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Editorial: Crystal clear

Pakistan all the time was blamed for its strong ties and support to the Taliban, a group that signed a deal with the US last year, and also intensified fighting against the Afghan security forces across the country. Pakistan authorities have never admitted their support to the Taliban openly, but in some cases they didn’t deny. Even in the recent interview, the foreign minister of Pakistan openly denied any bases or support to the Taliban. But here it comes opposite when Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had exposed Pakistan support to the Taliban. He showed bravery and spoke about the truth and even said that Taliban are present in the outskirts of Islamabad. Some sources in condition of anonymity due to possible reprisals from Pakistani authorities, have confirmed that dozens of Pakistani volunteers have been killed in Afghanistan as the Taliban tries to overrun rural provinces in the midst of the foreign troops withdrawal. Though this is not the first time Pakistani officials confirm Taliban’s presence and support to the group where they organize a fight against the Afghan security forces, the hypocrite Pakistani politicians also claim to be supporting the ongoing peace process. Even the Taliban are receiving treatment in Pakistani hospitals, maintaining sanctuaries, and their leaders are based in Pakistan and they were targeted in the Pakistani soil. Several Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders were killed there – and not more evidence needed. When the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan himself gave martyr status to Osma bin-Laden, and his foreign minister don’t answer this question that why Mr. Khan calls a terrorist a martyr, so why are the world leaders waiting for. The ignorance of the fact will lead to another 9/11 type terrorist attack, even worse than that, nobody knows. We must take Pakistan accountable for its support to these militant outfits and the international community must come up to the fore and take concrete actions to force Islamabad to shun supporting these groups. The world, including the US, must not ignore the fact that from where this scourge emanates, closing eyes won’t help rather it makes matters more complicated which is even not good for Pakistan as well. The Afghan authorities time and again said that the Taliban are sheltered by Pakistani state and Islamabad is able to bring them to the negotiating table by using their influence, but hasn’t done anything solid. It is a crystal fact that Pakistan protects Taliban for a rainy day, and their strategic-depth policy toward Afghanistan has not changed.

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