The Kabul Times.
Opinion

Pakistan crux of the problem in Afghanistan, says experts

A recent European Parliament resolution, highlighting Islamabad’s role in Afghanistan, comes in the backdrop of a growing global recognition that despite the Taliban showing its true gory colours, it is nothing short of a wonder that Pakistan is still selling to the world, the outfit that has overtaken control of the war-torn country, according to experts.

Pakistan’s interest in pitching for the Taliban has not been hidden to the world, according to experts at the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS).Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, recently in an interview reiterated his county’s stance of giving Taliban global recognition.

There have been reports of senior Taliban leaders insisting that chopping off of hands and summary executions. During the previous Taliban regime (1996 to 2001), while Afghanistan’s then Foreign Minister Mullah Nooruddin Turabi had announced the chopping of hands and heads of Afghans, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had advocated at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the international community develop a road map that leads to diplomatic recognition of the outfit.

Meanwhile, China, partly because of its own covetous gaze on Afghanistan’s assets but equally on Pakistan’s urging, has also called for the release of frozen Afghan funds to the Taliban.

In this backdrop of Pakistan being so deeply invested in a radical ideology, it comes as no surprise that reports reigniting fears of Pakistani nuclear weapons finding their way into the hands of radical Islamists got considerable traction this past week, says the EFSAS think tank.

These factors have been debated by experts including the US’ National Security Adviser (NSA) John R. Bolton and Italian author and journalist Francesca Marino.

In his article ‘The time for equivocating about a nuclear-armed, Taliban-friendly Pakistan is over’, in the Washington Post, Bolton described Pakistan as “the only government consisting simultaneously of arsonists and firefighters”.

The article underlined that the time for “neglect or equivocation” over Pakistan’s support for Islamist terrorism and its “reckless” pursuit of nuclear weapons was over. He described the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as having long been “a hotbed of radicalism, which has spread throughout the military, to higher and higher ranks.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, like many prior elected leaders, is essentially just another pretty face”.

He also asserted that “When the US coalition overthrew the Taliban in 2001, ISI provided sanctuaries, arms and supplies inside Pakistan”, and that “Pakistan also enabled terrorist groups targeting India, its main regional rival, over Kashmir”.

Taking the argument further, Marino, who specializes on South Asia said in her article on September 15 said that Pakistan’s nuclear buttons were “already in a terrorist organization’s hands”.

She further highlighted Islamabad’s role in making Afghanistan a major hive of terrorism, she asserted that the magnitude of the problem had reached such heights that the West could no longer afford to ignore it. Hinting that Pakistan’s incessant support for terrorism had rendered it a veritable terrorist State, she suggested that allowing nuclear weapons to continue in the hands of such a State could yield consequences that “will be much worse than any war”.

Taliban have proclaimed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and have already started to impose numerous repressive measures reversing the achievements of the Afghan people of the past 20 years that were supported and facilitated by the EU and the international community.

Afghan women and girls, and ethnic, religious and other vulnerable groups will suffer the most from the already ongoing suppression of their basic rights, said a European Parliament release.

Taliban have taken power by force and the caretaker government they have appointed is neither inclusive, legitimate nor accountable to the Afghan people.Taliban had announced the caretaker government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, naming Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund as interim prime minister and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a co-founder of the group, as his deputy with no women in its cabinet.

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The Kabul Times.