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Lahore
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
EditorialDialogues with Taliban

Dialogues with Taliban

Pakistan’s idea of achieving strategic depth has once again brought out its support for the Afghan Taliban. When the first Taliban government took over Afghanistan, Pakistan was one of the few countries that recognized the ‘militant’ government and even now the country is very enthusiastic and on the road to recognize the Taliban 2.0 government. However, this time Pakistan will tread the path carefully as it has faced several consequences for being friends with militants. Prime Minister Imran Khan recently stated that Pakistan has started negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban have been advised by the government to form an inclusive government in Kabul so that the rest of the world also accepts their regime. After having met with envoys and ambassadors of neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan had made a set of demands which must be fulfilled by the Taliban. However, if they fail to do so Pakistan must be ready to face backlash from the rest of the world as it has always propagated the idea that Taliban 2.0 are different and they will make an inclusive government and make sure to provide safety and security to women and people of ethnicities other than the Pashtuns.
The interim government that was formed recently is showing a dismal picture. There are no women in it, no one from any other ethnicity is included and there were reports that the ministry for women has been changed to ministry of vice and virtue. So far, it seems that Taliban are not keeping any of the promises they made. If this continues, Pakistan will find itself in hot waters due to its support for the Taliban government. Therefore, it is crucial for Pakistan to put pressure on them so that it is not isolated by the world with only Taliban controlled Afghanistan by its side. Lastly, other than the onslaught from the world, the Taliban regime if left uncontrolled will also result in militant outfits in Pakistan to become stronger and bolder. The negative effects of supporting the Taliban are being seen already with the cricket team of New Zealand refusing to come to Pakistan over security concerns. If Pakistan is not able to make the Taliban accept the world’s demands, it will face a lot of repressions such as a tarnished soft image which it has worked so hard to build.

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