Afghan nationals come to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on August 19, 2021 to return back to Afghanistan.
Pakistan was among the very first nations to invite the Taliban’s go back to power in Afghanistan last month, following the collapse of the U.S.-backed civilian federal government. Now, Islamabad needs to fret about a few of the repercussions of the Taliban’s success next door, previous diplomats and political experts stated.
“It may not be as easy for Pakistan as its leaders may have thought,” Husain Haqqani, who was Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S. in between 2008 and 2011, informed CNBC in a current interview.
Prime Minister Imran Khan apparently stated that Afghans had “broken the shackles of slavery.” Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pakistan’s nationwide security consultant Moeed Yusuf openly advised the worldwide neighborhood to engage with Afghanistan– which, in essence, now indicates the Taliban.
Pakistan, regardless of being an U.S. ally, had actually long been implicated of discreetly assisting the Taliban throughout their 20- year revolt in Afghanistan– a charge that Islamabad rejects.
What are the problems?
The primary concern that Haqqani and others indicate is the security threat postured by the domestic fear group Tehrik- e-Taliban Pakistan, likewise called the Pakistani Taliban– the group is different from the AfghanTaliban Last week, the TTP apparently declared obligation for a suicide attack in Pakistan that eliminated a minimum of 3 individuals and left 20 injured.
The group will “definitely be encouraged by the success of their brethren in Afghanistan,” Haqqani stated. “The Pakistani Taliban would like to replicate what happened in Afghanistan in at least the Pashtun areas of Pakistan — so, that’s one problem.”
Pashtuns are an ethnic group belonging to Afghanistan and northwestPakistan The objected to colonial-era Durand Line, which forms the worldwide land border in between the nations, separates Pakistani Pashtun- controlled areas fromAfghanistan The latter claims those areas as part of a standard Pashtun homeland.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Islamabad thinks that the Afghan Taliban’s ideology highlights Islam over Pashtun identity. Both the Afghan Taliban and the TTP are mainly Pashtun.
“Given the Afghan Taliban’s links with the Pakistani Taliban — both operational and ideological — Pakistan really has to worry about the risks a resurgent TTP poses to Pakistan,” Madiha Afzal, a David M. Rubenstein fellow in the diplomacy program at Brookings Institution, informed CNBC.
“It has already seen some of those risks materialize with the release of TTP prisoners from jails in Afghanistan in recent weeks as well as an uptick in attacks against Pakistani security forces,” Afzal stated.
The Afghan Taliban have yet to knock the TTP or acknowledge the Durand Line as the official border in between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Taliban have actually held diplomatic talks with a variety of nations in their effort for worldwide acknowledgment– consisting of Pakistan’s most significant competitor India.
The militant group has actually looked for to distance itself from its previous cruelties as it attempts to get that international acknowledgment, which might provide access to worldwide help that Afghanistan frantically requires. But numerous, consisting of Haqqani, state they are not encouraged by the Taliban’s guarantees.
“If the Taliban are unable to get international recognition and there are sanctions against them, there will be a fallout on Pakistan,” ambassador Haqqani, who is likewise director for South and Central Asia at Hudson Institute, stated.
He described that Pakistan would be required to carry out any worldwide sanctions put on Afghanistan and it would not be a simple job offered the porousness of the worldwide border. There is likewise “widespread sympathy for the Taliban in Pakistan,” Haqqani stated.
Pakistan would likewise need to possibly compete with a big inflow of refugees if the circumstance in Afghanistan destabilizes due to future combating amongst the Taliban and other insurgent groups, he included.
Brookings’ Afzal included that Pakistan’s viewed nearness with the Taliban would likewise position considerable issues for its international credibility, after the nation invested years trying to shed an image related to terrorism. “That relationship with the Taliban in particular could strain Pakistan’s already troubled relationship with the U.S.,” she stated.
What occurs next?
The Taliban recently formed an all-male interim federal government.
Political threat consultancy Eurasia Group stated the acting federal government “is not the ideal outcome for Pakistan, which has been working to cultivate non-Pashtun support” in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry sought advice from leaders of the previous U.S.-backed Northern Alliance about the possibility of their signing up with a Taliban- led federal government, according to EurasiaGroup “But the Taliban have insisted that anyone who collaborated with the ‘occupation regime’ cannot hold a senior position.”
The Northern Alliance consisted of a loose union of Afghan warlords who combated the Taliban in the late-1990 s.
Islamabad has yet to officially acknowledge the Taliban as rulers ofAfghanistan Haqqani informed CNBC that the hold-up is a political technique where Pakistan is hoping that other nations would acknowledge a Taliban- led Afghan federal government initially.
“It would be very difficult for Pakistan not to recognize the Taliban,” he stated, including that Islamabad might wind up with a “pyrrhic victory.”
“The Americans are out, and the government that had been created through 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 inside Pakistan?” Haqqani included.