Pakistan experts condemn Imran Khan’s govt for talking with banned organisation, supporting Taliban

Pakistan expert panel in a seminar held at the Asma Jahangir Conference on Saturday condemned Imran Khan government for bowing down to organizations like Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The more Pakistan favours the Afghan Taliban, the more strengthened the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other such groups become. And Pakistan’s support to the Kabul regime does not help the Afghan people in any way, said the experts at a session titled “Chaos in Afghanistan and Talking to Banned Organisations”, reported Dawn.

The panel included Nader Nadery (member of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s peace negotiation team); Abdullah Khenjani, Afghanistan’s former deputy minister; and Lotfullah Najafizada (Director of Afghanistan’s Tolo News) and was moderated by Ahmed Rashid.

Speakers without mincing words at the session stated that supporting Taliban and organizations like TTP and TLP will be counterproductive, reported Dawn.

The context of the ongoing talks between Islamabad and the TTP and a deal recently reached with the TLP attracted an enthusiastic crowd to the session.

Former senator Afrasiab Khattak, MNA Mohsin Dawar and Samina Ahmed (project director for South Asia and senior Asia adviser at the International Crisis Group) were also on the panel.

Najafizada blamed a “collective failure” for what happened recently in Afghanistan. In a very calculated tone, he said the Taliban and the world needed to talk about the future, instead of the failure of previous governments.

He said the Taliban needed to understand that they were ruling an Afghanistan that’s different from that of 2001. As Afghans are now more connected, the Taliban should show maturity and learn to agree to disagree and that hatred for the US could not put food on the table, reported Dawn.

While Nadery recalled flaws in the Doha peace talks and came up with four factors for the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan – the US policy to get out of the country was flawed; talks were simply a PR exercise where the Taliban had no intention of reaching any settlement; the Ghani government’s failure to build institutions; and Pakistan’s emphasis on defeating Indian policies in the neighbouring country rather than in serving the interests of Afghans, reported Dawn.

Khenjani said that the Taliban were trying to hold the Afghans hostage in order to pressure the world to grant them acceptance.

Khattak said the Taliban knew how to reward their commanders but not how to work for the people. He said that issues in Afghan policy were being decided by someone other than the prime minister. Pakistan needed to stop supporting the Afghan Taliban if it wanted to defeat the TTP, reported Dawn.

He was of the opinion that the Afghan Taliban and the TTP were two sides of the same coin.

Similarly, the TLP and TTP had the common agenda of “political Islam”, which made them allies.


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