After providing fund, training and weapons to notorious jihadist outfit Tehrik-i-Taliban (TIP) for decades, Pakistani President Arif Alvi now sees it as a threat to the country, as being encouraged with recent victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan is looking for similar victory in Pakistan and transform this failed State into a caliphate. It may be mentioned here that the main force behind TIP was Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI). Meanwhile, security analysts in India said, Pakistan may bleed in months to come even as there are suggestions, particularly in the western media, that the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan means Pakistan has perhaps achieved something it has struggled for years.
In my opinion, Indian analysts are totally wrong. We need to remember, with the Taliban, which is the citadel of power in Afghanistan, TIP would be considered as a natural ally of the Afghan jihadists instead of Pakistani authorities and its notorious spy agency. Moreover, for TIP it would be the next mission of spreading Islamist terrorism throughout Pakistan, with the active support from the Afghan Taliban and other jihadist forces such as Al Qaeda. For TIP leadership, establishment of caliphate would be their priority.
It is being presumed that the Afghan Taliban would effortlessly prefer TIP for certain obvious reasons, as both uphold ideological similarities of favoring Islamist conquest and bring “many countries” under caliphate.
Pakistan is now seeing the horror of an Islamist invasion despite the fact that top Pakistani leader, including General Pervez Musharraf had earlier admitted that his country was “always supporting” the Afghan Taliban. He said, “Pakistan not only provided safe havens to Afghan Taliban leaders, but it also ensured the much required ‘medical facilities and healing touch’, including from woman’s support base for the wounded fighters”.
From New Delhi’s perspective, it is well understood that the ISI has ensured that the Haqqani Network, which has a stronger bond with Pakistan, is given importance in the new dispensation in Kabul.
It also goes without stating that Pakistan was one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban government in the 1990s. It was the last to break ties with it after US forces started bombarding Afghanistan and Taliban hideouts and put pressure on Musharraf in 2001.
It is also believed that Pakistan played its double games in getting the Taliban to negotiations with the US government at Doha and assured the Taliban that their sinister and radical Islamic fundamentalism could be pursued.
But the challenges are slowly coming to haunt Pakistani military generals.
Notwithstanding that the ISI chief had landed in Kabul and got himself photographed rejoicing the Afghan Qahwa/tea, it is obvious the Afghan Taliban leaders’ no longer need’ refuge place or any hideout in Pakistan.
The availability of the US military arsenal as the western forces left Afghanistan also made things much easier for the Taliban to maneuver Pakistan. There is no longer any compelling need for Pakistani weaponry either. But for Pakistan, it needs support from the Taliban with the agenda of using Islamist jihadists against India, especially in its Kashmir agenda.
For Pakistan, possibly it is too late to contain TIP or succeed in letting the Taliban, Haqqani Network and TIP in finally further deepening their bondage and emerge as the biggest threat. As it is said, harboring radical Islam and jihadism brings serious consequence to the sponsors, this is going to be proved in Pakistan’s case pretty soon. For the Taliban and its jihadist partners, earlier the easiest targets were American and NATO forces and their Afghan allies. Now the new target will be Pakistan and its military establishment. In one end, Taliban jihadists will push forward caliphate madness in Pakistan and on the other end, similar notoriety will spread within the Middle Eastern nations, particularly Saudi Arabia.
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