MS Risk Blog

Deteriorating Security in Afghanistan Increasingly Threatens Neighbouring Pakistan

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Continuous conflict in Pakistan between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani/Afghan security forces is causing mass violence and casualties in the country and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

On Thursday, the Afghan and Pakistani security forces retook control of a major border in Pakistan that the Taliban had previously captured. Yet the Taliban have dismissed these statements and are claiming they still have control of the town. This could be true as Taliban fighters highly outnumber the Pakistani and Afghan security forces in the area. These continuous conflicts between the Taliban and Pakistani forces are growing in the area, due to the US led international forces withdrawing from the area for the past few months, after being there for 20 years. This is allowing the Taliban more free reign in the area. They have already captured several districts and crossed many borders.

The Taliban claim to control 85% of Afghanistan, which has caused several warlords to mobilise their fighters and defend their territory and help back the government forces fighting them. However, on Saturday, Pakistans ambassador to Afghanistan urged the international community to strengthen the countries security forces, warning that militiamen awaits the Taliban could worsen the situation in the war torn country. The conflict and violence from Afghanistan has already encroached into Pakistan, with growing violence and conflicts on the borders. In fact on Thursday a powerful roadside bomb exploded in Pasni, a district in the impoverished Baluchistan province of Pakistan. The explosive killed 2 security officers and injured many more. This is not the first act of violence in the region and security officers say in recent months such attacks are increasing along the borders with Afghanistan. Additionally, there is also the concern that the worsening situation in Afghanistan could cause a new wave of refugees fleeing into Pakistan in the near future.

In addition to the Taliban growing popularity in Pakistan, the extremist group TLP (TehreekeLabbaik Pakistan) has been a driving force of violence in the country since 2015 and isn’t going away. There have been lots of violent attacks in April especially and these conflicts demonstrate that arguably the country and Khan can’t cope with the increasing levels of religious based radicalism they have fostered. Not only that, but Pakistan’s tolerance for radicalism has deadly consequences for its neighbours. “India is the second largest Muslim nation in the world and Bangladesh has a large Muslim community where there is a section which can be expected to lead to violent protests and embrace radicalisation,” said Ambassador Trigunayat. India has been victimised by Pakistani terrorists, including Laskhar e-Taiba, which orchestrated the deadly 2009 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people.

Overall, Pakistan needs to control its growing radicalisation in its own country and deal with the growing violence flowing in from neighbouring countries too, before it turns into a war torn country like Afghanistan. President Khan has a difficult job in trying to solve these issue, and at the same time his popularity is decreasing too. This is because of his sexist comments made in April regarding sexual violence in Pakistan, in fact he blamed rape victims for “vulgarity.Islam’s modesty culture can help “keep temptation in check,” he said. These comments have made him very unpopular with the Pakistani and international community. The political and civil unrest will only make it more difficult to solve the growing violence and extremism in the country and neighbouring nations.