Why Pakistan Is Divided Over Taliban Ruling Afghanistan

Some are calling the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan a victory for Pakistan. While Pakistan has always maintained that it had “no favorites” in Afghanistan, it has found itself difficult to hide its glee at the return of the Taliban. The fact that the Pakistani establishment is happy with the Taliban victory was reflected when its prime minister Imran Khan congratulated the ’Afghans’ for “breaking the shackles of slavery.” [/news/ ]

But the Taliban coming to power has also divided Pakistani society. While there have been victory marches and celebrations, even by former Pakistani army generals in the television studios and on social media, others are cautioning about the spillover of its effects into Pakistan.

Pakistan has often been accused of supporting the Taliban while calling itself an “ally” of the US. Many Taliban leaders have been staying in Pakistan for almost two decades.

The religious right in Pakistan is also in favour of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. “The Taliban is acting like a protective barrier for Pakistan [in Afghanistan],” thundered a lawmaker, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, a leader of the Jamiat Ulam-e Islam (JUI) political party last month. [/a/pakistan-support-taliban-afghanistan/ .html]

A secular government in Afghanistan is seen in Pakistan as being more friendly towards India and hence anti-Pakistan.

But some opposition leaders have been more open in criticizing the Pakistan security establishment. Last month, Pakistan parliamentarian Mohsin Dawar of the Pashtun Tahafuz (Protection) Movement, told the lawmakers, “It is wrong to claim we don’t have any favorites in Afghanistan. Our only favorite in Afghanistan is the Taliban.” [/opinions/2020/6/12/pashtuns-struggle-for-rights-cannot-be-silenced-through-violence]

Pakistani analysts are already predicting the influence of Afghan Taliban on politics in Pakistan. “The Taliban takeover will empower all extremist-religious elements in Pakistan” said Ayesha Siddiqa, an author and political analyst in an interview to The Guardian. “The next few months will probably be peaceful in comparison to what lies ahead in Afghanistan, but then extremism will start. If the Taliban succeed in any form, it will give militants reason to argue for an Islamic system to govern Pakistan.” [/world/2021/aug/17/pakistan-divided-over-success-of-taliban-in-afghanistan]

Read more:

Taliban and Pakistan:

‘Pakistan’s Pyrrhic Victory in Afghanistan’:
/articles/afghanistan/ /pakistans-pyrrhic-victory-afghanistan

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