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Greater role for Pakistan

After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Pakistan’s importance has increased among the global community. Many Western countries had to rely on Pakistan’s assistance to evacuate their citizens, provide transit and provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

The Taliban are yet to announce a new government in Afghanistan. Much to India’s dismay, Pakistan is seen to play an even greater role in the formation of the Afghan government. Pakistan spy chief recently arrived in Kabul, becoming the highest-ranking official to visit since the Taliban took control. Pakistan has waived a sigh of relief that India’s role in Afghanistan is over and it won’t be able to use Afghan soil for any subversive activities.

Pakistan is keen to see the international community remain engaged with the new set-up in Afghanistan and perhaps rebuild the destroyed country. However, Western countries are still reluctant and have refused to recognize the Taliban government. The Taliban themselves are morphing into rulers as they control the country but will face the greatest challenge in gain recognition among the global community.

UN Secretary-General is set to convene a high-level meeting on Afghanistan in Geneva later this month to focus on humanitarian aid. With assistance from Turkey and Qatar, the Kabul airport is functioning again and domestic flights have resumed. The UN has restarted humanitarian flights while Qatar will regularly send much-needed medical supplies.

Half of Afghanistan’s 40 million population require immediate assistance and their needs are expected to rise. Therefore, the world should adopt a pragmatic and practical approach to the Afghan crisis as their lives are at stake. Despite their concerns, countries will have to deal with the Taliban to ensure economic stability and also prevent an exodus of refugees.

Pakistan will have to take a varied stance than the rest of the world toward Afghanistan as it has greater interests. Western countries are encouraging Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Pakistan, to accept new refugees in return for financial assistance. The situation in Afghanistan can aggravate if the world fails to engage with them. This is imperative if we want to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the war-ravaged nation. In such circumstances, Pakistan’s role has been amplified several times over.