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Wednesday December 01, 2021

JACPR worried about govt’s Afghan policy fallout

July 19, 2021

LAHORE: The Joint Action Committee for People’s Rights (JACPR) has taken note of recent developments, cycle of violence and chaos in Afghanistan and is worried about its possible fallout on Pakistan.

It realizes the complexity of the situation and importance of a clear policy based on the aspirations and concerns of the citizens of Pakistan, especially the most vulnerable. The recent pro-Taliban statements of some of the cabinet ministers point to this confusion and lack of clarity. The support and glorification of the Taliban policy is dangerous and will lead to conditions that destroyed Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries of the region during the Afghan War in 1980s and its aftermath.

The JAC, in a statement, has taken note of the government’s Afghan policy and is worried about its fallout on Pakistan and its vulnerable population. It said the government’s Taliban appeasement policy is strengthening pro-Taliban elements in Pakistan and creating insecurity for those who do not agree with the Taliban agenda and narrative. The JAC is worried that political parties have not yet given their perspective on this volatile and fast changing situation.

The JAC is also concerned that most of the factories of Talibanisation are still in production in Pakistan, creating serious sociopolitical and security problems for people. The National Action Plan and recommendation of the Supreme Court Inquiry Committees on countering extremism and terrorism remain unimplemented, the statement said. “We are also appalled that a large scale and serious humanitarian crisis is developing in the war-ravaged Afghanistan with regional and international fallout. We consider cooperation among the regional states and civil society extremely important for resolving humanitarian problems with urgent actions,” the statement said.

“The JAC is dismayed by the haphazard withdrawal of US and coalition forces without a clear plan for peace and stability in Afghanistan. This non-committal behaviour of international forces will further aggravate the security situation and give rise to more conflict and violence. As it is, there has been an escalation in the incidence of violence in Afghanistan against women, children and other vulnerable citizens by Taliban forces. The targeting of women and their institutions, girls’ schools and children by the Taliban is a reminder of their treatment of women, women rights activists and human rights defenders, journalists, teachers, children and non-Muslims when they were in power and once again confirms their brutality,” the statement said.

The JAC demanded that the government apprise people of its policy on Afghanistan and Talibanisation as the in-camera session of the NA Standing Committee on Security is not enough to formulate such an important policy. The JAC asked the government to follow a transparent process for formulating the policy by organising public debates and seeking wider opinion, that the policy should be formulated in the parliament and through informed debates.

“The government should remain neutral and not take sides in this conflict which is internal to Afghanistan but can spill over into Pakistan with dangerous consequences.

Political parties should play a proactive role and arrange public discussion and debate to apprise citizens about the Taliban agenda and its repercussions. The Afghan government’s allegations on infiltration from Pakistan boarders into Afghanistan merit investigations and checks,” the JAC concluded.