Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan

The Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that ‘Pakistan is our second home, there is peace in Afghanistan’. Trade between the Taliban and Pakistan is back to business, with many trucks from Pakistan moving to Afghanistan.  Pakistan has a vested interest in Afghanistan because of Kashmir. Students from Pakistan have been seen celebrating the victory of the Taliban and feel the Taliban will help them in the fight against India. 

It is no secret that Pakistan harbours terrorists and has given a safe haven to the likes of Osama-bin-laden, Mullah Abdul Baradar, the co-founder of the Taliban and promoted insurgency and trained the Taliban and Mujahideen for centuries. 

Taliban’s old patrons have a history, they share a 1,650-mile border with the same ethnicity and cultural bond. After the 2001 US-led invasion, it led to Pakistan backing the Taliban with aid, weapons, and madrasas. Pakistan, China, and Russia’s embassies are still open in Afghanistan even after the Taliban’s control. Mr Amrulla Saleh has stated Pakistan has supported the Taliban time after time. 

According to Robert Grenier, a former CIA Chief in Pakistan said that ‘Pakistan and ISI think they have won in Afghanistan’, but if Pakistan keeps on supporting the Taliban, it will haunt them in the future, just like how Pakistan is China’s puppet. 

The West sees Pakistan as a terror harbouring nation, and there are reports to sanction Pakistan for its role in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s protege, Khalil Haqqani, has a long history of regular visits to Pakistan’s military headquarters. He is now one of the new leaders of Afghanistan. 

For 20-years, the US had to rely on Pakistan for its airfields, ports and entry points for supplies to the Afghanistan military. The US knew about Pakistan’s double game in Afghanistan but had no option but to work with them. 

India has always supported Afghanistan through infrastructural aid, education centres, military training to Afghan women etc. The US has also encouraged India to play a significant role in Afghanistan post-2001. India has always been firm with an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned country. 

According to Douglas London, the former CIA counterterrorism chief for South and Southwest Asia, there is a nexus between Pakistanis and the Haqqani to the Taliban victory. The Taliban would not be where they are without the assistance of the Pakistanis, said Douglas London. ISI has provided the Taliban with travel passes and visas to travel to Doha, Qatar, and Tianjin, China, with Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister. 

The US Navy SEALs killed Osama-bin-laden in Pakistan, he was living near a Pakistan military academy. But the US never publicly said that Pakistan is the nation that harbours terrorists. 

Both China and Pakistan hope to start the Belt and Road initiative in Afghanistan and extract natural minerals. China has been using Pakistan to play on its term and use the country as bait. Pakistan is currently playing with fire, the Taliban is gaining control, and it will be a matter of time before they strike Pakistan. 

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