Pakistan Is ‘Precursor of Today’s Terrorists

Pakistan Is ‘Precursor of Today’s Terrorists’, Says Afghanistan

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Afghanistan has blasted Pakistan for spawning global extremist terror by promoting the Taliban, “the precursor of today’s terrorists” rampaging across the world, and called for targeting those responsible for it “within state structures.”

It was the Taliban and their backers who characterised the kind of terror that we witness today from various violent extremist groups. One can easily trace how the Taliban facilitated the creation of al-Qaida, Daish, and their ilk along with the divisive, hateful ideology.

Nazifullah Salarzai, Deputy Permanent Representative, Afghanistan

While avoiding any direct mention of Pakistan, he made clear Islamabad’s role saying that “circles within state structures outside of our frontiers” used ideology and violent behaviour to promote the Taliban in pursuit of their political objectives.

Targeting the promoters and drivers of such policies, who use violence in pursuit of political objectives within the state structures, especially in the security apparatus, is absolutely crucial to deal with the threats of violent extremism.

Nazifullah Salarzai

Wednesday’s Council debate was on “Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism.” But Salarzai said in Afghanistan’s case the focus should instead be on the initiation, enabling, and facilitation role of political actors and their use of radical ideology for short term gains.
Nazifullah Salarzai. (Photo: IANS)
Nazifullah Salarzai. (Photo: IANS)

Tracing the antecedents of the current terrorist organisations, he said,

The creation of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1994 opened the current tragic chapter of terrorism in the world. Before the crafting of the Taliban, terror in its current behavior and form was little known to the world. The Taliban came into existence before groups like aI-Qaida, aI-Shabab, Boko Haram and Daish gained notoriety.

To drive home Pakistan’s role in promoting the Taliban and setting off the chain reaction of global terror, he diplomatically posed a series of rhetorical questions:

So the question is how and why did the Taliban come into being? We need to ask ourselves how did they learn to drive tanks and fly jets overnight, stage conventional warfare, and capitalise on prolonged political conflict in our country? Who trained them? Who provided them with supplies? Who financed them? Who provided them with safe havens and orchestrated their spring offensives year after year?

“Tension between military and civilian control in politics, an inherent
struggle emerging from militarism in society,” was one of the factors behind “circles within state structures” in the neighbour backing the Taliban, Salarzai said.

Another was the regional rivalry between nations coupled with “excessive anxiety and suspicion,” he said.

“Let us not forget,” Salarzai stressed, “that it was under the Taliban that Afghanistan became the jumping board for international terrorism, when thousands of young men received training and logistical support in terrorist camps. This was the precursor of today’s terrorists carrying out deadly attacks in Asia, Europe, US, Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.”

The repeated strong criticism of Islamabad in a global forum brings to the fore Afghanistan’s split with Pakistan after President Ashraf Ghani’s conciliatory approach failed.

When he was elected two years ago, Ghani had hoped its southern neighbour would help rein in the Taliban and bring it to the negotiating tables. But he felt betrayed by Islamabad when it emerged amid preparations for talks with the Taliban that its leader Mohammed Omar had died in Karachi in 2013 and Pakistani leaders had withheld the crucial information from Kabul.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)