There are not many things that are certain in international relations; but increasingly all in the comity of Nations are hedging their bets with an element of certainty—not if Afghanistan will come crumbling down but when this will happen. If a country like Sweden has come to the conclusion that the Central Asian country is “hurtling” down to disaster, it is time to wake up. And it is quite unfortunate that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan has also echoed or endorsed this dire warning. Unfortunate because Pakistan was actively involved in assisting the Taliban come to the seat of power in Kabul in those fateful days of August. That Islamabad now denies it has assisted the Taliban in any fashion is only to be expected of a country that has prided itself on playing both sides of the fence.
“The country is on the brink of collapse and that collapse is coming faster than we thought”, Sweden’s Development Minister has been quoted in an agency report stressing that a collapse would set the environment for terrorist groups to thrive. Stockholm has also made the point that no money would be given to the Taliban but that humanitarian assistance will be routed through Afghan civil society groups, a definite non-starter with the powers that be in Kabul. Pakistan’s Information Minister chimed along arguing that direct talks with the Taliban and un-freezing assets of Afghanistan were the only way out. “Are we going to push Afghanistan into chaos or are we going to try and stabilize the country” asked Minister Fawad Chaudhry going on to say “The watch on this bomb is already clicking”.