Pakistan’s national interest and recognition of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime

Holland, Kenneth (2021) Pakistan’s national interest and recognition of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime. Journal of Security and Strategic Analyses, 7 (2). pp. 7-22. ISSN 27084272

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The victory of the Taliban insurgency over the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in August 2021 presents Pakistan with a prime opportunity to align itself with the liberal democratic bloc of nations and demonstrate its unwillingness to join the opposing authoritarian grouping. By working with like-minded democratic states, especially the United States, Canada, members of the European Union and United Kingdom, on the conditions for international recognition of the Taliban regime, Pakistan can help assuage concerns in the West of growing Chinese influence over Islamabad’s foreign policies. Pakistan has interests in South and Central Asia that are distinct from those of Russia and China, the two most powerful autocratic regimes. Islamabad is in a unique position to pressure the Taliban to move away from religious illiberalism and to respect human rights, including opportunities for women. An unreconstructed Taliban presents a threat to Pakistan’s security by inspiring extreme religious armed groups within Pakistan to follow their example by overthrowing a democratically elected government. Pakistan can firmly establish that it is not the same government that was only one of three nations to grant formal recognition to the Taliban in 1996 and that it has evolved in a more liberal and democratic direction. The benefits of aligning with the democratic bloc in dealing with the second Taliban regime are independent of the question whether America is in decline as a hegemonic power. As a Middle Power, Pakistan has an interest in pushing back against a revisionist China and Russia and helping maintain the rules-based, liberal international order, in place since the end of the Second World War, from which Pakistan benefits.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Afghanistan Taliban | National Interest | China| US | Russia | Democratic Bloc | International Relations Theory
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > International Relations
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr. Syed Anas
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2022 17:08
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2022 04:02
Official URL:


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