Pakistan's reputation in West to plummet after Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

·3-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 27 (ANI): Pakistan, nominally a US partner in the war against terrorism, sees the Taliban's victory as its own in Afghanistan.

Jane Perlez, in an article in The New York Times said that Pakistan's already shaky reputation in the West is likely to plummet now, as the Taliban take over Afghanistan.

Calls to sanction Pakistan have already circulated on social media. Moreover, amid the absence of foreign financing, Pakistan will have to rely on a jihadist drug trade encouraged by the new rulers in Kabul. A Taliban-run state on its border will no doubt embolden Taliban and other Islamist terrorists in Pakistan itself, said Perlez.

Pakistan was ostensibly America's partner in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Its military won tens of billions of dollars in American aid over the last two decades, even as Washington acknowledged that much of the money disappeared into unaccounted sinkholes.

In the last three months as the Taliban swept across Afghanistan, the Pakistani military waved a surge of new fighters across the border from sanctuaries inside Pakistan, tribal leaders have said. It was a final coup de grace to the American-trained Afghan security forces, said Perlez.

"The Pakistanis and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) think they have won in Afghanistan," said Robert L Grenier, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in Pakistan. But, he warned, the Pakistanis should watch what they wish for. "If the Afghan Taliban becomes leaders of a pariah state, which is likely, Pakistan will find itself tethered to them."

Perlez also said that Pakistan is not only the real winner. Pakistan, along with China is helping fill the space the Americans have vacated in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. The embassies of the two nations have remained open since the Taliban seized Kabul.

A Pakistani protege, Khalil Haqqani, a Taliban leader who was a regular visitor to Pakistan's military headquarters in Rawalpindi, is one of the new rulers of Afghanistan, reported The New York Times.

Known to American intelligence as the Taliban emissary to Al Qaeda, Haqqani showed up in Kabul last week as their new chief of security, brazenly armed with an American-made M4 rifle, with a protection squad dressed in American combat gear.

The nexus between the Pakistanis and the victorious Haqqani was indisputable and indispensable to the Taliban victory, said Douglas London, a former CIA counterterrorism chief for South and Southwest Asia.

The head of the Pakistani army, Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the head of the ISI, Hameed Faiz, met with Haqqani on a "recurring basis," London said. The extended Haqqani family has long been known to live in the largely ungoverned areas of Pakistan along the Afghan border, reported The New York Times.

Pakistan's help, he said, encompassed a gamut of services. Safe havens in the borderlands of Pakistan, particularly in the city of Quetta, sheltered Afghan Taliban fighters and their families.

Medical services treated wounded fighters, sometimes in hospitals in the major cities, Karachi and Peshawar. Free rein for the Haqqanis to run lucrative real estate, smuggling and other businesses in Pakistan kept their war machine churning, reported The New York Times.

The ISI also provided the Taliban with assets that elevated their international status. The Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar travelled on a Pakistani passport to attend peace talks in Doha, Qatar, and to meet in Tianjin, China, with Wang Yi, the Foreign Minister. (ANI)

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