As Taliban strive to install an inclusive government in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s prime concern remains the terror remnants inside the war-torn country. Pakistan had been on the receiving end at the hands of non-state actors, especially the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, which operates on both sides of the Durand Line. This has led to hundreds and thousands of casualties inside Pakistan. Now with the Taliban pulling the strings, Pakistan’s earnest plea is to ensure that the TTP is taken out, and ensure that they don’t operate from Afghan soil. The Taliban have assured to oblige.
The Taliban’s new format of governance has impressed the world at large. In a sharp deviation from their yesteryear rule, they have assured the world community that they intend to stay aloof from facilitating militant groups. Likewise, their new policies towards women, civil society and minorities have won hearts. Moreover, the leadership had made it clear that they will not be a party to extra-territorial designs and expects the same reciprocation from neighbouring states. This makes the equation of nipping terror in the bud workable. Islamabad is in contact with Kabul, and the common denominator is to eliminate proscribed groups.
As Afghanistan undergoes transition, there is a pressing need to keep an eye on opportunist elements. This applies to nefarious characters inside Pakistan, too. There are a host of groups and militant factions that glorify Taliban, and with the triumph of the militia are out to make political capital. This was witnessed recently in Islamabad as a banned faction came out with flags in support of Taliban. Likewise, Afghanistan still has terror elements from Daesh who will sooner than later come out in public to boast their presence. Reports say there are more than 6,000 TTP men in Afghanistan, and the mysterious release of TTP’s Maulvi Faqir Mohammad makes it no less than a nightmare.
All such elements on both sides need to be taken out. This is where the future cooperation of Pakistan and Afghanistan lies. It’s time to cleanse their respective territories of terror outfits. This is how the new dispensation in Kabul can rebuild Afghanistan, and Pakistan can cherish the fruits of serenity right across its western frontiers.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2021.
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