Afghans Not In Favor Of Return Of Islamic Emirate: Hussain Haqqani
January 10, 2019,
Kabul- Former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani has revealed that Taliban will gain the upper hand if the US troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan without a peace deal.
Haqqani, who is director for South and Central Asia at Hudson Institute, said at The Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi that Taliban should know the people of Afghanistan are not in favor of the return of an Islamic emirate and the people will fight against the group to safeguard current achievements.
“If there is an exit without a deal, it will put the Taliban on the mat because the Taliban will then have to show they are the great fighting force they claim to be,” he said.
He said the reason the Taliban has “succeeded” is that their safe havens outside the country are not targeted by US forces. Instead the militants are only targeted on Afghan soil.
“I think the reason they have succeeded is because the Americans made a fundamental decision that they will only fight Al-Qaeda, then they will fight the Taliban, but only on Afghan soil, and since they did not pursue the Taliban to their safe havens, they have actually fought from a very comfortable position,” he added.
According to Haqqani, Taliban are divided in two – one division supports the current changes, while the other wants the return of the Islamic emirate.
“There will be some Taliban who say our concern is only our village, our district and our province. Then there are some Taliban who will say, ‘now we have an Islamic emirate back in Afghanistan’. I don’t think the latter will easily happen because the people of Afghanistan will fight to preserve the gains of the last 17 years,” he said.
The former Pakistani envoy said Afghanistan has made many improvements over the past years.
“More girls are going to school in Afghanistan, women have much more participation in urban life if nothing else, the economy is a lot better than it used to be, the cities that were reduced to rubble have been rebuilt. I don’t think the people of Afghanistan will let that go easily,” he said as he talked about developments in Afghanistan’s post-Taliban regime.
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