AS the Taliban have secured full control of Afghanistan and are in the process of formation of a broad-based Government, their spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid has extended an assurance that there will be no threat to Pakistan from Afghanistan.
Speaking at Pak-Afghan Youth Forum’s International Conference, titled “Rebuilding Afghanistan Together” in Karachi, he said the extension of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by linking it with Afghanistan is very important.
The assurance of the spokesperson assumes greater significance in the backdrop of his earlier remarks that the issue of the TTP is one that Pakistan will have to deal with, not Afghanistan, adding that it up to Pakistan, and Pakistani Ulema and religious figures, not the Taliban, to decide on the legitimacy or illegitimacy of their war and to formulate a strategy in response.
These remarks created confusion about how the Taliban intended to handle the issue of TTP that carries out anti-Pakistan activities from Afghan soil. Pakistan is very clear on the issue of TTP that it is a terrorist outfit and needs to be treated as such.
Zabiullah Mujahid lavishly praised Pakistan for its contribution to the cause of Afghan people, hoping that its cooperation would continue.
As people of Pakistan have suffered a lot at the hands of TTP, they legitimately expect the Taliban to take firm and decisive action against the terror outfit as dividends of restoration of peace in Afghanistan in the shape of greater regional cooperation cannot be reaped in the event of security threats to Pakistan.
As for Pakistan, it candidly pleaded before the international community that there was no military solution in Afghanistan and that durable peace was possible only through intra-Afghan dialogue, a stand, which is now positively acknowledged by the world community.
Now again, Pakistan is urging the international community not to marginalize the Taliban when they have expressed their resolve to take all segments of the Afghan society along and maintain good relations with all countries of the globe.
Pakistan also has a clear approach on how to respond to the new realities in Afghanistan as highlighted by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during his joint news conference with the British Foreign Secretary who categorically stated that Pakistan needed to coexist with the Taliban and have a “realistic” approach towards the group.
The willingness of the Taliban for extension of the CPEC to Afghanistan could also unleash prospects for speedy recovery of the Afghan economy.
The Taliban have a gigantic task ahead of them and need to take quick decisions on all important issues including the nature of relationship they intend to have especially with the neighbouring countries.