Civil war in Afghanistan to affect Pakistan seriously: NACTA Coordinator

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Zubair Qureshi

Former IG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and National Coordinator of the National Counter Terrorism Authority Ihsan Ghani Khan has said that the possibility of the onset of a civil war in Afghanistan could be a serious challenge for Pakistan.

He was speaking at a roundtable discussion organized by the Institute of Regional Studies on Thursday.

Ghani maintained that in case the Afghan Taliban managed to get control of Kabul militarily, they could become an inspiration for all hues of extremists from all over Pakistan and, perhaps, from abroad as well.

Such a scenario could negatively increase polarization in the Pakistani society at a time when there is a need for peacebuilding, according to him.

Alternatively, he argued that if the Taliban were militarily defeated by the Afghan security forces on the battlefield, they would want to escape to Pakistan.

Mr Khan also expressed concern over the desertions and factionalization in both the Afghan security forces and the Taliban.

He was of the view that there were chances of the resurgence of warlordism in Afghanistan and the desertions of the personnel of the Afghan security forces towards warlord militias.

Another concern for Pakistan, he maintained, was the possible refugee crisis if a civil war broke out.

He was of the view that while improving its internal security against 9/11-like threats, the US will continue to exert pressure on the Taliban through measures such as economic sanctions, etc. Something, he believed, the Taliban did not care much about because they had been surviving without much international support in the past as well.

He did express his concern, however, that if a Taliban government in Afghanistan will become a pariah state like in the past, the Taliban could resort to using drug money to finance their operations.

That, he believed, could be a major concern for Pakistan.
Therefore, he urged the international community and the Government of Pakistan to fully support the ongoing reconciliation efforts between the Taliban and the Government of Afghanistan.

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