Thursday, April 1, 2010


The arrests of some prominent Taliban figures by the Pakistani government have come under criticism from a former U.N. envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide. He said that the arrests have put a stop to secret U.N. contacts with the insurgency just when the talks were starting to gather momentum. Some days ago, the arrest of Mullah Baradar during Marjah Operation Moshtarak was called a big triumph over the Taliban.

But what unfolded later was not encouraging. Baradar, who once was considered the right hand of Taliban chief Mullah Omar, had a break up with Omar and the subsequent news was that Baradar would be arrested by the Taliban. And it was Baradar whom ISI had arrested. The arrest had even infuriated Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A Karzai adviser has said that Baradar had given the go-ahead for taking part in a peace conference Karzai is hosting next month.

Interestingly the ISI, which executed his arrest revealed it only after a week, some say after assuring that Taliban will change their locations and hence will not receive any harm from this arrest.

The attitude of Pakistan towards combating terrorism either on its soil or in the neighbouring Afghanistan has always been questioned. Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI has been alleged to support Taliban and train them while the Pakistani government always claims to leave no stone unturned for rooting out the terrorist organizations. It receives a considerable fund from United States in this way.

Seeing the changing situation in Afghanistan which gives a dangerous indication of Taliban recapturing the country, India initiated talks with Pakistan despite the fact that the latter had released the 26/11 alleged mastermind Hafiz Saeed. Some analysts believed that through this step India wanted Pakistan to check Taliban from harming it.

Media Scan in the last month editorial had suggested India not to worry from the situation and give priority to taking all its citizens into full confidence. There is a fear that if the situation takes a bad turn and Taliban expands their activities towards India, as threatened earlier by Mullah Omar, many Muslims from a certain state will cooperate with them. However, if a country is united and internal conflicts do not find any place in it no one can dare raise an eye to it.

Now, it has become clear that Pakistan and Taliban cannot alienate themselves from each other. Pakistan will never go against Taliban who consider it an Islamic country and avoid damaging its interests.

Recently a 10-point formula issued jointly by the Afghanistan Taliban and another extremist outfit Hizb-e-Islami, testifies to the fact. The formula talks about giving great importance to Pakistan and puts immense stress on preserving the interests of Pakistan.

“A particular place be specified for talks and the most important ally Pakistan should be taken into confidence (before talk),” reads the notice. It also says that “common interests of Pakistanis and Afghans be given attention and preferred”. What it depicts is that neither Pakistan nor the Taliban are against each other.

These are some of the provisions which find place in the formula besides the demand to NATO and allied forces to get out of Afghanistan immediately, unconditional talks, exclusion of all Afghanis from black list, release of all Afghan political and war prisoners, recognition of both the outfits as legal and permit for reopening their offices, assurance of maintaining peace between different Afghan groups, establishment of an Uboori government and seeking assistance from Islamic countries to ensure security of all the groups including the Northern Alliance.

Now when the Afghan ground situation is finally emerging clearly, the key player in the game has been accused of treachery. Pakistan on one hand wants to show the world, as usual, that it is serious towards fighting terrorism but on the other hand what it practices goes against this claim. The world waits to see till when they will continue this way.

By Staff Writer

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