Pakistan's Role in Afghanistan
YaleGlobal, 23 August 2012
ISLAMABAD: Contrary to the general perception, Pakistan is not pushing for the return of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Instead, the prospect of the Taliban taking over the war-torn country after the pullout of foreign forces is the biggest nightmare for the Pakistani security establishment.
A major worry is that Taliban control next door would give a huge impetus to Pakistan’s own militants seeking to establish retrogressive rule in the northwestern border regions. This would also make fighting local Taliban more difficult for the Pakistani Army.
Thousands of Pakistani troops are battling the militants for control of lawless border regions in northwestern Pakistan. Despite some successes, government forces have yet to establish their writ over the territory that also provides sanctuaries to Afghan insurgents. “If they [NATO forces] are leaving and giving a notion of success to the Taliban of Afghanistan, this notion of success may have a snowballing effect on the threat matrix of Afghanistan,” General Khalid Rabbani, Pakistani commander of frontline cops fighting the militants, told Reuters in a recent interview.
The concern stems from the fact that it’s ethnic Pashtuns on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border who have taken the lead in the insurgency – around 27 million Pashtuns live in Pakistan and 14 million in Afghanistan. A distinctive Taliban movement known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, has evolved into a formidable insurgent force, presenting a serious threat to Pakistan’s own national security.
Prospects for Indian-Pakistan cooperation in Afghanistan -
By Sadika Hameed, CSIS