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India, Pakistan: Two opposing visions of Afghanistan

By Standard Reporter | October 12th 2021

After the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, two visions of Afghanistan have come to the forefront -- one which calls for recognition of the new Taliban power in Kabul and the other that highlights the chaotic situation in the country and subsequent danger of terrorism. [Reuters]

Writing for the French publication Asialyst, Olivier Guillard said that these two contrasting visions were evident in the recent UN General Assembly, UNGA, during the speeches of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Using the global stage, Khan had attacked the government in New Delhi and called on the international community to recognise the Taliban. Modi on the other hand, accused Pakistan of exploiting the chaotic situation in Afghanistan.

Asserting that the destabilised Afghanistan will again emerge as a haven for international terrorists, the Pakistan PM had said that the international community must strengthen and stabilise the current government in the war-torn country.

Referring to the widespread criticism of Pakistan, Khan added, "for the current situation in Afghanistan, for some reason, Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe."

Prime Minister Modi, in a veiled reference to Pakistan, had called on the international community to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests.

In his UNGA speech, Modi said that countries that are using terrorism as a "political tool" must understand that terrorism is an equally big threat to them. He also emphasised that women, children, and minorities in Afghanistan need help.

"We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests. At this time, the people of Afghanistan, women, and children, minorities need help. We must fulfil our duties by providing them with help," PM Modi had said.

More than seven weeks after the US takeover of Afghanistan, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has embarked on a visit to India and Pakistan, where she is slated to hold a series of bilateral meetings with top officials of both countries.

According to Guillard, the last stage of this short stay in the Indian subcontinent offers an opportunity for the Pakistani authorities to show themselves in a less vindictive and more responsible light.

"But will they only be eager to seize this opportunity?" asked Guillard.

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