More than 280 people have been killed and injured in a suicide bombing by the Taliban in Kabul on Saturday, one of several in recent weeks. This is one of a series of terrorist attacks recently carried out by the Taliban. These major events will worsen regional disputes in Afghanistan’s surroundings, particularly against Pakistan. Disputes are escalating to the extent that the U.S. announced punitive measures against its ally Islamabad for the first time in the history of their relations.
But the question remains: who is ordering these attacks? Some have speculated that Pakistan is responsible, but that theory doesn’t hold water. Is someone using Afghanistan and terrorism in the Indian subcontinent like it has been used in Iraq and Syria?
There have been rumors and media accusations that Pakistan is behind the Taliban. No one can prove this relation, at least on the academic and media levels. Grave American losses in Afghanistan and the spread of violence in Pakistan ruined ties between Islamabad and Washington and reached a phase that overturned the historical relations between the two countries. The U.S. considered Pakistan a strategic ally for more than four decades especially during the Cold War, and it was one of the countries that helped Pakistan the most after its independence from India.
Why would Pakistan want to jeopardize its four-decade relationship with the U.S. in order to work with the Taliban?
Abdulrahman al-Rashed, the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, wrote on Al Arabiya, that there is actually plenty of evidence to suggest that the Iranian Regime was working with the Taliban, as they and their Revolutionary Guards have worked with terrorist groups across the Middle East to destabilise other countries, like Iraq and Syria.
After all, the Iranian Regime maintains a strong security and propagandist presence in Afghanistan and it has also been working to be stronger and more influential inside Pakistan in recent months.
The Iranian Regime’s relationship with the Taliban is quite similar to the Regime’s relationship with Al-Qaeda, as revealed in declassified CIA documents in 2017 and by the continued hosting of Al-Qaeda’s most prominent commanders. This is only strengthened by confessions from Iranian leaders about their role in the Iraqi jihadi resistance against the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Pakistan, by comparison, is one of the countries most affected by terrorist activity and should take more measures to reassure the international community that it is fighting the Taliban and ultimately resolve this situation.
There was the talk of Qatar attempting to stop the Taliban from destroying the Middle East, but if the Iranian are calling the shots, then Qatar will not succeed. Qatar is an Iran ally who has looked the other way on many occasions of Iranian destruction of the Middle East.
“We knew that Qatar’s attempts to contain Taliban will fail because Doha’s approach in managing relations with extremist groups, like Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza and even Al-Nusra Front in Syria, is always based on buying temporary political stances for huge sums of money. Doha has never been able to alter the situation by making permanent deals or altering these organizations’ methods. It rushed to communicate with Taliban when it heard the Americans were moving to negotiate with it and opened an office for it in Doha and provided it with money so it can be a mediator between it and Washington. The end result is that Qatar succeeded in releasing westerners whom Taliban held hostage like it did with Al-Nusra Front before. It helped release them for huge ransoms in operations that looked like money laundering! It’s only normal that political negotiations later ended in failure,” Rashed wrote.
It’s undeniable that Taliban is a terror group, and this does not mean that its tribal relations are not significant in Afghanistan. Pakistan is still the most qualified state to resolve this situation, either through force or political solutions or both. This is Pakistan’s only opportunity to get out of the bad situation it’s currently in.