There are visible tensions amid the power corridors in Islamabad in relation to how to deal with the delicate situation in Afghanistan. The bravado of ‘Pakistan had already warned the international community that there can be no military situation in the war-torn country’ has died down. ‘Friends’ in Kabul are not coming through to the pledges they had made following the Kabul takeover, which included ensuring that the Afghan soil is not used as a launching pad by terrorists to attack other countries. Amid the fear of looming crisis, a reminder had to be sent, which led to the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi visiting Kabul for a one-day trip. This was the first official visit by the government after the Taliban returned to power in mid-August.
Upon his return, Qureshi reiterated Taliban’s promise of not allowing Afghanistan to be used by outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) against Pakistan. While this promise had been made before by the Taliban with little motion in action, this time it was the interim Afghan Prime Minister Mullah Hasan Akhund who had vowed to keep the terrorist outfits in check. One of which is the same militant organisaiton that the Taliban regime had asked Islamabad to negotiate with. Prime Minister Imran Khan and his ministers last month informed that the government was in talks with the TTP to provide amnesty to those ‘willing to give up arms’ at the behest of the Taliban.
Whether the amnesty should be provided to those who have done nothing but shed blood of Pakistani people is debatable, but there is a sense of déjà-vu with how things are panning out. The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban ideology had cost us in the past, and after years of successful military operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, there are fears that it might just come full circle. The fact of the matter is that there has been an uptick in terror attacks in North-West region of the country since the Taliban came back to power. Perhaps the minister and his delegation would have done better had they asked the Taliban why the banned outfit had not kept up with its three-weeks ceasefire that was to last till Oct 21. Just on Wednesday, five security personnel were martyred in two incidents in the province. While no organisation has taken responsibility until the time of writing, the TTP cannot be ruled out. The time for mere words has passed, costing us one life after another. Islamabad should demand for actions.