Last weekend, Pakistan’s spy chief Faiz Hameed sipped tea at the Serena Hotel in Kabul as he mediated between Taliban ruling factions quarrelling over shares of power in the next Afghan government. “Everything will be okay,” he said about Afghanistan’s future. A few days later, a slate of men was appointed to high office, all of whom had been sheltered by the Pakistani state for nearly two decades while Pakistan denied doing any such thing.
As Hameed helped select designated terrorists to be the country’s top leaders, he showed little concern for what the West would think of him. Instead, he marched around Kabul exuding the confidence of a victor. He and his colleagues are patting themselves on the back for pushing out India—one of the leading allies of the recently deposed Afghan government— and creating a client state in Afghanistan of their own.
Pakistan’s deep state has indeed secured the expanded strategic reach it so desperately craved against India and will almost certainly use the Afghan territory as a safe haven for anti-India terrorist groups, as it did the last time the Taliban were in power. Pakistan has also succeeded in proving its worth to the Chinese as a go-between and security guarantor. Beijing intends to mine minerals in the war-torn nation and spend billions of dollars building an economic corridor that runs through Pakistan and Afghanistan to Central Asia.
sharia rule in Pakistan in emulation of the Taliban will become ever louder.
few in the West believe Pakistan’s promises any longer. Pakistan’s provision of sanctuary to the Taliban has soured its ties with the United States to such an extent that U.S. President Joe Biden has not called Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan even once since he replaced Donald Trump.
seen as its puppets. They are already reluctant to concede to Pakistan’s core security issues when it comes to ending support for and handing over anti-Pakistan terrorists. “We are not Pakistan’s puppets, we are independent,” a Taliban leader told Foreign Policy from Kabul on condition of anonymity. “And yes, we have very good relations with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.”
the last year, as their Afghan contemporaries started the campaign to recapture Afghanistan, TTP’s attacks once again picked up. It carried out 32 attacks inside Pakistan in just the last month. TTP is evidence of the domestic blowback of Pakistan’s policies, yet independent experts fear that the generals see dead Pakistanis as mere collateral damage and have been reluctant to change their policy of proxy warfare.
takeover. “The Pakistani state accused the elected Afghan governments of supporting TTP all these years; in fact TTP fought alongside the Afghan Taliban,” said Afrasiab Khattak, a Pakistani Pashtun leader and intellectual. “That is one indicator of just how wrong a policy our deep state pursued.”
Taliban know that Pakistan has huge economic leverage over a landlocked Afghanistan, but as they establish themselves in power in their own right, they may want to use TTP as leverage against their masters, who provided shelter but also treated many of their leaders poorly.
13 Sep 21/Monday Source: Foreign Policy