When the Afghans could not agree on a power sharing formula and conflict was on going after the russian departure, Pakistani establishment backed Pashtuns over Tajiks which made it even more difficult for different groups to reach on an agreement. Pakistan, rather than helping afghan groups to reach to a conclusion in a diplomatic way, showed a dream to their puppet jihadi organizations of establishing a caliphate or Islamic government in Afghanistan, by force or by way of jihad. That’s how Taliban got birth. They were provided with all means, money, training and guidance so that they can overpower the rival groups and establish a Pro-Pakistan government in Afghanistan. It was like playing with the fire, and that was the time when Pakistani generals put the last nail into the coffin of peace in the whole region especially in their own country – Pakistan.
While working on that the establishment deliberately ignored two main factors:
Afghanistan: The majority of their puppets were uneducated, did not know much about the outside world except of their own, had no capacity to effectively and efficiently run a war-torn country, had no road map for economic, education, health care, employment and foreign policy. How they thought the government will survive?
Pakistan: If Taliban are able to run a good, efficient and proper government system in Afghanistan, will those thousands of Pakistanis, who were part of Taliban, not have a desire to have same kind of government in Islamic Republic of Pakistan? And if so what the establishment was supposed to do, submit all powers to Taliban? If no, then how were they to resist Taliban from gaining grounds in Pakistan?
We do not need Plato to predict that if Taliban were able to have an efficient government in Afghanistan sooner or later the members of Afghan Taliban will attempt or desire to establish same kind of government in Pakistan as well, since majority of Afghan Taliban actually came from Pakistan. How it could be ignored when rural areas of Pakistan has same kind of problems, a dysfunctional and corrupt judicial system, oppression by the strong of the society, corrupt ruling elite, unemployment, illiteracy and no basic human needs (healthcare, housing, clean drinking water etc), and perhaps the biggest factor, millions of displaced Afghanis living inside Pakistan who have linguistic, cultural and ethnic connections with Pashtuns in north-west.
Though Pakistani establishment claims that they created and sent Taliban to Afghanistan to establish peace and secondly, establish a Pro-Pakistan government but when i look back as a student on the events arguments look unsound. Rather, it was a very carefully designed game of the establishment for the following reasons:
After the death of General Zia-ul-haq when democracy got roots there was an increasing demand of peace with India by dialogue rather than arms. The civilian leadership soon was branded as security risk and thrown out by frightened generals. The demands for peace with India could lose the establishment the authority of power steering in the country. It was the best way then to open another conflict zone so that if disputes with India are resolved or gone on the back benches, they don’t loose the power by having another front open. Taliban, it shows, were created and sent to Afghanistan to provide a lifeline to military establishment.
If Taliban establish an efficient theocracy in Afghanistan demands of same kind of government in Pakistan would be heard, both by Afghan Taliban and their sympathizer from Pakistan, which civil society, media and democratic forces will not accept and that will give military another excuse of holding onto the power strings in the pretext of eliminating terrorism. And Taliban failure would lead to chaos and another conflict zone on western border. In both cases Pakistan’s military establishment was to benefit. Questions raised that why a full flagged, effective strategy from Pakistan Army to fight Taliban cannot be seen do not surprise me at all because the Army’s strategy is not to eliminate extremism completely, but to create conflicts to maintain the authority. To keep Pakistan a security risk generals need elements like Taliban and armed militias because over the past 55 years Generals have got used to unquestionable power and monopoly over the resources of Pakistan for their personal benefits and they are not ready to let it go no matter even if that power has to be held on cost of the blood and bones of the ordinary people of Pakistan.