Connect AfPak is a thought-provoking program hosted by Syed Wiqas Shah. This show aims to delve into the developing stories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, shedding light on the challenges, opportunities, and crucial issues that shape the relations between these two neighboring countries. By providing a platform for dialogue and analysis, Connect AfPak seeks to foster understanding and promote constructive engagement in the region.
This week’s episode:
In this week’s episode, we had the privilege of hosting esteemed guest Rifatullah Orakzai, a renowned expert on regional affairs. Together, we explored a range of topics, engaging in insightful discussions that brought clarity to the complex dynamics between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
➤ Segment 1: The Appointment of Asif Durrani as Special Envoy to Afghanistan
- The appointment of Asif Durrani as the special envoy to Afghanistan was discussed, considering the challenges and opportunities it presents in strengthening the relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
- Rifatullah Orakzai, discussed like Sadiq, Asif Durrani’ familiarity with Afghan culture and his knowledge of local languages such as Dari, Pashto, and Parsai contributed to effective communication between the two nations.
➤ Segment 2 : Water Conflict between Afghanistan and Iran
- The ongoing water conflict between Afghanistan and Iran was addressed. The program discussed the matter of Iran’s president, emphasizing the importance of upholding water rights along the shared Helmand River.
- Iran’s strong message to the Taliban regarding the water conflict can also be seen as a reaction to the increased discrimination and persecution faced by the Shia community under Taliban rule.
➤ Segment 3 : Girls’ Education in Afghanistan
- The program examined the recent declaration by Afghanistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, stating that girls’ education is unavoidable.
- Concerns were raised about the lack of tangible progress in this regard over the past two years, with some viewing the declaration as a mere political slogan aimed at appeasing the international community.
➤ Segment 4 : TTP Presence in Afghanistan
- The issue of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) presence in Afghanistan was discussed. It was highlighted that the TTP is sheltered in Afghanistan and launches attacks in the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from across the border.
- The resurgence of TTP’s strength, attributed to safe havens in Afghanistan and alliances with diverse militant groups, poses a substantial challenge to regional security.
➤ Segment 5 : Threat of IS-K and the Strength of Afghan Taliban
- The persistent threat posed by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (IS-K) to Afghanistan and the Afghan Taliban was addressed. The program emphasized the need for sustained efforts and targeted counter-terrorism operations to eradicate the presence of IS-K.
- The strength of the Afghan Taliban compared to the previous regime was discussed, acknowledging the differences between the Qandahar and Kabul groups and the influence of powerful figures such as Siraj Haqqani and Mullah Yaqoob.
➤ Summary :
In today’s episode of “Connect AfPak,” hosted by Syed Wiqas Shah, we explored the appointment of Asif Durrani as special envoy to Afghanistan and its potential to strengthen Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. We discussed the balanced water conflict between Afghanistan and Iran, the importance of girls’ education in Afghanistan with concerns about progress, the TTP’s presence in Afghanistan, and the persistent threat of IS-K. Our guest, Rifatullah Orakzai, provided valuable insights, shedding light on these pressing issues and fostering a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics in the region.