Are Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban drifting aside?


In late September, just a little over a month after taking management of the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban fighters stopped a Pakistani truck on the Torkham border crossing and eliminated the nation’s flag from it.

The incident angered Pakistan, however Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid swiftly denied studies of emerging rifts between Afghanistan’s new rulers and Islamabad.

However there are another sore spots between the Taliban and Pakistan.

The Taliban’s refusal to recognise the Durand Line as a everlasting border separating the Pashtun-majority areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan additionally raised eyebrows in Islamabad.

A majority of Pashtuns — most Taliban leaders and fighters belong to the ethnic group — don’t settle for the two,670-kilometre-long Durand Line because the worldwide land border between the 2 nations.

The Durand Line was established by the British in 1893, and has remained a bone of rivalry between Afghanistan and Pakistan for the reason that latter gained independence from British rule in 1947.

Taliban seeks legitimacy

Pakistan performed an essential function in facilitating the 2020 US-Taliban deal. It has additionally backed the Taliban regime because it regained energy in Afghanistan on August 15.

However Pakistan has not but recognised the Taliban as Afghanistan’s reputable rulers, presumably due to stress from the US.

Specialists say that this may be the explanation behind rising friction between Islamabad and the Taliban.

On Wednesday, the Taliban urged the worldwide neighborhood to recognise its authorities in Afghanistan at a summit in Moscow. However there may be nonetheless no assure that regional and worldwide gamers pays heed to the request.

Islamabad has urged international leaders to recognise the Taliban regime, however these efforts suffered a serious blow when the Taliban didn’t announce an inclusive interim authorities involving totally different stakeholders and ethnicities.

The group’s crackdown on protesters and curbs on human rights have additionally put Pakistani authorities in a decent spot when pleading Taliban’s case to the worldwide neighborhood.

In flip, the Taliban really feel that Pakistan can do extra to persuade the world to just accept their rule.

Pakistan ‘supporting the Haqqanis’

Aside from these worldwide affairs, there are some urgent home points which are souring the ties between the Taliban and Pakistan.

Analysts say that some veteran Taliban commanders are miffed that Islamabad is making an attempt to maintain the brand new Afghan regime underneath management by way of its backing of the Haqqani Community, which is a part of the transitional authorities.

“Within the Nineties [after the Soviet forces left Afghanistan], Pakistan backed Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a warlord, to manage Afghanistan. Now, Islamabad is supporting the Haqqanis, who’ve been given key ministries within the interim authorities,” Mentioned Alam Mehsud, a Peshawar-based knowledgeable on Afghan and Pashtun affairs, informed DW.

“This assist, nonetheless, has angered some Taliban factions,” he mentioned.

A former Afghan official informed DW on situation of anonymity that senior Taliban commander Mullah Abdul Salem Zaeef, appearing Afghan Protection Minister Mullah Yaqoob and plenty of different Taliban leaders should not happy with Pakistan’s backing of members of the the Haqqani Community.

Experiences a few tug-of-war amongst Taliban factions first appeared throughout the institution of a caretaker setup in Afghanistan.

The transitional setup steered that Afghanistan’s new rulers had been unable to unify their ranks.

Mullah Hasan Akhund was finally nominated as appearing prime minister, and Sirajuddin Haqqani as acting interior minister.

Specialists say the choice to delegate a senior place to Haqqani is proof that the Taliban didn’t wish to irk the highly effective Haqqani Community, which is believed to have change into a suborganisation of the Taliban in its personal proper.

“The Haqqanis have sacrificed so much throughout the warfare towards the US. They’ve additionally been near Pakistan for the reason that [1980s] Afghan jihad,” Amjad Shoaib, a Pakistani protection analyst, informed DW.

However Shoaib, who retired as a common within the Pakistani military, insisted that Islamabad additionally has good relations with different Taliban factions.

Afghan public stress

Regardless of Islamabad’s historic good ties with the Taliban, many Afghans see Pakistan as a rustic that interferes of their home affairs.

Islamabad has been making an attempt to vary this notion by offering essential support to Afghans, however a few of current steps have irked the Afghan inhabitants.

Latif Afridi, a Peshawar-based safety analyst, informed DW that the frequent closure of commerce routes alongside the Afghan-Pakistan border is inflicting issues for a lot of Afghans.

“Pakistan is the largest marketplace for Afghanistan’s agriculture objects. The border closures have rendered Afghans’ greens and fruits rotten and unusable,” Afridi mentioned.

“These unilateral measures have dealt a blow to an already-faltering Afghan economic system and has angered even these Afghan officers who’ve traditionally been pro-Pakistan,” Afridi added.

The knowledgeable additionally mentioned the Pakistan Worldwide Airways (PIA) took benefit of the disaster in Afghanistan and bought costly tickets to Afghan passengers within the aftermath of the autumn of Ashraf Ghani’s authorities.

The PIA lately suspended its flights from Kabul, citing problematic habits of the Taliban officers.

Analysts say that the Taliban additionally realise that many Afghans are sad with Pakistan, therefore they’ve additionally criticised a few of these measures.

The alliance will final

Talat Ayesha Wizarat, a Karachi-based worldwide relations knowledgeable, believes that some members of the previous Afghan authorities try to use these rifts between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan, including that Pakistani authorities and the Islamist group want to sit down collectively and kind out these points.

Sanna Ejaz, an knowledgeable on Afghanistan affairs, is of the view that the ties between the Taliban and Pakistan are unlikely to interrupt regardless of these rifts.

“They [the Taliban] gained’t flip towards Islamabad. The are principally Pakistan’s proxies,” she informed DW.

Ejaz admits that some variations exist between Islamabad and the Taliban, however they’re resolvable.



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