After all that Pakistan did for the Taliban over the two decades they were fighting against the US-backed Afghan Republic, there was a legitimate expectation in Islamabad that this time around the Taliban would show much greater gratitude and accede to Pakistan’s wish-list on a range of issues.
Ever since the Taliban have re-established their Emirate in Kabul, there is not a single issue on Pakistan’s wish-list that has been ticked by the Taliban : Accepting Durand Line as Border? No; Expelling Baloch insurgents? No; Dismantling, degrading and destroying Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)? No; Keeping India out? No; Inclusive government? No; Allowing education for girls and giving women rights? No!
Education of children, especially girls, is something that many developing countries are paying special attention to. This is in keeping with the international law obligation under Article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (CRC), which requires States Parties to “Make primary education compulsory and available free to all”. The same Article also obliges States Parties to make secondary and higher education accessible to all.
Dear Mr. President,
Let’s not abandon Afghanistan again!
At the end of November 1998, three years before his trip to Europe, Commander Massoud, entrenched in northern Afghanistan, besieged on all sides by the Pakistan-backed Taliban, wrote me a long text.
Five pages in which he explained the dramatic situation in his country, the yoke that women were under, the danger that the Taliban represented for the whole world, the threat of Al-Qaeda, the urgency of helping it. He also denounced Pakistan’s role in the war. All these accusations and warnings were repeated, almost word for word, in April 2001 before the European Parliament.
The whole world was stunned at the overwhelming images of Afghan civilians clinging, by dozens, to the cabins of American military planes, which were about to take off from Kabul airport, abandoning them to their sad fate under the Taliban cut back to power, twenty years after being driven out, in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
A tragic and unbearable distress which leaves no one indifferent. Almost nobody. Because, during this time, in the supposedly moderate Islamist circles, which advocate a “political Islam” known as “golden mean”, supposed to be the exact opposite of the obscurantist and medieval doctrine of the Taliban, some self-congratulate, in an obscene delight, of a “grandiose victory” falling under the “divine will”!