The Chaos Following Shahbaz Taseer 's Miraculous Escape From Captivity

844 Words Mar 18th, 2016 4 Pages
The chaos following Shahbaz Taseer 's miraculous escape from captivity in Afghanistan flags a serious communication breakdown between Islamabad and its instruments of statecraft. Moreover, it spotlights the increasing futility of using the term "Afghan Taliban" to represent some centralized militant umbrella as such a top-down model became obsolete after the US troop surge in 2010.
The fact that Afghan insurgents of late have begun moving in contradiction to Islamabad 's geopolitical interests suggests the latter either oversells its influence over the current Taliban leadership, or that shifting power dynamics within the group have marginalized its pro-Pakistan elements.
The Afghan Taliban 's newfound rebel-mindedness is also alarming for Islamabad in view of Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz 's recent, candid admission at a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) talk. On March1, Aziz gave the first ever confirmation by a state official that senior Afghan Taliban leaders were living in Pakistan with Islamabad 's blessings.
"We have some influence on them because their leadership is in Pakistan. So we can use those levers to pressurize them to say, come to the table," Aziz told CFR. This disclosure did not surprise anyone in Washington, or indeed an Obama White House that has long suspected Islamabad of keeping pliant Taliban factions under its thumb to counter India in Afghanistan.
Aziz also displayed confidence that two-way talks between Kabul and the Taliban could…

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