Announcements :
• Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khalil has resumed the charge as Acting Director of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad w.e.f. 25-09-2023
• The Institute has announced BS, M. Phil, and PhD admissions (Fall-2023)
National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarNaseem Ahmed
Title of Dissertation Pakistan’s Afghan Policy during the Taliban Period
Issue Date2008
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistan is among those states that are always under security threats to their sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan has some territorial disputes with its neighbours, India and Afghanistan, since her inception in 1947. In addition to India, Afghanistan is another country from where Pakistan feels threat to its sovereignty and integrity due to the Afghanistan consistent rejection of Durand Line as an international border between the two countries and its support for Pakhtunistan issue. Thus, the Pakistani military-bureaucratic elites predicted their Afghan policy on the notions they had inherited from the British colonial administrators of Northwest India. A pro-Pakistan Afghanistan was considered essential to the country’s defence in a similar vein as the British had regarded a pro-British Afghanistan essential for India’s security.

After the Soviet forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban started to consolidate their position in Afghanistan and finally succeeded in establishing their government in 1994-2000. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were the only three countries that accorded formal recognition to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.  Therefore, Pakistan’s policy on Afghanistan is of great importance. It is so, because it not only affects Pakistan relations with other countries, but can have serious consequences on its own security and national integrity.

Therefore, Pakistan’s Taliban policy makes an excellent case study. It is well-established view among the scholars that Pakistan’s long-standing policy of supporting Pakhtun political forces in Afghanistan was based on the belief that such a government could provide Pakistan with strategic depth. Secondly, a pro-Pakistan government in Afghanistan links Pakistan to newly independent Central Asian States.

Since Taliban gained regional and international attention, various research works have been conducted about the origin, rise and ideology of Afghan Taliban. Yet no comprehensive study has been conducted on Pakistan’s Taliban policy. Except few journalistic works, no detailed and scholastic studies are available on the subject matter under discussion.

This study attempts to shed some light on Pakistan’s policy towards Afghan Taliban. It attempts to examine its objectives and implications on Pakistan.

The central questions that this study seeks to addressed are; 1) What is the background of Pakistan’s Afghan policy? 2) Did Pakistan play any role in the rise of Afghan Taliban? 3) Did religio-political parties support the Taliban? 4) Did ISI and military provide support to the Afghan Taliban? 5) What were the main objectives of Pakistan’s pro-Taliban policy and did Pakistan achieve those objectives? 6) What were its regional and international implications for Pakistan?