Pakistanis happy on Taliban takeover while govt remains cautious

By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, Sep 6 (IANS)
The fall of Kabul after the withdrawal of the US-backed NATO forces to the hands of the Afghan Taliban has seen different responses from various global powers and players, as they move towards recognition of the Taliban led government setup in what seems to be the only way forward with limited or no other options.
The fall of Kabul and takeover by the Afghan Taliban has on one side seen disquiet response from other countries, who are still trying to understand the shocking topple of the Ashraf Ghani government and the Afghan forces, who literally surrendered to the Taliban, handing them over the control of the country after the withdrawal of the US and NATO forces.
While the confused and uncertain contemplation continues elsewhere; in Pakistan, it seems that the development in Afghanistan has come as a welcome news.
Many Pakistanis are celebrating the fall of Kabul and relating it with what they call, the defeat of the Indian efforts to engage elements and use them to destabilize Pakistan.
The same narrative seems to be shared and echoed by many ministers in the government of Imran Khan in Pakistan, who relate the fall of Kabul with the defeat of Indian influence and its intelligence level investments.
While the celebrations and jubilations seem emotionally driven; the Pakistan government is being cautious in responding and approaching the developing and changing situation in Afghanistan, maintaining that Islamabad will work with any government in Afghanistan, formed as per the will of its people.
Pakistan does understand this very clearly that its alignment with the Taliban is not as strong as it used to be in the past, which is the prime reason why no other country is as concerned with Afghanistan’s future with Pakistan.
Pakistan shares ideological, geographical and ethnic propinquity with Afghanistan and is directly in the line of gains and losses that may outpour from Afghanistan.
The biggest gain for Pakistan with the Taliban takeover will be surrounded in hopes that the Taliban will not align with India and support them to use their soil to instigate violence in Pakistan, the claim Islamabad has been making for some time. Another gain would be a stoppage of cross accusations of governments on infiltration of terrorist groups into each other’s country through the borders, another argument that was consistently in practice between Islamabad and the previous Kabul administration.
Another important and by far the most pivotal of all is the new alliance of China, Pakistan, Russia, Iran and Turkey that is converging its interests into Afghanistan after the US withdrawal.
Pakistan is eyeing at this opportunity and wants to see a more inclusive government setup in Afghanistan, which should get recognition and global legitimacy in order to pave the way for global investments and economic trade to increase through Pakistan land routes.
While Pakistanis may be celebrating the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan; the Pakistan government is taking small cautious steps with a stronger eye on strategic role in the future of Afghanistan.

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