International

Exposed: Taliban-Pakistan Nexus

We are well aware about the volatile and highly unstable conditions in Afghanistan. After US withdrawal, the Taliban is rapidly capturing the territory while the Afghan security forces are retreating from various parts of the country. One may get amazed how one terror group gets so much powerful. It survived the 20 years long invasion of the world’s largest military power. Not only survived but now it is rising rapidly even before American troops are totally out of the country.

Clearly any such group can’t survive without any external aid. It is an open secret that Taliban gets this aid from Pakistan. The close relations of Pakistan Army with Taliban are not hidden. Recently there were some incidents which clearly exposed this Taliban-Pakistan nexus. Also this is a wake up call for international community showing the real source of terrorism.

In this article, we will have a look at some of these incidences. Also we will try to understand why US didn’t take action against Pakistan instead of Afghanistan. We will also see the implications of this Taliban-Pakistan nexus on India.

Incidents That Exposed Taliban-Pakistan Nexus

Afghan President Slams Pakistan

Recently a Central and South Asian connectivity conference was organized in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani prime minister both were present along with other regional leaders. While speaking, President Ghani said that over 10,000 Jihadis have entered Afghanistan from Pakistan to support Taliban. Pakistan is not following its promise and is supporting Taliban.

Afghan Vice-President Accuses PAF For Supporting Taliban

Afghanistan’s vice President Amrullah Saleh, who was formerly the intelligence chief, has accused Pakistan Air Force for actively supporting Taliban against Afghan forces.

“Breaking: Pakistan air force has issued official warning to the Afghan Army and Air Force that any move to dislodge the Taliban from Spin Boldak area will be faced and repelled by the Pakistan Air Force. Pak air force is now providing close air support to Taliban in certain areas,” he tweeted.

Imran Khan Didn’t Answer The Question

Pakistani Prime minister was also present at the same conference where Ashraf Ghani slammed Pakistan for supporting Taliban. Here an Indian reporter asked him about these allegations of supporting Taliban. Instead of answering the question, Imran Khan chose to walk away. This again shows the inability of Pakistan to talk anything against Taliban.

Kidnapping Of Afghan Envoy’s Daughter

Just days after the allegations by Afghan President and Vice President, the daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan was kidnapped. She was kidnapped from high security area in Islamabad and was tortured for hours before she was released. Is any such kidnapping possible without involvement of Pakistan army and the ISI? The answer is clear. This was the messaging from Taliban-Pakistan nexus to the Afghan government. Relationships between Afghanistan and Pakistan have gone to their lowest since this incident. Afghan President has declared that their diplomatic officials win be called back from Pakistan till the security situation improves.

Pakistan Afghanistan relations and taliban
Pak-Afghan ties are at a new low.

Pakistan Denied Air Base To USA

USA was looking for an air base in neighboring country of Afghanistan to assist Afghan forces against Taliban. Pakistan was the natural choice for US. But Pakistan has denied this request from US. This shows how much leverage dues the Taliban have in Pakistan’s decision making. However, recently a B-52 bomber of US travelled from Pakistan’s airspace to the Afghanistan. This means that either Pakistan is secretly giving permission to US to use its airspace or US simply doesn’t care about Pakistan’s permission.

Apart from these recent incidences many times it’s proven that Pakistan is the main supporter of terrorism. One faction of Taliban, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) operates in Pakistan. It has conducted several stacks in Pakistan itself. Well you cannot feed snakes with expecting that they will bite only to your neighbours. Also the most wanted terrorist of the world and mastermind of 9/11 terror attacks, Osama bin Laden was also found in Pakistan. Various terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad operate in Pakistan. They operate as a state sponsored terror groups.

Why US Didn’t Then Take Action Against Pakistan?

It’s not the thing that all these facts are hidden from US. But still it didn’t take direct military action against Pakistan because the later was its old ally. Also the geo-strategic location of Pakistan was crucial for operations in Afghanistan, which is a landlocked country. Also Pakistan’s nuclear weapons made it difficult even for US to take such military action against it. But the US and the international community has to understand that if we really want to solve the issue, we need to work upon the root cause.

Strengthening Taliban-Pakistan Nexus And Implications For India

This is certainly an alarming situation for India. Pakistani terror groups in collaboration with Taliban can become more powerful. As per experts, in 1990s and early 2000s many terrorists intruding in Kashmir were actually Afghan war veterans. They were highly trained and motivated commandos compared to today’s terrorists. Thus with Taliban’s coming back to power India may face this threat again. However, India’s defence mechanism at LoC today is much better than that in 90s. But still we need to work to avoid this situation.

Conclusion

It’s a well known fact that Pakistan acts as a sanctuary for terrorism. Many terrorist groups operate openly there. Recently there were reports that injured Taliban fighters are taking treatment in hospitals in Pakistan across borders.

Thus to bring stability in Afghanistan and to end the menace of terrorism, action needs to be taken at an appropriate place. Sooner the international community acknowledges this better it will be.

Prasad Gore

A defence enthusiast. Writing on Defence, Aviation and International Relations. M.A., NET (Defence and strategic studies).

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