Pakistan Backs Taliban; Counters India's Support For Democratic Afghan

Pakistan News

New Delhi has never considered the Taliban as a legitimate political actor in the region, unlike Pakistan, who backed the militant group over the Afghan govt.

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:

New Delhi has never considered the militant group Taliban as a legitimate political actor in the region, unlike Pakistan. Ever since the inception of the Taliban in the 1990s, Pakistan's Foreign Policy in Afghanistan has been in favour of the Taliban, who also considers the militant group as the true Afghan representative, instead of the democratic government. 

Islamabad's Afghan policy has been motivated to counter New Delhi's influence in Afghanistan, considering India's backing for the government of the country, which has brought some democratic normalcy in the war-torn country. Islamabad, by backing the armed group has contradicted New Delhi in Afghanistan, who has significantly contributed economically, culturally to the neighbour, and been the largest regional contributor to the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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According to documents released by Julian Assange's WikiLeaks from the hacked personal email account of former CIA director John Brennan, it was confirmed that Pakistan uses terrorists as proxies to counter India's growing influence in Kabul. 

"Pakistan's desire to counter India's growing influence in Afghanistan and concerns about US long-term commitments to Afghanistan increase Pakistan's interest in hedging its bets by ensuring that it will be able to have a working relationship with the Taliban to balance Indian and Iranian interests if the US withdraws," Brennan wrote on November 7 in 2008.

India backs Afghan govt

India has backed for an "inclusive peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, leading to a lasting political solution based on the preservation of the gains" made since US' invasion back in 2001. 

Pakistan's proximity to the Taliban comes despite the armed group's reluctance towards a democratic process and immense oppression of women. While Islamabad has been keen to play an influential role in the US-Taliban peace negotiation, which was abruptly called off by US President Donald Trump, it has never asked the militant group to give up violence and initiate dialogue with the Afghan government. Taliban unleashed violence in Afghanistan, that went to polls last week, amid stalled peace talks. 

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India's concern with the US-Taliban peace negotiation also involves that it "should not lead to any ungoverned spaces where terrorists and their proxies can relocate," thus making Afghanistan a hotbed for terrorism with the bonhomie between the Pakistan government and the Taliban, inducing a direct threat in Kashmir. Even US President Trump has accused Pakistan of “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting.”

Taliban prominence

The armed group came into existence in 1994 with the support of Pakistan, by leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. Omar's bonhomie with Osama bin Laden, allowed him to move Al Qaeda's base of operations in Afghanistan's Kandahar. Pakistan's hypocritical stand in favour of the Taliban unmasks its endeavors to curb terrorism brimming on their soil. 

On September 3, Taliban representatives met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and chief of Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency (ISI) Lt Gen. Faiz Hameed to revive the peace talks with US.

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