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HomeFeatured Stories'Pakistan will face 1971-like partition': What's behind Taliban minister's threat?

‘Pakistan will face 1971-like partition’: What’s behind Taliban minister’s threat?

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It seems that the monster is ready to bite the hand that fed it. Propped up by Islamabad once, the Taliban in Afghanistan is now threatening the very territorial integrity of Pakistan.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Taliban Afghanistan, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, has warned Pakistan of a 1971-like Partition that saw the birth of Bangladesh.

What is interesting is how the Afghan Taliban have snapped at Pakistan, a country that hosted their leaders, funded their insurgency and loaned officials to run their tanks and armoured vehicles.

Taliban minister Stanikzai’s warning came as Pakistan was driving away Afghans from its territory into Afghanistan. He said the Pashtuns, who live on both sides of the international border, never accepted the Durand Line that separates Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“We have never recognized Durand and will never recognise it. Today, half of Afghanistan is separated and is on the other side of the Durand Line. Durand is the line which was drawn by the English on the heart of Afghans,” Stanikzai was quoted by Tolo News as saying at a public meeting on February 16.

“And today, our neighbouring country deports the refugees in a very cruel manner, and they are being told to return to their country,” Stanikzai said.

The Balochistan Post reported that Sanikzai warned that such atrocities could result in events similar to the 1971 separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan.

In 2023, Pakistan cracked down on Afghan refugees, demanding that all undocumented migrants leave the country by November 1.

This decision left the future of an estimated 1.7 million Afghans in Pakistan shrouded in uncertainty and fear.

HOW ‘PROJECT TALIBAN’ IS BACKFIRING ON PAKISTAN

Pakistan has a major problem at hand and its problems with the Taliban are only increasing.

“Whether they throw out the Afghans or they don’t throw out the Afghans, I think the troubles are going to hit Pakistan regardless of what they do,” Sushant Sareen, a senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, said on India Today TV on Monday.

“The kind of bloody-mindedness the Army showed on this issue of terrorism and the Taliban, they had this romance with the Taliban. So, they have created a situation that is now going to backfire on them,” Sushant Sareen said on India First with Gaurav Sawant.

Talking about the warning from the Taliban, Sareen said: “In some ways, it’s not a territorial challenge of the kind it was in 1970. But if your country starts falling from within, if it starts imploding, then what do you do about it?”

Pakistan’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Asif Durrani, vehemently dismissed the Taliban’s stance on the Durand Line.

“For Pakistan, the matter of the Durand Line is conclusively settled,” Durrani was quoted by Khaama.com as saying.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry had earlier called the Taliban’s non-recognition of the Durand Line “selfish and baseless”.

‘WHAT INTERNATIONAL LAW IS PAKISTAN TALKING ABOUT?’

Stanikzai, the Afghan Taliban minister, said the requirement of visas and passports to travel “to Afghanistan” was not acceptable to Afghans.

Pakistan has always insisted on the Durand Line’s legitimacy through international law and historical agreements.

Abdul Samad Yaqoob, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader, took the same line on India Today TV.

“If one talks about the Durand Line, there is an international law. One must respect the international law. There is an international border,” said Abdul Samad Yaqoob.

Pakistan, however, hasn’t cared about international borders on any side while exporting terrorism or while providing shelter to most-wanted terrorists.

“What international law were you following when you created organizations like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad to be used against India?” said Sushant Sareen on India Today TV, pointing to Pakistan’s double standards.

“What international law are you following when you give refuge to criminals like Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim in your country? You have violated international law at every stage,” Sareen added.

In 2023, bombings and gun attacks by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) killed nearly 1,000 Pakistanis, half of them security personnel, according to a Voice of America report in January this year.

The TTP has overrun multiple villages in Chitral, in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, and targeted military convoys.

The Voice of America report said that the TTP moved its bases from the Pakistan side to Afghanistan after the Taliban gained control of the war-ravaged country after the US withdrawal in 2019.

It is also possible that the Taliban is trying to take advantage of a weak Pakistan.

Pakistan’s economy is ruined, its army, which controls everything, is facing popular anger, and its society is divided.

“The reality is that Pakistan is the weakest it has ever been since it came into existence. Compared to what it is right now, in 1971, it was still a reasonably strong country. It had a problem within political problems, but its economy wasn’t on the ropes,” said Sushant Sareen.

Pakistan-based current affairs analyst Arzoo Kazmi, too, believes that even “Afghanistan too is making fun of Pakistan”.

Pakistan is facing this crisis, and nobody is feeling ashamed of themselves, everybody is laughing. Even Afghanistan. Afghanistan is so weak. Afghanistan is making fun of us right now. But we are not feeling any kind of embarrassment,” Arzoo Kazmi said on India Today TV.

“Wherever there is Tehrik, Tehrik-e-Insaf, Tehrik-e-Labbaik, Tehrik-e-Taliban all these are made by our Deep State (establishment),” Kazmi said.

The reference to TTP, which has become a nightmare for Pakistan, is unmissable.

The Taliban is the monster that Pakistan fed, and it is now snarling at it. Ready to bite off the very hand that once nourished it.

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