Pakistan Ready To Warm Hands As Afghanistan Burning.
As Taliban forces have advanced at incredible speed towards Kabul since May this year, and the world rages on social media, life for Afghans could turn for the worse very soon. As I write this, the latest update tells me that the Taliban have captured the city of Maidan Shahr, the capital of Wardak province, just 20 kilometers from Kabul. By the time you read this, the siege of Kabul has most likely begun.
The Taliban could not have done it without the tacit support of Pakistan. This week, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the world unequivocally as a spokesman for the Taliban, stating that the Taliban will not stop until Afghan President Ashraf Ghani resigns.
Not that the world had doubts about Pakistan’s involvement in guaranteeing the downfall of the Afghan government, but this gesture validates the bonhomie. And yet the world, including India, continues to wait and watch, with no one lifting a finger to help the Afghans.
Besides, Twitter is full of countries speculating on how they will engage the Taliban and Pakistanis mocking Afghans for surrendering to a handful of fighters despite having a 300,000-strong army and even the Air Force. This international indifference is nothing new. The only difference is that this crisis could have been avoided or at least contained effectively if the United States had acted with a bit of realism.
In 2008, in a meeting with then-President Hamid Karzai, the US vice president-elect, Joe Biden clearly told the Afghan head of state: “Pakistan is fifty times more important than Afghanistan to US interests.” When asked to help crush the Taliban sanctuaries. in Pakistan.
The same year, Joe Biden received the second-highest civilian award in Pakistan, Hilal-e-Pakistan, for a non-military grant of US $ 1.5 billion. From 2002 to 2018, the United States has given a total of US $ 33 billion in aid to Pakistan, 18 of which were intended to boost Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism. If irony had a better face!
Extremely corrupt Pakistani military leaders, who happily pocketed most of this aid as those accounts can hardly be accounted for, continued to support and feed the Taliban under the leadership of Pervez Musharraf, hoping to one day install the government. Taliban in Afghanistan, and have more regional control. Pakistan sees Afghanistan as its backyard for training and recruiting insurgents against India, and also as a strategic depth, should Indian forces go too far into Pakistan in a war.
Furthermore, since the 1990s, with the discovery of oil and gas resources in the Caspian Sea basin, Pakistan has long yearned to partner with Central Asian countries to help them direct these resources to the Arabian Sea. The TAPI Pipeline project was the result of the same thinking, but it failed.
By gaining control in Afghanistan, the Pakistani establishment can fulfill these agendas and more. Having now become a full representative of China, Pakistan will be more than happy to play the leading role in bringing Chinese companies to Afghanistan for mining projects, infrastructure, etc.
The Taliban would need money, China would need resources, and Pakistan would be happy to take a juicy cut, as it did for four decades with the United States. Pakistan also wins by creating a Sunni hegemony in the region and has a better chance of negotiating with Iran at that time.
And finally, although one can file this under an illusion, Pakistan assumes that if the Taliban form a government, they will be able to control or stop TTP (Tehrik-E-Taliban Pakistan); the nightmare facing the Pakistani army along its Pashtun belt.
It is a mutual benefit for Pakistan, and all that is needed to achieve this now is to ignore the criticism from the world, turn a blind eye to the human rights violations committed by the Taliban, forget about the #SanctionPakistan trend and put aside all the internal problems. . Niazi has to take this ring to Mount Doom now, whatever happens!
America had to go, that was for sure. And the Afghan army had to take control of things into its own hands. But you can’t expect someone to learn to fly just because you carried them on your plane for two decades. This goes against all the principles of humanity and refuge.
Most importantly, everyone, including the United States, knows that the adrenaline rushing into the Taliban is coming from Pakistan. So why haven’t they done anything to stop that at least? Not even a threat of sanctions. The recent visit to the United States by Pakistan’s NSA, Moeed Yusuf, apparently yielded results.
Strategically, it would make more sense to put forces on the ground and fight the Taliban now that they are out in the open. Decisive blows can be delivered, which could not occur in two decades due to the lack of sustained and prolonged combat.
What the world is missing, or simply ignoring, is that the moment the Taliban take over Afghanistan, it will become a safe haven for the resurgence, planning, and recruitment of Islamic terrorist organizations, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.
Will we see a repeat of the 1996-2001 era and attacks on all countries, which one day will again lead to joint forces landing in Afghanistan to deal with the Taliban and gangs? And yet no one is willing to solve the root problem: Islamabad.
It is unimaginable to think what Afghans, especially young women, would be going through in Afghanistan today. With the Taliban issuing diktats to send a list of all girls and widows aged 15 to 40, to marry their fighters and already enforcing strict Sharia laws in the territory they control, the future is very uncertain for young women. in Afghanistan. And the irony of all this is that Pakistan and China are members of the UN Human Rights Council.
Wars tend to surprise with their results. So hope lives on and as all Afghan citizens fight for their freedom and lives, it is time for world powers to act accordingly and stop the advance of the Taliban before it is too late.