How Pakistan Sees Afghanistan
Peace Is Possible Only If the World Engages With the Taliban
By Moeed Yusuf
October 7, 2021
President Joe Biden was right to end the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. The regime in Kabul was clearly unable to sustain itself, and propping it up with billions more dollars would have only delayed its inevitable collapse.In fact, given the Afghan society’s historical aversion to foreign occupations, there was never going to be a military solution to the conflict that was in the United States’ favor. That is why Pakistan had been advocating for an inclusive diplomatic settlement ever since the negotiations known as the “Bonn process” began following the U.S. invasion in 2001.
Today, Afghanistan faces a choice: it can either walk the arduous path of peace or revert to civil unrest. The latter will have catastrophic repercussions for the Afghan people and spillover effects for the neighborhood and beyond. The spread of refugees, drugs, weapons, and transnational terrorism from a destabilized Afghanistan does not serve the interests of the Afghan people or the rest of the world, most of all Pakistan. Which of the two outcomes materializes will have as much to do with how the international community engages with Afghanistan’s new political reality as it does with how the Taliban choose to rule their country.