It has been some 75 days since the Taliban literally walked into the corridors of power in Kabul sending a chilling reminder to the international community of the kinds of things that were in store, not just by way of barbarities in the name of religion but generally locking the doors of Afghanistan and throwing away the keys. Until now even the most brutal regimes and tin pot dictatorships of the world would have nothing to do with a horde whose links with terrorism are well known. And then comes Imran Khan and Company in Pakistan who have opened the diplomatic account for the Taliban by allowing its “diplomats” to open shop in the abandoned embassy and consulates.
Of course, Islamabad’s response is only along expected lines—feigning innocence on diplomatic recognition but in the guise of “administrative” compulsions, that it is straddled with hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees either in the country or in the borders wanting to come in. Sure, there is no Taliban official designated as “Ambassador” but authorities in Pakistan know that in the absence of a top diplomat anybody can be in an “acting” position. Hence the hair-splitting distinctions between Ambassador and First Secretary simply will not wash.