Pro-Taliban and anti-Afghanistan fervor is deeply ingrained in Pakistan and many call the hardliner Taliban their ‘guardians’. This bunker mentality and chauvinism comes as little surprise, because thousands of Pakistanis fought in Afghanistan on the Taliban side – after I.S.I founded the group in 1990s in pursuit of strategic depth and a puppet regime favourable to Pakistan. Decades of successive military governments have entrenched fundamentalist and ultra-nationalist strands in Pakistan
KABUL: Pakistan has sought out the Taliban’s help to stop attacks by Tehreek-e-Pakistan Taliban, according to reports, a development which further reveals Islamabad’s clout on the militant group and its resurgence in recent years across the embattled Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has said Islamabad expects Afghan Taliban will prevent groups such as TTP from carrying out cross-border attacks against Pakistan. He told a local newspaper that Pakistan expected from “Afghan Taliban” to not allow Tehreek-e-Pakistan Taliban and other groups to carry out militant activities.
This is as the US-led forces are leaving Afghanistan, substantiating fears that the Taliban could regain power as the government seems less capable than before to resist the militants.
Islamabad has also ruled out any possibility that the United States could build its military bases in that country, fearing ‘revenge attacks’ by the Taliban.
Pakistan has also been fencing the Durand Line, a de facto border crossing with Afghanistan and Pakistani interior minister has said the fencing was almost complete.
This all happens against the backdrop of an immense pro-Taliban sentiment inside Pakistan. Earlier last week, Hisham Inamullah, a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and a state minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, explicitly said at an assembly meeting that the Taliban were fighting valiantly in Afghanistan in defence of Pakistan.
Twitter users in Pakistan have even launched a campaign under the slogan “Taliban are our guardians” in defence of their insurgency in Afghanistan.
Pro-Taliban and anti-Afghanistan fervor is deeply ingrained in Pakistan. This bunker mentality and chauvinism comes as little surprise as thousands of Pakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan on the Taliban side since I.S.I founded them in 1990s – in pursuit of strategic depth and a puppet regime favourable to Pakistan. Also decades of military governments have embedded ultra-conservative, fundamentalist and anti-pluralist strands of that society.