Kabul/Islamabad: Claims are being consistently made that the Taliban will take over Afghanistan after the US military withdrawal. It is also believed that the reins will be in Pakistan’s hands once the Taliban acquires power in Afghanistan. But as per analysts and media, in reality, a monopoly Taliban rule could be warning bells for Pakistan. Although Pakistan has taken the initiative to build the Taliban, there is not too much camaraderie between them.
Former US President Donald Trump took the initiative and made moves for US military withdrawal from Afghanistan. As per the agreement signed last year between the United States and the Taliban, the United States will be withdrawing its military by May this year. Simultaneously, it was also decided that the Taliban will start a dialogue with the Afghan government and stop terror attacks and violence. After the change of guard in the United States, new President Joe Biden has indicated reviewing military withdrawal. Therefore, the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan seems to be hanging in the balance.
Despite this, the possible Taliban control of Afghanistan has become a topic of discussion. Former senior US military official Tricia Bacon pointed out that the relations between the Taliban and Pakistan are not their best. Bacon reminded that although Pakistan and the Taliban have certain common interests, they are not on friendly terms. She also claimed that the Pakistan security agencies view the Afghan Taliban with hatred, and even the Taliban disapproves of continuous Pakistani interference. Turkey-based western analyst Rupert Stone also has warned that the Taliban rule in Afghanistan will not be beneficial to Pakistan. The Afghan population looks at Pakistan with suspicion, and to gain the Afghan population’s support, the Taliban can discard Pakistani domination. The Turkey-based analyst also said that if the Taliban comes to power in Afghanistan, they will harbour terrorist groups, and these groups will spell trouble for Pakistan.
In the past, after acquiring Afghanistan, Pakistan was the only support for the Taliban. But over the last decade, the Taliban have established relations with Qatar, Russia, Iran and some other countries on the diplomatic level. Therefore, the Pakistani influence on the Taliban is seen to be reducing. Stone claimed that the acquisition of power by the Taliban in Afghanistan could be troublesome for Pakistan, even on the economic level.
The Duran Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Pashtun dominated areas could become the points of contention. For the last few days, the Pashtun people are demanding a ‘Greater Afghanistan’, which could lead to Pakistan’s disintegration. Pashtun Tahafuz Movement has brought Pashtun and Balochis together and has forwarded the demand for a separate ‘Greater Afghanistan’. Taliban has claimed that the Pashtun dominated areas are a part of Afghanistan. Therefore, this is an issue that is driving Pakistan and the Taliban further away.