PESHAWAR: The US has been forced to pull out of Afghanistan because of the Afghan Taliban movement, former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed has said.
Ahmed, speaking at a Meet The Press programme at the Peshawar Press Club on Saturday, said that the Taliban were a force to reckon with and a reality in geo-politics. “Until Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar is included, peace talks between US and the militant group will not be credible.”
However, he adamantly rejected the notion that theirs was an Islamic government. “The Taliban regime cannot be termed a model Islamic government, as little of what they did was Islamic.”
The Taliban, he said, should seek guidance from religious scholars. “They are students and need guidance from scholars.”
Ahmed was sceptical of the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying it will be leaving at a time when the situation in the region is still unclear. “It is not clear what will happen if the US troops leave Afghanistan,” he said, adding that even the future of an Afghan constitution is ambiguous. “The Taliban want their own government, while the Hizb-e-Islami and other Afghan parties want an elected government.”
He said that Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, should arrange a dialogue in the war-torn country before the US departs to save the region from further anarchy.
Islamic world and Pakistan
Ahmed also lauded the Arab Spring and the consequent victory of Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia and also the Turkish resurgence. However, he regretted that while the Islamic world was making giant strides towards progress, Pakistan was going the other way.
“The Pakistani people have the key to change their future,” he said, asking them to elect a sincere leadership in the next elections, which can end to corruption and solve economic, power and other crises being faced by the nation.
He also stressed on the early completion of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project to overcome the energy shortage in the country.
Talking about reengagement with the US, Ahmed said: “This is not an alliance. Both countries have competing interests in this region and Pakistan needs to get rid of the US partnership.”
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