US forces are set to withdraw from Afghanistan after long weary war without achieving the avowed aims. What they are leaving behind is the mess that Pakistan needs to attend to. While Pakistan’s efforts have been commendable in the peace process, the issue definitely requires much more efforts by Pakistan’s establishment and government. There is strong possibility of Afghanistan descending into a civil war as the agreement being reached on negotiated settlements between Kabul and the Taliban is next to nothing. If things go as they are going, Pakistan will suffer greatly in the future.
The possible impact on Pakistan would be: influx of refugees along with a new wave of violence and militancy. While Pakistan is already burdened with a great deal of refugees, a fresh influx would be disastrous for an already ailing economy. Pakistan will sorely feel the ripple effect of the Afghan war. This raises the prospects of renewed violence and stronger militancy in the bordering areas such as Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Substantive fear exists that TTP could gain fresh traction using Afghan soil as its breeding ground and unleash a new reign of terror upon the innocent Pakistanis.
Given the grave threats, Pakistan must take steps beyond the call of duty and do whatever necessary to ensure that the current agreement remains successful.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2021.