Pakistan and the Taliban

Map of Pakistan

Map of Pakistan (Photo credit: Omer Wazir)

Pakistan supports the Taliban in Afghanistan and tolerates the Taliban in Pakistan. This is true because Pakistan regards India as its principal adversary and wants a friendly or neutral Afghanistan at its back. Pakistan’s government is divided among several factions in the military and the intelligence service, with one faction acting in opposition, usually in secret, to another.

The people of Pakistan are overwhelming united in their opposition to the US operating drones within Pakistani airspace. Pakistan needs more helicopters to fight the Taliban within Pakistan and it needs the will to do so effectively. It would be useful to the Pakistanis if the US would renounce the use of drones within Pakistan. Transferring the operation of drones within Pakistan to the Pakistani government would defuse a source of tension between their government and ours. It would also allow the government of Pakistan to determine how to fight the Taliban in each situation as it arises.

The ultimate solution to the problem of the Taliban within Pakistan is peace between India and Pakistan. They have been at loggerheads since the partition of British India into two countries in 1947. Peace between them will not be easy to achieve, but it is necessary because both have nuclear weapons. Once peace is achieved, there will be a peace dividend. Pakistan will be able to better the life of its citizens and not be so dependent on foreign aid from the US or Saudi Arabia. It is Saudi Arabia that finances the madrassas in Pakistan that produce the Taliban.