The withdrawal of US and allied forces from Afghanistan is proceeding faster than scheduled. At the same time, terrorist activities in Afghanistan have intensified although the Taliban are refusing to take the responsibility for the latest militia operations. The Kabul administration still controls Afghan cities and towns, while the Taliban’s grip on rural areas remains strong.
During a press briefing in Washington, John Kirby, United States Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs said that there was a safe withdrawal from Afghanistan under President Biden’s instructions and that the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would be completed by the end of August. The spokesman said the change in US leadership in Afghanistan, the return of control of Bagram Airbase is an important milestone in the evacuation; the US military in Afghanistan will focus on the security of diplomatic staff and security at Kabul airport, in addition to the US military support to Afghan forces.
Afghanistan is once again in the throes of civil war, fears of a new flood of refugees in neighboring countries are rising. Instead of ongoing negotiations between the Kabul administration and the Taliban, new tensions have arisen between Islamabad and Kabul, and the Taliban are issuing threatening statements without naming any country over the possibility of new US military bases in the region. This is a scenario that could deepen the instability and affect the entire region.
The US wants to “stay in the game” of Afghanistan and see an important role for Pakistan in this game, but it wants to convince Islamabad that it is in its own interest to do so.
On the other hand Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his speech in the National Assembly said “it is out of question that Pakistan will allow America to use Pakistani soil or airspace against any country including Afghanistan. Pakistan will no longer be a partner of the United States in any conflict.” He said that despite Pakistan’s sacrifices, the United States had dropped the rubble of failure in Afghanistan on Pakistan. Imran Khan said that Pakistan no longer wants any ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan. Pakistan has repeatedly made it clear to the world that it wants peace in Afghanistan.
Addressing the National Assembly, PM Imran Khan said “in the past Pakistan had decided to become a frontline state in the US war on terror. As a Pakistani, this was the time when I felt most humiliated.” Referring to the operations across the country, he added that Pakistan had taken part in someone else’s war and sacrificed 70,000 lives. Pakistan’s economy lost more than $ 150 billion. At that time no cricket team came to Pakistan, so how could any investor come. Pakistan was considered the most dangerous region in the world. Pakistan captured its peoples and handed them over to the United States, who were taken to Guantanamo Bay. General Pervez Musharraf has also acknowledged this in his book. There is no country in the world that has made so many sacrifices for another country. On the contrary, the USA accused Pakistan of playing a double game in Afghanistan.”
While speaking to Eat News former Interior Minister Rehman Malik said, “Taliban has captured the 70-75 per cent territory of Afghanistan. They are conquering the Afghan soil promptly. Taliban are a gigantic threat to regional peace”. Mr. Malik was very much convinced that America should establish an interim government before leaving Afghanistan otherwise there will be bloodshed of innocent people. “Taliban are no more with Pakistan, I want to communicate that our act of kindness with Taliban and USA must be remembered. India is mounting its influence in Afghanistan. Indian Minister for External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met the Taliban delegation in Doha. It means India is considering itself a stakeholder in the current situation. I am not threatening anyone but I am warning everyone that if the situation won’t be tackled politically and properly, it will create danger and threats not only for Pakistan but also for Iran and China. I am afraid the emerging power of Taliban and Daish (ISIS) could be used against China” said Mr. Malik. Former Interior Minister believes that Taliban remained the blue eyed of USA. “I can forecast that within six months Talban will be holding the Kabul, withdrawal of allied troops without any proper strategy is historical mistake done by USA. Even this mistake will be remembered in the history” he said.
Anila Ali, a Pakistani American Muslim and an active member of Democratic Party USA, during telephone interview with Eat News told that USA is interested in flourishing of democracy in Afghanistan. “It is essential that Afghan refugees go back to their hometowns. Regional forces must play their role to strengthen democracy in the country. International Relations are not based on feelings, everyone must consider this fact. The USA fought war on terror for two decades in Afghanistan. It is time to withdraw US troops on a large scale. Afghans have to decide their fate on their own. International community should lend their hand to the poor Afghan economy”, Ms. Ali said. Anila Ali believes that the statement given Pakistani PM might affect the Pakistan-US diplomatic relations in future. International community respects the Pakistani sacrifices made during the war on terror.
Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security Dr. Moeed Yousif during a media briefing said that Afghanistan is boiling point, situations is getting uncertain with passage of time. “We cannot rule out entrance of TTP (Tehreek Taliban Pakistan) terrorist from Afghan soil in to Pakistan under the cover of refugees” he shared.
Shah Mehmood Qurashi the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, while speaking in the senate standing committee on foreign affairs said, “We want a peaceful Afghanistan after withdrawal of allied forces, and there is a great risk of civil war in Afghanistan. Power sharing is the key factor to avoid any conflict and civil war in the country. We warned international community that they have forgotten the Afghan refugees. We wish respectful return of Afghan refugees to their homeland shall be the part of Afghan peace process. We do not want Talbanization of Pakistan. If China takes any initiative to strengthen stability in Afghanistan, indeed it would be a positive move”.
Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan Mansor Ahmad Khan said that Taliban has begun taking control of northern Afghanistan following the withdrawal of NATO and US forces. He feared that a military solution would spiral into a civil war. He said that if the civil war escalated, organizations like Al-Qaeda, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) would have a strong foothold in Afghanistan which are indeed dangerous for Pakistan, China and Uzbekistan.
In the latest statement from Tajikistan it is said that more than 1,000 Afghan government forces personnel had crossed the border into Tajikistan due to attacks and violence by Afghan Taliban on Afghan forces in the border areas.
The escalation of violence by the Afghan Taliban has fueled fears that a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan could worsen the difficulties of Afghan security forces.
Withdrawal of US and Allied troops without any proper plan of action in Afghanistan has created chaos in the region. The border country of Afghanistan has shown great concern over the emergence of Taliban forces in the country.
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