Afghanistan and Pakistan have always had tense relations. Several conflicts did intensify after the US and other International forces withdrew, and the battlefield developments took the center stage.
Having bi-lateral ties between the two countries will help in improving security, political, and economic dynamics in the long run. A positive relationship with Pakistan could go a long way, which can ensure stability and help in development.
This is just what the Taliban did. Pakistan has deep ties with the Taliban, ever since the former US President Donald Trump gave Pakistan the role in “advancing the Afghanistan peace process” and brought the Taliban to the table in 2018.
Pakistan officials even celebrated the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. This was the country that provided support and was a safe haven to the Taliban for the past two decades.
Senior Taliban leaders are still based there, along with their families, several of them own property and businesses, and injured fighters are given medical care.
Pakistan’s Role In The Taliban’s Government Formation
Pakistan is expected to play a major role in the government formation. With Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Kabul, meetings were held between him, Prime Minister Imran Khan, and the Afghan delegates. Pakistan is said to play a “positive role” in the formation.
Qureshi said some “anti-peace elements” were present, it was now up to the Afghan leadership on how they would cope with these challenges. He will also be meeting neighboring countries of Afghanistan to sit together and come up with a comprehensive strategy after consultations.
Afghan Delegation In Pakistan
The Afghan delegation on visiting Pakistan called for the formation of an inclusive government, which will be formed through a power-sharing deal with all the stakeholders of the war-torn country. Pretty thoughtful!!
The new government will be successful only if all the stakeholders were a part of it. Delegates did not want the Taliban to repeat the post-1996 situation. The government has to be accepted by all the people and ensure that freedom of speech is given to all.
Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul extended help to all those who want a visa and even used Pakistan as a transit point to leave Afghanistan and the national carrier helped to pull out foreigners as well as Pakistanis.
Evacuation from Afghanistan
A special flight of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) is said to bring in 350 passengers from Afghanistan—passengers being representatives of the World Bank and other world institutions.
PIA has helped in the evacuation of about 1,100 people including diplomats, staff of diplomatic missions, and international agencies and journalists from Kabul.
Pakistan has been micromanaging several aspects of the Taliban. It looked like an easy task before the question of government formation arose.
There is an intense power struggle between the Taliban leaders. This prompted Lt General Faiz Hameed, Chief of Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to rush to Kabul—exposing Pakistan’s “neutral” role in the Taliban affairs and making the country officially the trouble-shooter within the Taliban.
It was reported that Pakistan would work for the formation of an ‘inclusive’ Taliban government in Afghanistan.
PAK’S Strategic Interest In Afghan
US government reports state that Pakistan’s strategic security objectives would most certainly be to keep the Indian influence out of Afghanistan and try not to spill over the Afghan civil war into Pakistan territory.
“Pakistan continues to support peace talks while maintaining ties with the Afghan Taliban.” US Inspector General noted.
The Pakistani government is concerned that if a civil war breaks out in Afghanistan, it will have destabilizing effects on Pakistan due to a rising influx of refugees and PAK being a safe haven for several anti-Pakistan militants.
The Taliban announced that Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund would lead the interim government. Pakistan just hopes that the “new Islamic government” would bring “peace, security, and stability” to the country and “work towards taking care of humanitarian and development needs of the Afghan people”.
Let’s see how true these claims are and how far these words go.
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This post is tagged under: Dangerous, Pakistan, Taliban, Government, formation, Afghanistan, tense relations, battlefield, bi-lateral, positive relationship, stability, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Kabul, Prime Minister, Imran Khan, Afghan delegates, Foreign Minister, stakeholders, war-torn, freedom of speech, rights, embassy, Pakistan International Airline, General Faiz Hameed, Chief, Inter-Services Intelligence, trouble-shooter, US, Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, new Islamic government, Afghan people, humanitarian, Peace, interim government