Taliban’s Return to Power


Before the Taliban set off to establish their government, Afghanistan first needs structure and functions. Pakistan is keen for Afghans to work out a political solution acceptable to all. Our sincere efforts in the Afghan peace process are aimed at a region that is peaceful and prosperous. We have relayed this to the international community. It must play a role in finding a peaceful solution in Afghanistan. The army and the civilian authorities in Pakistan expect the Taliban to live up to their promises. We, in Pakistan, understand that the Taliban have learnt a lot in the last 20 years to tackle political, economic, and military issues with a great sense of maturity and responsibility.
When we say we expect the Taliban to live up to promises, it means we expect their responsible attitudes and behaviours to be valid and reliable in the current sociopolitical and economic environment. Pakistan has paid a huge price for its proximity to the instability in Afghanistan. In that context, Pakistan will continue to play a role in attaining peace and stability to remind international communities of our sacrifices for a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. It matters a lot to us because peace in Afghanistan means peace in Pakistan. It should be understood that regional peace is an illusion until a peaceful and just resolution of the Kashmir Issue is ensured and instituted by the United Nations Security Council.
Despite its economic problems, Pakistan had sheltered more than three million Afghan refugees for four decades. Just as every August makes us proud for winning independence from the British empire, we feel immense pride in seeing the long struggle for freedom turn out to be freedom for Afghanistan. Acting maturely and responsibly, we expect the Taliban to live up to their promises and in their attitude and behaviour. What matters most is their credibility and methodology in resolving all existing conflicts. We also expect that they will follow valid and reliable approaches to deal with the country’s internal and external issues, including the important issue of spoilers, who do not hesitate from upsetting the peace process. The spoilers are from neighbouring India while some function from within Afghanistan who do not wish to see the region flourishing in prosperity.
Unfortunately, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has worked all these years against the interest of Pakistan as well as regional peace. All these years, they have received funds from India, particularly for terrorism in Baluchistan. Hopefully, an inclusive government in Afghanistan will be in a position to understand the psychology of terrorists operating in the whole region. What it needs is a strong Afghan government with well-defined policy and governance. It will also depend on strengthening the anti-terrorist establishment of Pakistan. Pakistan is in touch with all regional countries including China, Turkey, the US and the UK. Countries of the region can play their role for peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Corruption and injustice are the two major sources of nations. Since China is contributing development projects in collaboration with Afghanistan and other countries of the region, the Taliban ask China to play a big role in Afghanistan. There is a need for political dialogue to handle most of these issues of the region particularly Afghanistan and Pakistan. China is ready to help the peaceful rebuilding of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has suggested discussions among countries on the Afghan situation, particularly for establishing a broad-based, all-inclusive government. Regional consensus on the Afghan situation is vital, especially in support of the Afghan people and their need for peace and prosperity.
The return of the Taliban was perhaps not expected by analysts of policy and governance. Circumstances made it possible. Perhaps, the Americans were in a hurry to leave Afghanistan. They had changed their minds about the Taliban after a long deliberation of successes that the Taliban were fast achieving its resurrection in Afghanistan has happened because of the incapable and corrupt government in Kabul. It was also a troublesome tiring 20 years of war that had become intolerable because of deteriorating law and order and criminality in the country. No intelligence agencies could have a role in it.
The Taliban outsmarted the international community. It was a clear failure on everyone’s part. A misjudgement and a failure is hidden under a flag of prejudice. The Taliban has changed from weaknesses to strengths and opportunities. They have changed with the passage of time and learning from mistakes. I wish that all political groups and leaders in Afghanistan find it tasteful working with the Taliban. A misperception surely needs to be removed. Pakistan does not need to exploit the Taliban for the purpose of balancing Indian influence in the future.