Pakistan has begun to reach out diplomatically to some of its traditional enemies in Afghanistan, a policy shift that could have a crucial impact on post-2014 Afghan government and stability.
Islamabad has always supported the Afghan Taliban, a Pashtun movement, especially as a hedge against foreign influence and to counter the sway of its arch nemesis India.
But Pakistan is reportedly making overtures to non-Pashtun Afghan groups, many of whom are enemies of the Taliban, with the aim of some sort of inclusive political settlement.
Pakistan still does see the Taliban as a worthwhile proxy, but not an entirely reliable one. One quirk of this strategic relationship is that Taliban-allied groups inside Pakistan view Islamabad as their enemy.
“A Taliban victory on the other side of the border would give a huge boost to domestic militants fighting the Pakistani state,” journalist Zahid Hussain tells The Associated Press.
“These concerns have led Pakistan to the conclusion that a peace agreement that includes all Afghan groups is in its best interests,” AP reports experts as saying, “and contact with its traditional foes among the non-Pashtuns is necessary to achieve that goal.”
“I think the fundamental point here is that there is a serious realization among some people who matter in Pakistan that they can’t continue to put all their eggs in the Taliban basket because it is too shaky,” said Yusuf. “This is a major shift, and a shift that I think everybody should welcome.
It is possible that recent improvements, from historic lows last year, in the US-Pakistan relationship are influencing Islamabad towards this policy shift. But these moves are only preliminary, and many experts continue to warn the US-baked Kabul government is too weak, and the country primed for civil war, once the Americans draw down forces in 2014.
5 thoughts on “Pakistan Reaches Out to Old Afghan Enemies”
I can only hope that Islamabad's proxy-shift does not incororate elements of the Northern Alliance, a group that collaborated with the Soviets and now the Americans, and are, following the elimination and ban on opium by the Taliban, the major opium producers (97% in 2001) and traffickers in the country.
Were this to be Islamabad's selection…there will not be peace. The Northern Alliance are loathed by a majority of Afghans in country and around the world are are responsible for numerous instances of particapating in the commission of war crimes.
At add, according to the UN, In July 2000 the Taliban set out to ban opium production. They reduced cultivation by 91% from the previous year. Bush paid them a $43mil 'eradication' reward in 2001.
The Taliban's basket isn't shaky enough.
According to the article an Taliban victory viz an ISAF withdrawal could cause real problems in Pakistan. Those problems are still going to occur because the Paks, at the behest of their US 'welfare donors', have aggrevated a long running-sore in their tribal areas and they can't negotiate domestic peace without being accused, again, of not doing ehough to 'fight terror'.
The bull is on the fence, again.
He he he…
This seems like move to appease us interests. Once us leaves the Who else can hold off north. Taliban will need Pakistan assistance to do so. This aid will draw Taliban away from conflict with central government and permanent conflict or uneasy truce with north. It is hard to believe that Pakistan would reach out to Iran uzbeck or Indian backed militias and destroy their own buffer zone unless they can come up with a better formula for stability.
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