Back to the future
AS concern grows in Pakistan about the fallout of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, protracted fighting that morphs into a civil war will pose severe dilemmas and multiple challenges for the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated this fear in a recent interview with an American TV network when he said such an outcome would be the “worst-case scenario for the country”.
Pakistan’s security is inextricably tied to Afghanistan. Prolonged strife in its neighbour will expose Pakistan to security threats that it has dealt with in the past at a heavy cost in lives and social and economic consequences. For over four decades Pakistan has borne the brunt of war, foreign military interventions and conflict in Afghanistan that produced grave repercussions for the country’s security, stability and economic development. The destabilising ramifications are too well known to bear repetition here. More turmoil on its western frontier would mean the country will have to simultaneously deal with internal, regional and international challenges that would flow from this outcome.
In a back-to-the-future scenario Pakistan will be faced with a serious threat to its stability if civil war erupts in Afghanistan and spills over into its border areas. Pakistan has sought to mitigate this danger by fencing much of the border, sealing illegal crossing points, increasing border posts, strengthening the capacity of the Frontier Corps, upgrading training of law-enforcement personnel, enhancing technical surveillance and stationing regular troops there. While these measures are necessary, they may not be sufficient to stop the determined from crossing over given the long border and the mountainous terrain and topography.
Moreover, a chaotic situation across the border will provide fertile ground and more space to a host of militant groups to continue operating from there. The principal but not only threat is from the TTP (the Pakistani Taliban) whose 6,500 members are based in Afghanistan and launch cross-border attacks from there. A reunified TTP has reinforced its capacity. The latest report of the UN’s sanctions mon oring team nes that “the return of splinter groups to the TTP fold has increased its strength”. The TTP’s links continue with the Afghan Taliban, which are acknowledged by Pakistan’s security offi als. TTP leader Noor Wali Mehsud surfaced recently to announce in a CNN interview that his militant group will continue its “war ag inst Pakistan’s security forces” and its aim is to “take control of the border regions and make them independent”.
此外，边境的混乱局势将为许多激进组织提供沃土和更大的空间，让他们继续在那里活动。主要的的威胁来自TTP(巴基斯坦塔利班运动)，其6500名成员以阿富汗为基地，并从那里发动越境袭击，但这不是唯一的威胁。一个重新统一的TTP提升了它的能力。联合国制裁监督小组的最新报告指出，“TTP派系的回归增加了它的力量”。巴基斯坦安全官员承认，TTP与阿富汗塔利班的联系仍在继续。TTP领导人Noor Wali Mehsud最近在接受CNN采访时宣布，他的武装组织将继续“对巴基斯坦安全部队的战争”，其目标是“控制边境地区并使其独立”。
A surge in violence in North and South Waziristan has led to rising casualties among Pakistani security personnel in recent months. Since May, there have been 167 te rort in dents in KP and Balochistan, an ominous portent of what could lie ahead. Armed groups residing in Afghanistan would pose a threat to Pakistan with some making common cause with elements who were defeated but dispersed after a series of successful operations by security forces. The UN report says that “a significant part of the Al Qaeda leadership is based along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border” while ISIS-K or Daesh “remains active and dangerous”.
Jamil Soomro, New York City
Pakistan must take stern measures to ensure its Border Security and absolutely no influx of Refugees into Pakistan.
The ram civil war in Afghanistan, despite countless efforts, will impact region generally and Pakistan particularly. Pakistan along with regional powers can avert it through peace talks among Afghan stakeholders.Presently, power sharing formula is the only solution for peace which should nurture de ratic culture and should do efforts to disarm Afghanistan in future.
Civil war has already started. Taliban forcefully took over people’s homes in Lashkargah to escape bombing raids, they reneged on their promise of not fighting to take over cities. Proxy war is imminent and it is a lose lose situation for all parties concerned.
Strategic depth not so strategic after all
Looks like those dreaming of a quick and decisive win for Talibans will be disappointed.
The repetition of history would have recommended the title BACK TO THE PAST instead of the present one.
The border fence is working. There are foreign, unemployed trolls sharing photos and commenting on how it’s preventing te rorts from entering Pakistan. They can be seen loitering on the Afghan side of the fence, not able to enter the country.
The Taliban would soon set govt: and run the country because Ghani has failed to prevent Taliban's settlement over there. But it won't be possible for the Taliban until they change their strategy and ensure the world that they will not violet laws.
Pakistan is now asking USA and NATO to "do more" !!!
You r what you sow. I am sure you have heard of that saying.
It is important to highlight TTP´s Indian funders. There are open discussions in Indian media on their support of militants in Baluchistan. Pakistan will do good by sealing the border completely including the termination of American air access over Pakistani airspace for bombing missions over Afghanistan. Also, Pakistan must hurry to let Afghani Taliban open a diplomatic office in Islbad so we can have direct access to them.
What about neighbors role(s) or focus should stay only inward?
Wish IK chose her as the FM!
Pathetic, failed diplomat just waking up from her slumber....
Pakistan asked for it. Pakistan hosts and supports one side of the afghan war.
Dr. Sria, Aamir Ahmad
United we stand, divided we fall.
@Jamil Soomro, New York City , if Pakistan wants to secure it's border from the insurgent groups then Pakistan must leaves the financial assistance of Taliban and starts to help the Ashraf Ghani's re gie.
Pakistan is stuck between the Afghans and the Indians with a long history of association with them. Now they may have to decide which of the two to be allied with.
In this land of abundance, sanity is the only thing missing.
With a safe border barrier well in place all along, it cannot be that easy to expect 'back to the future'.