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Are Islam & Taliban in Afghanistan good for Pakistan?

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women in Afghanistan
Shariya laws demand women to stay indoors, wear Burqa and prohibit their education

Pakistanis are rejoicing the news of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the Afghan Army melting away. What these people distributing sweets on the streets of Pakistan do not understand is that this is the worst news for Pakistan and they will pay the price for it in due course of time.

Almost 60% of Pakistanis who hate India are celebrating this event, while the 40% saner elements in Pakistan are worried about the catastrophe and its effect on Pakistan.

The point to be noted is that even though Pakistan is an Islamic country, sharia laws are not applicable in Pakistan. Shariya laws make it mandatory for women to wear Burqa and prohibit the education of women. There are many more such dictates which take the followers back to medieval days. The sharia laws prescribe chopping the hands of a person caught stealing and death by stoning for more serious crimes.

Already Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) an arm of Taliban based in Pakistan has told Pakistan that if they want friendship with the Taliban then Shariya laws must be imposed in Pakistan.

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It is true that Pakistan has been the mentor of Taliban mujahidin operating in Afghanistan and has been helping them with money, logistics and resources like safe houses for top Taliban leaders in Quetta and as well as providing treatment to their injured cadres in hospitals located in Pakistan. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and UAE were among the only three countries in the entire world that recognized the Taliban regime which ruled Afghanistan (1996 to 2000) till it was ousted by Americans in 2001.

Taliban

The US was annoyed that the Taliban had sheltered Osama Bin Laden who masterminded the terrorist attack on US trade Centre in New York killing 3000 Americans and made it clear to Pakistan to take a stand for or against the Taliban in Afghanistan. The message was loud and clear that if Pakistan decided to side with the Taliban it would also be blown to smithereens by US bombs. Pakistan reluctantly decided to toe the line but clandestinely kept on helping the Taliban behind everyone’s back.

Agreed Taliban in 2001 was totally dependent and looked up to Pakistan even for negotiations but Taliban today – 20 years later- is a different entity. It has become worldly-wise and can negotiate in an international forum on its own.

Read:

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People in Afghanistan hate Taliban

Afghanistan: the turmoil & its ramifications

Recently the Taliban released 4000 prisoners mostly from TTP lodged in Afghan jails. When Pakistan demanded that TTP is an enemy of Pakistan and these prisoners should be locked up in jail again, the Taliban refused.

The next clash of interest is the 2500 km long Durand line – the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan which the Afghans do not recognize. Afghan Taliban are basically Sunni and almost 20% of Pushtuns reside in Pakistan across the Durand line. TTP is made of these Pushtuns who have ethnic relations with Afghan Pushtuns. The TTP chief mufti Wali Maseed has called upon his fighters to attack Pakistan forces to avenge the atrocities committed by the Pakistani Army. Likewise, another TTP leader Maulvi Faquir Ahmed wants the Kafir government in Pakistan to be changed. Likewise, another TTP commander warned Pakistan to support Pushtun nationalism and wants greater Pustunistan. All these developments are not good for Pakistan and sooner or later Pakistan may be forced to cede its Pushtun dominated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its tribal areas. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also known as the North-West Frontier Province, located along the Afghanistan–Pakistan border is one of the four provinces of Pakistan.  

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The Pakistanis who feel happy that the Taliban ruled Afghanistan means gaining strategic depth against India, fail to understand that the Taliban frontline is not bothered about Pakistani interests. TTP is regaining its lost territory; the Taliban is reviving its close contacts with Al Qaida, ISIS. They want to establish a Shariya Caliphate by throwing away the sham Islamic democracy in Pakistan. Attack on Chinese nationals and 400 persons groping a single Tik-Tok female in Lahore recently are all signs of a bleak future for Pakistan. As for India, it has no option but to strengthen its defence forces, with both China and Pakistan breathing down its neck. 

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Brig Arun Bajpai
Defence and Strategic Analyst

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