Experts ask Pakistan to avoid oversimplifying threat emanating from Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover

Experts cautioned Pakistan to tread carefully in the wake of recent developments in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover and asked Islamabad to avoid oversimplifying the Afghan issue.

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 28 : “There seems no end to “great game” in Afghanistan and Pakistan should be careful and adopt “regional approach” by taking on board regional countries including Russian, China, Iran and even Central Asian states to move forward on the issue of Afghanistan,” these views were expressed by experts at a consultation titled “Supporting the Afghan peace process: Pakistan’s position, interests, and policy options”, organized by Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), reported The Express Tribune. The analysts included sitting and former lawmakers, academicians, ex-ambassadors, former military officers, senior journalists and office bearers of different religious and political parties and others.
Syed Irfan Ashraf, a teacher at the University of Peshawar, said that Pakistan was oversimplifying many things regarding Afghanistan including Afghan history, the identity of Pashtuns and threat that originates from there, reported The Express Tribune.
Professor Zafar Nawaz Jaspal of Quaid-i-Azam University said, “It is illogical if you think that there is no proxy in Afghanistan…war economy is there.”
He reminded that TTP and other terrorist groups were former allies of the Taliban. He said that the best option for Pakistan was to strengthen the security of its borders, reported The Express Tribune.
Former senator Afrasiab Khattak predicted that Afghanistan would face further destabilisation as a new great game has started there.
Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Qibla Ayaz stressed the need for religious and ulema diplomacy to engage the Taliban.
Former senator and PPP leader Farhatullah Babar said that Pakistan should not recognise the Taliban but the people of the neighbouring country should not be left alone, otherwise, there would be a spillover effect on it.
Former foreign secretary Inam-ul-Haq said Pakistan should avoid giving the impression that the “triumph of Taliban was its own victory” as it has few options at this front including dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, reported The Express Tribune.
“Pakistan should tell the world that neither we are interlocutors nor message carriers for Taliban,” said Haq.

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