Pakistan will seek ample tribute from the Taliban for bringing it to power in Afghanistan. It has started playing its games from the word “go”. The USA vacated Afghanistan on 30th August 2021. The Taliban were expected to form their government immediately. But there is no government in Afghanistan even after 24 days.
Pakistan is the sole advisor and Guide of the Taliban. It will delay government formation as long as it can to achieve its strategic goal in Afghanistan with little care for the interests of the Taliban or the Afghani people or Afghanistan. Pakistan would like to form a government of its choice so that it can keep it under control and tight leash. It can’t afford a powerful, sovereign and independent Afghanistan on its borders. Pakistan itself is no model of an Islamic country- it is not as sincere about imposing the Sharia Law as the Taliban. It would make Afghanistan a vassal or a colony of Pakistan. It had treated the East Pakistan people and territory similarly leading to the formation of Bangladesh. It won’t think twice before doing the same to Afghanistan in due course.
Now Pakistan also has the solid backing of China in Afghanistan. China’s only interest in the region is to erode American influence from Afghanistan so that it can exploit the rich mineral resources of Afghanistan and spread its influence over Iran where it is heavily invested in the Chabahar port development. It is already doing so in Baluchistan. The Baluchi masses are against the activities of China and Pakistan in Baluchistan. If they get the support of the Taliban in future, things may turn dangerous for Pakistan and China. Such developments don’t take years as rebellion has been smouldering for decades. China would also like to keep other European nations away from Afghanistan for similar reasons as they too are interested in providing “aid” to Afghanistan. China would see to it that Russia does not get a foothold in Afghanistan. The only critical factor is Pakistan’s treatment of its Shia population, which is bound to cause conflict between Pakistan and Iran. Iran has already declared that it will not recognise the new Afghan government unless it includes all sections in the cabinet equitably. It has condemned the entry of Pakistan Air Force in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance. It will resist Pakistan’s efforts to control the new Afghan government.
Pakistan will learn its lessons soon. Afghanistan is no vassal or colony of any other country or race. The Afghan are proud people known for their bravery. Pakistan has discredited them by fanning terrorism worldwide and getting them tagged as terrorists. It will try to seduce them in the name of Kashmir but fail.
If Pakistan fails to achieve its goals in Afghanistan in forming the government, it will fan mass discontentment against the Taliban, making them so weak that they shall be compelled to seek Pakistan’s help in running the government. Pakistan will exploit the Taliban reputation for cruelty, human rights violations, torture of women and slaughtering journalists to black mail it. It has a well groomed network operational globally, which give it an edge over the Taliban in international relations. The Taliban need international recognition, which is unlikely to come easily. Pakistan would not do so cheaply without extracting a heavy price. China is also expected to keep the Taliban government hoping for years before granting it recognition. China may even deny it. Turkey’s role will become clear after the government is formed, but it will demand a far greater share of the bounty from the Taliban government for its support and services. Ultimately that might prove too costly for Afghanistan if it decides to tread an independent path to progress, prosperity and development. There is so much constructive work for any people friendly government in Afghanistan. It has to remain non-aligned to achieve this goal. Pakistan and Turkey will prove liabilities which can’t be determined immediately, as each one has its own agenda to pursue- one wants to be the sole military power and the other dreams to be the new Caliphate.
The USA will not disengage from Pakistan for many more years and Pakistan exploits this weakness to the fullest. Pakistani network in the Pentagon, White House and Department of States is well oiled and functional in all situations- be it landing in Afghanistan in search of Laden with full military might or leaving a day earlier at midnight.
It seems both need each other, though the past was motivated by the policy of containment of communism. America needed an ally at that time because India was pursuing the policy of Non-Alignment and was seen to be tilting towards the USSR, the leader of the communists, and had proposed China’s candidature for the permanent seat in the UN Security Council against the US suggestion for it to take the permanent membership of the council. The relations between India and Pakistan were sour and America calculated benefits in befriending Pakistan. Whether it proved really beneficial to America is left to thinkers to assay after the flop show in Afghanistan on 14th August through 30th August 2021.
The loss suffered by the American people in the 20 years of this friendship in Afghanistan is yet to be calculated and accounted for. Continuing the same policy towards Pakistan even now is befuddling as the situation is totally different today. The justification of containment of communism no longer subsists. Pakistan will prove a greater liability to the USA now in the context of strong friendly ties with China and the CPEC project. America is unlikely to do much business in the region in this background.
Who is afraid of communism these days? Is the world threatened by Nazism? No, not at all. Nobody cares about communism or Nazism.
But the whole world is afraid of the terrorist strikes in public places in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Auckland and several other places since 9/11 in America. It is now 20 years since then and the crippling effects of terrorism are still being felt by world economies and homeland security. When India was facing the terrorist violence since 1980, the world powers turned their faces the other way and lectured it on tolerance, secularism, human rights etc. They didn’t see any qualities in the strongest democracy in the world, they merely pointed out faults without being honest about them.
In 20 years, America has not learnt any lessons if its ties with Pakistan are any indication. The UK, European nations and several other developed countries are no less at fault in this matter. They are collectively responsible for a futile war in Afghanistan. In 20 years they failed to correct course but kept pushing America for more military action.
The end of that war has only emboldened the terrorists globally. They are calling America all kinds of names and daring its allies and sympathisers. Who is sponsoring terrorist strikes in America, UK, France etc? Is it the Taliban? Is it the Afghan people? Or is it Pakistan?
The Afghani people working for the American and NATO war forces are being identified and punished like enemies to set an example for others and deter them from supporting the western countries in any armed conflict against them in future.
The Taliban say they are changed and not doing such atrocious activities. Reports say they are Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan has used its Air Force to bomb Panjshir in Afghanistan.
Should the world simply watch silently the genocide in Afghanistan or do something to ensure safety of the helpless afghani masses – men, women and children? UNO’s silence is disturbing.
One prominent Pakistani minister has already declared publicly that either the countries recognise the new Taliban government of Afghanistan or be prepared for more 9/11 type incidents. Isn’t it horrible? Even Saddam Hussain did not make such threats but compare the treatment to the two characters: Pakistan and its minister and Saddam of Iraq by the Western countries. The Pakistani minister’s threat is aimed at America, UK, France and all other European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other rich nations and all tourist spot globally. It would be a horrendous mistake to ignore or underplay the Pakistani open threat to the civilised world as it is capable and ready to carry out the threat.
Terrorism will determine the course of events in the world in the next decade.
Any miscalculation, policy or re-alignment of nations now will determine further course of action individually as well as collectively.
This is going to change the power equations in the world.
Like it or not, accept it or not, make necessary preparations or not, the Pakistan America friendship will prove disastrous worldwide. After the break of the spell of super power in Afghanistan, terrorism will make no concessions to the western world. If China plays a mature role, the centre of power can tilt towards Asia. If China works in honourable collaboration with Russia, it will change the course of world history. If the world pursues a policy bereft of ethics, human civilisation will collapse!