Afghan Taliban flags

Published August 22, 2021

AS the Afghan Taliban solidify their grip on power, valid questions have emerged about how the movement’s taking of Kabul will impact associated groups in Pakistan. After all, the Taliban have a number of ideological fellow travellers in this country, including jihadi and sectarian outfits, who are overjoyed by the Afghan group’s victory.

One recent incident in the federal capital illustrates that this nexus must be closely watched by the security apparatus to prevent Talibanisation in Pakistan. According to reports, the Afghan Taliban’s white flags were raised from Jamia Hafsa recently — a seminary associated with Islamabad’s infamous Lal Masjid and its militant clerics. The madressah’s administration claims “some students” were behind the stunt; the banners were taken down the same day.

While the Islamabad incident might be small when compared to the greater geopolitical game being played in Afghanistan, for Pakistan’s own security the state cannot let its guard down. After all, many pro-Afghan Taliban elements in this country may seek to import the form of governance taking shape in Pakistan’s western neighbour by attempting to create ‘emirates’ within the state. The Lal Masjid episode — as well as the rise of the TTP in the erstwhile tribal areas — proves that hard-line elements here have the intention to replace the constitutional order with an obscurantist dispensation, and the Taliban victory has only put the wind back in their sails.

For their part, the Afghan Taliban must stick to their promise that their country will not be used to host malign actors targeting other states, as was the case during their earlier rule. In this regard, the government’s call that the new administration in Kabul take action against the TTP must be heeded positively. While the Afghan ‘jihad’ played a major role in radicalising Pakistani society, and extremist groups found a safe haven during the Taliban’s earlier stint in power, new efforts to recreate the Taliban model locally must be resisted. Pakistan has suffered greatly due to religiously inspired militancy and cannot afford a new wave of terrorism.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s firm stance
Updated 05 Feb, 2023

IMF’s firm stance

Pakistan needs to complete the review to stave off a default as well as to unlock inflows from other multilateral and bilateral lenders.
Grotesque bigotry
05 Feb, 2023

Grotesque bigotry

FREEDOM to profess one’s faith is guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. However, for the country’s Ahmadi...
Kashmir reflections
05 Feb, 2023

Kashmir reflections

ASIDE from Kashmir Day, which the nation is observing today as an official holiday, there are a number of other days...
Crisis conference
Updated 04 Feb, 2023

Crisis conference

PTI's refusal to engage with the govt in such testing times will only be seen as sign of ideological bankruptcy.
Revenge politics
04 Feb, 2023

Revenge politics

A SENSE of déjà-vu prevails as cases pile up against PTI politicians, many of whom, along with their allies and...
Inappropriate remarks
04 Feb, 2023

Inappropriate remarks

OFFICIALS of the state, especially when representing the country at international forums, need to choose their words...