The triumphalism of Pakistan’s establishment over the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan, is visible not only on social media or statements by political leaders but by the recent visit by the head of Pakistan’s intelligence services to Afghanistan. Lt General Faiz Hamid, Director General of the Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI), visited Kabul to meet with Taliban leaders.
According to former Senator and columnist, Afrasiab Khattak, “The high profile Kabul visit by DG ISI represents public ownership by Pakistani security state of the Taliban’s invasion of Afghanistan. This high profile gesture can, apart from provoking other regional players for taking counter measures can also rekindle memories about Pakistan’s role in promoting extremist militancy. It cannot but solidify the neologism of AfPak that emerged in US policy circles in early 2008 for describing Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single theatre of operations during the war on terror.”
Khattak notes that the “Taliban have other serious ideological and political limitations when it comes the formation of an inclusive government. They don’t believe in modern state system and in their Islamic Emirate the boundaries between the state and the Taliban militia are not clear. They don’t believe in modern state system and in their Islamic Emirate the boundaries between the state and the Taliban militia are not clear. Their expressions and actions of the last three weeks as de facto leaders reveal that they are still wedded to their totalitarian ideology that excludes pluralism in all its forms and hues, their pious noises to the contrary notwithstanding.”
Further, “Taliban, far from being a monolith, have many regional, ethnic and social divisions which are becoming more visible as they grapple with the question of wielding power.”
Finally, Khattak notes that “Panjshir province in the north east of Kabul has once again emerged as the main resistance center to Taliban’s control over Afghanistan. Their strength lies not in numbers but in the wider national nature of their demands. Even if Taliban with their large numbers and huge resources dislodge the resistance leader from Bazarak, the main town of Panjshir, it wouldn’t be the end to resistance as it would move to the higher and more inaccessible passes of Hindukush.”