taliban have insisted that… anyone who cooperated with the ‘occupation regime’ cannot last senior position.”
The Northern Alliance included of a single coalition of Afghan warlords who fought against the Taliban in late nineties.
Islamabad has yet to formally recognize the Taliban as rulers of Afghanistan. Haqqani told CNBC the delay is a political issue strategy where Pakistan hopes other countries a Taliban-led Afghan government first.
“It would be very difficult for Pakistan to not recognize the Taliban,” he said, adding that Islamabad could end up with a “pyrrhic victory”.
“The Americans Are” out, and the government die was made by means of international support is gone. So, will Pakistan really be able to have influence? in Afghanistan of the kind that it wanted, without Afghanistan being a source of destabilization in Pakistan?” Haqqani added.
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