Left Menu
Development News Edition

‘More than peace settlement, Taliban and Pakistan interested in withdrawal of international forces’

Haqqani said that Pakistan has facilitated talks between the US negotiators and the Taliban leaders, saying it did not know anything. It wants the US to withdraw from Afghanistan and would like the Taliban, as Pakistan’s proteges, to have a major share in post-withdrawal government, he asserted.

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 29-09-2020 07:24 IST | Created: 29-09-2020 07:24 IST
‘More than peace settlement, Taliban and Pakistan interested in withdrawal of international forces’

The Taliban and Pakistan are interested in the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan more than a peace settlement, a former Pakistani diplomat has said, warning that the ongoing peace talks in Doha are headed towards failure. “I am not optimistic about the outcome of the talks. The US has made all the major concessions up front. The Taliban know that the US is eager to withdraw from Afghanistan. As they see it, they are just negotiating the withdrawal of foreign forces and the restoration of the status quo ante, when they ruled Afghanistan as its Islamic Emirate,” Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani said on Monday.

That is unacceptable to the rest of the Afghans, said Haqqani in a testifying, virtually, before the British House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee. Drawing parallels between the US negotiating strategy towards the Taliban with the Paris Peace Talks at the end of the war in Vietnam, he said that then Henry Kissinger said he wanted “a decent interval” between the US withdrawal and the collapse of the US-backed government of South Vietnam.

The Afghan government could prove stronger than the US-backed South Vietnam government and might fight on for a pluralist Afghanistan with the support of other countries, including India, he said. The US withdrawal was a function of America’s tendency to lose interest in wars that go on too long, he added.

“President (Donald) Trump wants to withdraw regardless of the consequences. If that happens, a Pakistan-backed Taliban march in Kabul is the most likely outcome. As it is unlikely that the people of Afghanistan will accept the return of the Taliban to power, there could be a civil war again,” Haqqani said. Haqqani said that Pakistan has facilitated talks between the US negotiators and the Taliban leaders, saying it did not know anything.

It wants the US to withdraw from Afghanistan and would like the Taliban, as Pakistan’s proteges, to have a major share in post-withdrawal government, he asserted. “Pakistan ended support to the Taliban government only after it felt the US might threaten it after 9/11. Pakistan’s media is already celebrating the impending Taliban victory,” he said.

China, he said, hopes to emerge as the major power in Afghanistan and Central Asia, especially after Pakistan emerges dominant in Afghanistan. Pakistan is already a key Chinese ally and China would like to expand the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan and beyond. That would ensure that China and Pakistan control the connectivity of Afghanistan and its Central Asian neighbours to the rest of the world, he said.

Noting that Iran, Russia and Pakistan want a US withdrawal, Haqqani said that beyond that they do not have a commitment to peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan would prefer that the Americans and NATO withdraw with an agreement that gives the Taliban an upper hand without Pakistan having to fight to bring the Taliban back to power. Pakistan would also like the US and western governments to commit to giving economic aid to the Taliban-led future Afghan government, he said.

Former US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, and Laurel Miller from the Crisis Group, also expressed pessimism about the future of Afghanistan but insisted that negotiations were the better option for the US policymakers..


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

New farm bills in India: Focusing on farms or farmers?

... ...

Kenya’s COVID-19 response: Chaos amid lack of information

Confusing numbers and scanty information on how effective curfews and lockdowns have been in breaking transmission have amplified coordination and planning challenges in Kenyas response to COVID-19. Without accurate data, it is impossible t...

Farkhad Akhmedov: Calculating the price of impunity from the law

In insistences such as the battle over the Luna, Akhmedov has resorted to extreme legal machinations to subvert the High Courts decision and keep his assets from being seized. ...

Guinea’s elections hearken back to the autocracy and violence of its past

... ...

Videos

Latest News

BTC to be under Assam governor's rule till polls

The Bodoland Territorial Council BTC will continue to function under the governor till the elections are held, the Assam government decided on Thursday. A meeting of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, ap...

Modi, other leaders greet Amit Shah on his 56th birthday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Cabinet colleagues and senior leaders of different parties greeted Home Minister Amit Shah on his 56th birthday on Thursday, with Modi stating that the country is witnessing the dedication and excellence wi...

Santosh Gangwar releases series of Consumer Price Index for Industrial Worker

Minister of State IC for Labour Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, in the presence of Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary LE and Shri DPS Negi, Senior Labour Employment Advisor and Director General, Labour Bureau released the new series of C...

Mexico says reaches deal with U.S. to fulfill water obligations

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday his government had reached an accord with U.S. authorities to fulfill a commitment to supply water to the United States under a 1944 bilateral agreement.Speaking at a regular go...

Give Feedback