ABDUL YUSUFZAI / MILITARY ANALYST
After the new Taliban interim government was announced, there are palpable signs of uneasiness how to govern Afghanistan and rescue its shattered economy in which its social mosaic can be restored by making the present government an inclusive one. But the Taliban 2.0 is a cinematic show of Pakistan which orchestrated the farce along with its iron fist brother - China. The Chinese were financing the Taliban’s forceful come back to power which aptly suited Pakistan’s own deep desire of a strategic depth goal. Now both of them are achieved without a strong fight and much bloodshed. But both the actors need to rescue Afghanistan’s perilous economy which is pushing millions into hunger and joblessness.
The fast changing situation in Afghanistan needs urgent attention by the global community or it will soon drift into chaos similar to that of Syria, Yemen and Iraq as no community trusts the another one.
Now, China and Pakistan are unwilling to allow any kind of United Nations role in Afghanistan. It is unfortunate that both are demanding international community’s financial aid and substantial assistance for reconstruction of Afghanistan along with recognition for the legitimacy of Taliban government, which is neither elected nor has broad based acceptance.
Like in a crime scene the police always looks for the beneficiary, in case of Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan by way of military means signals that the Chinese are going to benefit the most along with Pakistan. Since the Chinese are focusing on geo-economic part of the project, Pakistan is looking for geo-strategic aspect of the joint venture.
By now, it is ample clear who is going to benefit from Taliban in power in Afghanistan and they should shoulder the burden not the international community. The age old slogan of global response is just a façade created by Pakistan which is hell bent to infuse its own currency into Afghanistan. Earlier, Pakistan was openly printing Afghan currency now with the help of Taliban it wants to circulate directly its own currency to control Afghan economy.
Thus, Pakistan alone should be held responsible to rehabilitate and disarm the 75,000 odd jihadis who were nurtured inside Pakistani territory for years and are meeting the goal of strategic depth. However, international community should demand that if the UN is allowed into Afghanistan then only there will be global help or else Pakistan alone should do the remaining jobs.
Since Pakistan has nurtured Taliban cadres for decades inside its territory and had created Quetta Shura which fostered Afghan Taliban in front of the international community, it needs to be held in account about disarming these cadres.
Now after the military victory is achieved and an interim government has been placed, Pakistan should lay out its plan before global community that how it plans to disarm these Taliban cadres and deal with Taliban for a stable Afghanistan.
Pakistan must be held accountable for this Taliban project in Afghanistan which has been financed by China. The international community should demand greater accountability from Pakistan that from where Taliban was hiding or located and from where it launched its summer military offensive against elected Afghan Government, also Taliban’s supply lines and other support networks.
If the Taliban was truly independent and free to decide its own course of action in Afghanistan, then prior to the government formation in Afghanistan what ISIS Chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was doing in Kabul.
When there was no government in Afghanistan, what was the necessity of such a high profile visit by ISI chief and its purposes? There is no point in asking the questions to learn the answers from the GHQ any more in the age of digital space.
But Pakistan alone must rehabilitate these armed cadres who pose a substantial threat to a diverse Afghan society which is often known for its internecine feuds and tribal grudges running for centuries.
If the cadres are not disarmed and rehabilitated by their masters then they will bring back the memory of Yemen, Syria and Iraq very soon into this part of the region. But Pakistan is demanding for its share of glory for bringing peace into Afghanistan.
The Taliban 2.0 was actually financed by China whereas another country had secretly offered arms and ammunition but the project in-charge was Pakistan which played one set of open game with US and the West at the same time it played a discreet game involving other two ‘unknown’ powers to realize its own dream.
Since the US and West first propped up Pakistan with the now discredited special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the other two unknown powers had already made inroads into bribing of Afghan factions opposing Ashraf Ghani.
In the past, almost three times Pakistan’s attempt to make Afghanistan as part of its fifth province has failed. Let us see this time what happens.
Yet, Pakistan’s demand for international help is a façade which it wants to use in the name of Afghanistan humanitarian supplies as it earlier did with NATO supplies when the empty or stolen containers were reaching Kabul with proper seal in place.
So the return of Taliban could be yet again a profitable business for Pakistan as it will regain the status of a frontline state and saviour of Afghanistan which will provide Islamabad a strategic depth against India.
In the age of penetrating technology, satellites and cyber space no such depth can be hidden but one can choose to live in a dreamland of its own choice.
Now, it is time for Pakistan to advocate a truly representative government in Kabul which must include all stakeholders for lasting peace in Afghanistan and in the region.
But Pakistan must impress Taliban to do more and prove all the commitments it has made in public should be upheld. Till then Pakistan must be held accountable for all the unfolding events in Afghanistan, not much the Taliban because Pakistan was the handler of all these factions.
By mere saying Taliban are Afghan citizens and they have nothing to do with Pakistan could prove to be another lie pretty similar to public lecturing that Osama Bin Laden is not in Pakistan prior to May 2011.
The US and West must come forward and demand for a United Nations monitored elections in future which should be held free and fair. This should be performed by the UN Peace Keeping forces to give confidence to Afghan people who have long suffered.