Afghanistan would never be in 'dire situation' if Pakistan has
Afghanistan would never be in 'dire situation' if Pakistan has not supported Taliban: US Scholar
| 18 Aug 2021, 19:49
Afghanistan would never be in such a "dire situation" if Pakistan had not taken the decision to support, co-opt and control the Taliban, said a US-based scholar Michael Rubin, as the Taliban races to take control of entire Afghanistan by force.
Calling for sanctions on Pakistan for supporting Talibans, Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), reminded that Islamabad remains jihad central, which has sustained the Taliban and sheltered Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, a town that is Pakistan's equivalent of West Point.
As the security situation in Afghanistan deteriorates after the withdrawal of the foreign troops, the Taliban has conquered city after city with impunity.
In recent weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed heavy clashes and fights between Taliban and US-backed Afghan forces.
"The real problem, however, is not Afghanistan but rather it's neighbour Pakistan. Simply put, if Pakistan had not taken the decision to support, co-opt, and control the Taliban, Afghanistan would never be in such a dire situation," Rubin wrote in National Interest.
The scholar said that he interviewed a number of Pakistani officials about the Taliban.
"One former head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency acknowledged to me over tea in the Islamabad Club that Pakistan was playing both sides of the issue supporting the Taliban insurgency while then charging the United States extortionate fees so that the Pentagon could resupply its forces. From the ISI's standpoint, it was like hitting the jackpot. Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has given Pakistan almost $23 billion in security assistance and Coalition Support Funds," he writes.
Afghan officials accused Pakistan of providing air support to the Taliban.
Last month, the Afghan Foreign Ministry accused Pakistani notorious spy agency -- ISI of abetting Taliban and training terrorists.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani too lambasted Pakistan for not severing its ties with terrorist organisations groups and said that according to intelligence reports over 10,000 Taliban fighters had entered Afghanistan in the last month.
He added that the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government had failed to convince the Taliban to "negotiate seriously" in the ongoing peace talks.
A UN report said that terrorists from a variety of countries including Pakistan continue to operate in Afghanistan.
The 28th report of the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team said that Pakistan-based terror group TTP has maintained ties with the Taliban as about 6,000 of its fighters are on the Afghan side of the border.
Despite ample evidence that suggests the contrary, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his country was neither "responsible" for the actions of the Taliban. "What the Taliban are doing or are not doing has nothing to do with us. We are neither responsible nor the spokesperson for the Taliban."