ISLAMABAD: Counter-terrorism experts and diplomats on Wednesday urged the federal government to review its amnesty offer to the banned terrorist outfit of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), saying that the terrorist outfit would be eradicated within next six months’ time.
These views were expressed at a webinar titled “Evolving Situation in Afghanistan: Imperatives for Sustainable Peace” organised by an Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).
Former Pakistani high commissioner to India, PICSS President Ambassador (r) Abdul Basit, Lt Gen (r) Naeem Lodhi, Prof Dr Tahir Hijazi, Muslim Youth University Vice Chancellor Air Commodore (r) Khalid Iqbal, former consultant (IPRI) and former assistant chief of air staff of Pakistan Air Force, Mr Khurram Saeed, Dr Syed Muhammad Ali, director (CASS), Dr Lutufur Rehman, assistant professor in the IR department of Muslim Youth University and Abdullah Khan, the managing director of PICSS addressed the Webinar along with other dignitaries.
While addressing the webinar, Ambassador (r) Abdul Basit emphasized that Pakistan should avoid issuing contradictory statements on Afghanistan.
“A lot of contradictory statements are being made on Afghanistan but issues like Kashmir are being ignored. The government first issued a statement that a government made by force will not be recognized in Afghanistan. Then Taliban conquered Kabul by force and made all member of previous regime irrelevant,” he said.
Ambassador Basit said that he believed that Pakistan should not press for inclusive government in Afghanistan.
“Why should Taliban include people like Hamid Karzai or Abdullah Abullah in their government,” he argued.
Former defence minister Lt Gen (r) Naeem Khalid Lodhi said that TTP will be eliminated within six months and gradually Afghan Taliban will have comlete grip over the Afghan government.
He said that Taliban will act against all the militants who would target interests of other countries. He also said that the notion that we move from Geo-Politics to Geo-Economics is a misplaced notion as geo-strategy, geo-politics and geo-economic are intertwined and cannot be separately pursued. He said that geo-economics does not function in a vacuum.
Air Commodore (r) Khalid Iqbal said that Afghanistan was inching towards a human crisis in terms of economic and medical spheres.
“So, Pakistan and the International Community should play their role to support Afghanistan. It was Pakistan who brought the Taliban to the negotiating table and then Pakistan was blamed for Afghan crises,” he said.
He added that the new version of Taliban has come and the longest US war ended now and Kabul now is being abandoned by the international community which is a mistake.
“USA and India are the major losers in Afghanistan and Biden administration has missed the bus,” he added.
Prof Dr Tahir Niazi said that Afghan youth should be imparted skill-training to improve economic conditions in Afghanistan. Dr Lutfur Rehman said that the Afghans suffered a lot in the last forty years. Peace is the absence of physical and structure violence, he added.
Other speakers also raised the question on the disarming different groups fighting in Afghanistan and sad that those groups may become a threat for the neighboring SCO countries.