The death of 9 Chinese nationals following the blast on a bus in Pakistan’s Kyber Pakhtunkhawa province by Jihadi extremist Taliban militia has led to friction between China & Pakistan Beijing has condemned the blast and demanded Pakistan to protect the safety of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects. The radicalized, Jihadi Islamic outfit Taliban is advancing rapidly in Afghanistan as the US negotiated safe exit with its enemy, leaving Afghanistan to fend for itself.
The attack on Chinese national’s by rogue Taliban operatives is in response to the propaganda campaign of China eyeing Afghanistan as potential ally in Beijing Belt & Road Initiative. China has been looking to take leverage of this opportunity by supporting the Taliban-dominated government in Afghanistan in exchange for latter non-interference in China Xinjiang region. The Taliban leadership has made its intent clear that it no longer is subservient to Pakistan & ISI designs. Any hope of Beijing controlling Taliban via Pakistan is ruled out. The intent is clear that China needs to open a direct dialogue with the extremist group to provide them with investment and economic support in return for protection to its stalled projects including the giant Aynak copper mine near Kabul.
The rapidly evolving situation makes it clear that Taliban looks to position itself as harbinger of Jihadi resistance against the imperialist west. And they will no longer allow Pakistan & ISI to interfere in Afghanistan going forward. The present Taliban leadership has got international recognition & legitimacy from United States, Russia, Iran, Qatar, China & others. Taliban poses a threat to the existence of Pakistan and going forward may lead to a trail of death & destruction. The massacre of 132 young students in Peshawar in 2014 by armed Taliban radicalized Jihadis is not forgotten. The skirmishes between Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan & Pakistan army presents the grim situation of security of Islamic nation. An unstable Pakistan will give greater leverage to the possible Taliban regime in Kabul. With a weak leadership in Pakistan the country is descending into civil unrest with deteriorating economic situation. The influx of refugees from Afghanistan in case of civil war will add to Pakistan woes. The funding from Saudi Arabia, America has dried up in recent years.
The future of Afghanistan & Pakistan considering the rise of Taliban in power presents interesting possibilities for balkanization of Pakistan and redrawing its borders based on ethnicity. The situation in the region is highly fluid with the possibility for full scale civil war erupting unless the International coalition of Russia, China, India, Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan station their peace keeping force in Afghanistan.