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Foreign policy of Military Dictator General Ayub Khan



The set of principles shaped by a country’s government to establish relations with the outer world is referred as foreign policy. The Foreign policy of any country is based on its national and international interests. It is the need of every country to select its friends with respect to its interests, ideology, threats, and benefits. The Same is the case with Pakistan. After independence, it could not remain isolated with outer world activities. Jinnah, the first Governor-General of Pakistan stressed on foreign policy to maintain peace with world. This paper is going to discuss the foreign policy of Pakistan during the Ayub Khan era. The focus of this paper is to explore the foreign relation of Pakistan with reference to the United States. This paper will highlight the important events between Pakistan and the United States from 1958 to 1968. There was political instability after the assassination of Liaqat Ali khan. The Governor of the country failed to handle the political chaos. This offered as opportunity to General Ayub Khan to declare Martial Law. In the political history of Pakistan, the first Martial law was imposed in 1958 by General Ayub Khan. All the political parties were banned by chief martial law administrator and imprisoned many political leaders. The national assembly and provincial assembly were dismissed, and the cabinet was dissolved. The constitution of 1956 was also abolished. However, Ayub controlled newspapers and banned any political gatherings. The basic plan of Ayub government was to maintain the political issues, try to solve the Kashmir issue, internal issues and resolving the issues between East and West Pakistan.

Pakistan was declared as an independent state on 14 August 1947. Pakistan economic conditions were not good as compared to other countries and had many other emerging problems. After the death of Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah (founder of Pakistan), all the powers came under Liaquat Ali khan, he appointed the new Governor-General of Pakistan, Iskandar Mirza. Moreover, Mohammad Zafarullah khan was the first foreign minister of Pakistan. The foreign policy of Pakistan based on maintaining peace within the country and with the neighbor’s country. Pakistan wanted to establish peaceful relation with all other countries. Pakistan in its initial years needed economy and had security issue. So, it moved to get help from wealthy countries for economic loans like Canada, USA, and other western countries. The foreign policy was neutral in the starting years. But gradually, there came shift in foreign policy of Pakistan. It became inclined more toward western countries as they agreed to provide economic and military assistance to Pakistan. After the assassination of Liaquat Ali khan in 1951, Pakistan joined defense alliances with United States. Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement was signed in May 1954. After signing the agreement, Prime Minister of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Bogra said that “both countries have a great deal in common”. Around $700 million military aid was provided to Pakistan from America between 1954-1964. Economic assistance worth $3.5 billion was given to Pakistan. In addition, the United States provided $1.3 billion for defense support and the purchase of equipment.

At first, it was United States who wanted to establish relations with Pakistan. But Pakistan policy of neutrality at international level was obstacle in Pak-US relation. After the assassination of Liaqat Ali khan, M. Ali Bogra became new prime minister of the country. The assembly of former prime minister was dissolved, and new assembly was made which was headed by Mohammad Ali Bogra. United States and Pakistan established diplomatic relations in 1947. United States made agreement to provide economic and military assistance to Pakistan. After imposing martial law and taking over the government of Pakistan in 1958, Ayub Khan announced his foreign policy. His foreign policy was inclined toward the west, especially United States. He mentioned “Pakistan had become America’s most allied ally in Asia”. His foreign policy showed Pakistan as a pro-western country. At that juncture, Pakistan was facing two problems First was a security threat from the neighbor country India, and the other was unresolved Kashmir issue. Pakistan was looking forward to United States for resolving the Kashmir issue. He believed that Pakistan could not solve Kashmir issue without the support of USA. So, Ayub Khan went for the assistance of United State.

The bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement was signed between Pakistan and United States on 5th March 1959. This was the first agreement of Ayub regime with Dwight D. Eisenhower government. United States agreed to cooperate with Pakistan to deal with defense requirements and help in security threats. It agreed to provide aid in defense issues and economic development. After this alliance, United States declared that if any country attack on Pakistan, then it would be considered as attack on America and that country will face American aggression. This agreement was presented to the foreign minister of Pakistan Manzoor Qadir by Ambassador James Langley in a formal note on 15 April 1959. This agreement showed strong mutual support and strengthened the already existing alliance. USA also contributed to resolve the issue of Indus River water with India by arranging a meeting on 30 April 1959. This meeting was held under the secretary of state Douglas Dillon. In May, America provided military aid but not as much as desired. It also provided a lot of economic assistance to Pakistan in 1960. In return, United States asked for US military base in the NWFP province of Pakistan which was used against Soviet Union. Pakistan was agreed to provide base in pay back of military and economic aids.

The President of United States Eisenhower visited Pakistan on 7th December 1959. Ayub khan warmly welcomed him. Ayub khan was very happy when president of United States reached Pakistan. During his visit to Pakistan, Ayub khan discussed with Eisenhower about Kashmir issue. He also discussed with him about military assistance to India from America. He added that aid could become a threat to Pakistan security. American President considered his concern and promised that he would think about it. Eisenhower himself went to India after visiting Kabul as he wanted to resolve the Kashmir issue as soon as possible. He discussed with Nehru on the issue of Kashmir, but Nehru was not ready to resolve the Kashmir issue. After completing his visits with no productive outcome, President Eisenhower warned both countries to solve the problem of Kashmir and avoid any war. During Eisenhower period the relation between two countries flourished and Ayub khan was able to develop strong relations with the United States. Pakistan got aid from America during Eisenhower period for Strengthening Pakistan’s armed forces. America wanted to make Pakistan’s military strength in the region.

Furthermore, Kennedy became the 35th president of America in 1961. With the change of government of United States, the foreign policy of United States also changed toward Pakistan. John F. Kennedy adopted a new approach in his foreign policy, which was more inclined toward India. His nature and foreign policy transformed from Pakistan to India. He ignored interest of Pakistan which as president Ayub khan said that Pakistan was “America’s most allied ally in Asia”. Pakistan was also “the only (Asian) country,” Ayub said “which was a member of both SEATO and CENTO.” Kennedy proclaimed the “soaring idealism” of Jawaharlal Nehru, he lauded Nehru as the great leader of the 20th century. 

On the advice of Eisenhower, Kennedy had to secure the area of Laos against communist takeover and for this purpose Kennedy seek help from SEATO and American allied countries. Thus, to keep control over Laos, Kennedy asked support for Pakistan. Kennedy ordered to vice president for going to Asia. The purpose of this visit was to strengthen SENTO, and it also needed help from Asian countries to fight against communism. China was considered as an indirect threat to USA. United States feared from the rise of communism in China in the region of South Asia. In May 1961, the vice president Lyndon Johnson reached at Karachi. President Ayub met with L. Johnson. There had a long meeting between them. Ayub khan highlighted the Kashmir issue again. After the end of this meeting, Johnson concluded that United States would try to solve Kashmir issue and try to achieve modernization in the military of Pakistan.

Before he visited United States, Ayub khan said to President of United States that Pakistan was upset and disappointed with the policy of the United States. He argued that America sent aid to India and increase it day by day that is direct threat to Pakistan. He also revealed the purchase of 350 Tanks and non-recoil guns. He warned if United States sent more aid to India in future, Pakistan might withdraw from the treaty of SEATO and CENTO.  American president Kennedy invited the president of Pakistan to visit United States. The visit was planned in November 1961. Later it was scheduled earlier, and Ayub khan reached America for official visit in July 1961. He hosted a glittering dinner for Ayub at Mount Vernon George Washington’s home. It had been used for foreign president in the first time of the history of America. Kennedy praised Pakistan for its help in Korean war and cherished the friendship with Pakistan. Ayub khan discussed internal problems of country with USA President. He mentioned the issue of drainage system in West Pakistan, and he asked assistance of United States in improving the irrigation system in West Pakistan. The poor irrigation system was causing damage and decreasing agricultural production. Kennedy sent a high-level team to Pakistan, which solved the irrigation problem. Ayub khan wanted aid from America. Kennedy ready to increase aid. The USA agency for International Development Offered $500 million over a two-year period. After that, he requested more aid from $500 million to $945 million, but Kennedy disregarded his request and said that Pakistan would have to increase its own missionary work in this field. Ayub Khan criticized the aid to India from America. He also expressed his concern and disappointed over the change in US policy toward Pakistan.

Ayub khan visited US to attend the UN session. He met with Kennedy for the second time on 24th September 1962. He again highlighted the United States aid delivered to India that is a security threat to Pakistan. Kennedy said that the United States provides economic aid to India. This aid would also work as a force to press India to negotiate on the Kashmir issue. Kennedy sent a message to Ayub khan on 27th October 1962 about the US military aid and assistance to India and wanted Pakistan help in Sino Indian war of 1962. But Ayub khan was already upset and rejected his wish to help in Sino Indian War. He replied that Pakistan would not attack the Chinese border to help India as Pakistan itself had security issues. During these days, Ayub khan called the emergency session of the National assembly of Pakistan. He discussed Pakistan had to be grateful to the United States for economic and military aids. He criticized SEATO and CENTO Pacts. He said that if we withdraw from these pacts, we will be deprived of western aid for the construction of Tarbella dam Project. During the session, He said that we have two options to solve Kashmir issue through war or negotiation, but later he proffered negotiations. However, Kennedy agreed to support Pakistan on Kashmir dispute at the General Assembly of United Nations, during Ayub khan’s second visit to United States. President of Pakistan returned to his country after completed his official visit to United States. He addressed in a news conference in Karachi. He said that his visit was successful. He said, “Kennedy assured me to solve the Kashmir issue and also promise to provide military aid to Pakistan”.  On 15th January 1962 Kennedy addressed a press conference in Washington. He said that “We want that both countries India and Pakistan to live in peace and improve their economy. And we want Kashmir settlement and not want to blame both countries”.

Harriman and Sandy’s met Ayub khan on 28 November 1962. Both are representatives of United States. They went to New Delhi to talk with Nehru. Ayub khan agreed to solve Kashmir issue through negotiation. But Nehru did not agree to solve Kashmir dispute. After Sino Indian war, Kennedy again put pressure on India to solve Kashmir problem. In those days Kennedy also arranged six rounds of talks between both countries, but the discussions ended with no solution. The United States could not succeed in solving the Kashmir issue. Pakistan was finally decided to change its policies and make a good relationship with China. On 29th March 1963, Pakistan signed the border agreement with China along with many other contracts. Same year on 29th August after Sino-Pak Agreement, Kennedy Administration imposed restriction on Pakistan for the first time. United States was upset with Pakistan’s strengthening relations with China. Meeting was held between two secretaries Pakistani and American from 3rd Sept to 6th sept 1963. After these meetings, Ayub khan delivered a speech in which he said, “America aid to India is the main root cause to increase Indian threat to Pakistan. Pakistan wants to normalize her relations with neighboring countries India, China and USSR.”

After the assassination of Kennedy in 1963, Ayub khan decided himself that he would not go to America at Kennedy’s funeral. He sent foreign minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at Kennedy’s funeral. Lyndon Johnson assumed the office as President. After the death of the former President. Johnson became the new President of United States. Johnson continued Kennedy’s policy of maintaining economic and military cooperation with India, which further deteriorated relations with Pakistan.  Chairman of United States joint chiefs of Staff General Taylor Maxwell visited Pakistan in 1963. He met Ayub khan and asked that Pakistan promised to be with United States, but now your policy diverted towards China. Ayub khan replied change in our policy is due to different reasons and especially this is the result of United States changed policy toward Pakistan. Tylor showed United States disappointment upon Ayub policy with China. Ayub khan said that change in foreign policy of United States towards India as giving them more and more aid created a lot of problems for Pakistan. Then Pakistan decided to seek help from China. America imposed arm embargo on both India and Pakistan in September 1965. The war broke out between India and Pakistan in 1965. Pakistan was looking forward to US intervention to stop Indo-Pak war as a member of SEATO and CENTO. But US adopted a neutral approach during this war which was considered as betrayal from US. This made Pakistan toward China assistance and China provided economic and military aid to Pakistan. United States only called the UN session to stop Indo-Pak war of 1965. After the war ended in December 1965, Ayub khan visited Washington to meet with Johnson as he wanted help in solving the Kashmir issue, but he did not get good response. Due to the threat of Soviet communism, United States wanted to collaborate with Pakistan, but it was deeply upset by Pak-China relations. On 15 February 1966, Johnson sent vice president H. Humphrey on visit to Asia. He gave a message of Johnson to Ayub Khan that United States is ready to negotiate and provide aid and to lift the ban on arm transport. There was restoration of military aid from the United States to Pakistan. US agreed to sell spare parts to both Pakistan and India, but there were some limitations. Secretary of state Dean Rusk asked for Pakistan to arrange a meeting to negotiate with China’s foreign minister on the Vietnam war issue. But this wish was not fulfilled by Pakistan’s then foreign minister Z. A. Bhutto who then resigned from foreign ministry.

After Johnson, in 1968, Richard Nixon won the presidential elections and became the president of United States. He was a good friend of Ayub Khan. Ayub khan’s regime was crumbling at that time and in 1969 Ayub resigned from the government.

To conclude the Pak-US relation in the time of Ayub Khan, there was a shift in policies of both countries. In the start of Ayub era, the relation between Ayub Khan and president J. F. Eisenhower was good and smooth. Pakistan got economic aids from US for different development projects in country. Eisenhower also showed his concern on solving the issue of Kashmir with India but remained unsuccessful. During the reign of President Kennedy and Johnson, US foreign policy is marked with a shift toward India. And with Pakistan, its relations dramatically worsened. Despite this US remained a source of large economic aid for Pakistan. United States and Pakistan signed different defense pacts and agreements for mutual benefits. United States needed Pakistan in combating communism in the South Asia region. Both countries wanted to maintain peace in the region. But with the time passed the policies changed. The change in foreign policy of US urged Pakistan to diverge its policies as well. The reliance of Pakistan on US in the matter of Kashmir issue remained useless. America tried to resolve Kashmir issue but failed due to irresponsible attitude of Indian government. The accepting of US assistance in case of Kashmir issue was futile. United States also promised to provide defense and security, but it failed in this regard as well. This could be shown in neutral approach adopted by US during 1965 war. Every event has both negative and positive effects left. It seemed that US for its own interests exploited the weakness of Pakistan. It made Pakistan dependent on US economic aids. US wanted Pakistan help to counter the spread of communism. The large number of defense aid and military equipment was delivered to India from US. Despite of knowing the fact that Pakistan has security threats from India, US provided them military weapons. This proved that US had only interest in its own benefits. The US-Pak relations also proved significant in some scenario and non-productive in some other. This relation proved fruitful in case of economic aid and military aid, but it failed in Kashmir dispute.

I am graduate Student at Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. My area of research is related to historical events and personalities of Pakistan.

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South Asia

Pakistan’s Priority Ranking of SDGs

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Sustainable development goals are also known as Global or Universal goals that are meant to guide developing and underdeveloped nation-states to a sustainable and peaceful future. Development is a combination of innovation and improvement over a consistent time. It requires the collaboration of several social, cultural, economic, legal, and political sectors. All such sectors are interdependent and function sustainably when allied towards the same goal. 

What are SDGs? 

Developmental goals outline the priorities of a state in terms of its international progress. They are meant to track and counter non-traditional security threats. Such threats are somewhat intangible and have a deeper, more impactful presence. If not countered through structured programs, infrastructure, and policymaking; they will only become a visible reality once the issue is nearly impossible to resolve.

Origin and purpose

These were born from the United Nations Conference that was hosted in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2012. Global issues of all sorts were raised which revolved around aspects such as the environment, clean energy, sanitation, education, health, and security. 

Goals and Commitments

The year 2015 decided that within the upcoming 15 years, there will be an active and hopefully successful attempt at ushering in a future of dignity and peace also known as the 2030 Agenda. 

For each nation, there is a different ranking of the goals following their level of need and priority. Following is the ranking for Pakistan.

Priority I

Goal 2 Zero Hunger

The second goal defines eradicating global hunger and reaching food security for all. This involves the production, processing, and distribution of food and sustainable agriculture. This goal is at the top of Pakistan’s priority list due to its status as an Agrarian State. Due to the recent inflation in the state, the food crisis has become a reality for a sizable portion of the Pakistani population.  

Goal 3 Good Health and Well Being

Places focus on the overall health of all people. The focus is on preventative strategies for all ages. This goal covers the improvement of life expectancy in all developing and underdeveloped nations. It also includes immunization coverage, epidemics such as malaria and dengue, the Covid-19 pandemic, and emergency aid going out to all in times of global distress and disaster. 

Goal 4 Quality Education

Good quality education that is inclusive and available to all is a cornerstone of a prosperous and peaceful society. This includes not only various education sustainability initiatives but also caters to accessible and high-caliber school and university infrastructure. This goal works for a bright future for not only the global youth but for the global economy as well.

Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

Universal access to clean water and a hygienic living environment makes up Goal 6. This will help counter water pollution and reduce the spread of diseases like cholera, malaria, dysentery, typhoid, and Hepatitis A. Clean water and sanitation will ultimately lead to water efficiency and its use as a renewable energy source. 

Goal 7 Affordable and Clean Energy 

Clean Energy is the key to having a future landscape that this generation can pass on to the next. This goal works for the distribution of electricity across the globe, in poverty-stricken and hard-to-access areas. Renewable energy sources (windmills, hydro-electricity, solar power) are being focused on so that there can be a time when weaning off of non-renewable and quickly depleting fuels such as coal, gas, and oil is not harmful to both society and the economy. 

Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Economic growth is a necessary factor to keep states progressing and afloat. Goal 8 emphasizes the importance of productive and decent employment. It promotes a greener economy, sustainable tourism, and social protection for all. 

Goal 16 Peace, Justice, and Security

Accountable and Just national institutions and law enforcement is the path to peace, justice, and security. There is an active need for local participation at the grassroots level. Peace can only ever be delivered from the bottom up. Pakistan has always had a conflict simmering at some level. Be it a population overflow at the borders or a politico-religious conflict. Effectively working on prevention and counter operations can foster peace and security for all. 

Priority II

Goal 1 No Poverty

The first goal is to end poverty globally. The poverty line has been decided over various factors and definitions in the past few years. Once it was declared that any person who consumed less than 2400 kcal over twenty-four hours was under the poverty line. Currently, it is set for members of society who live under Rs. 3000 monthly, in Pakistan.

Goal 5 Gender Equality

It is common knowledge that we live in a majorly patriarchal society that is disadvantageous to women and girls all over the world. Goal 5 aims to fix that by focusing on the elimination of gender-based violence and empowering more women to step into professional and operational roles by reducing in-house gender discrimination. There is also special care taken to recognize and reduce the unpaid labor and double standards which women face daily.

Goal 9 Industry. Innovation, and Infrastructure

A resilient and good quality infrastructure is a must to keep a state of more than 220 million people functioning properly. The innovation of the tech industry is the spearhead for Pakistan’s entry into a competitive future. There is still a need for better infrastructure including highways and high-rise buildings with proper sewage piping as well. Inclusive industrialization will bring about better credit, a more stable economy, and reduced unemployment.

Goal 10 Reduced Inequalities

The focus lies on reducing international inequalities and reducing the massive chasm existing between different classes of society. Income equality is directly tied to gendered equity, improved industrialization, and economic growth. Apart from reducing financial disparity, this also focuses on socio-political, cultural, and religious inclusion. Pakistan is a multicultural and diverse state with citizens belonging to various religious sects, castes, and ethnicities. However, this has often led to intersectional conflicts. This goal aims to counter that through various representative policies and global cooperation.

Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

These are such areas that practice, promote, and support sustainability in every aspect – energy, water, economy, infrastructure, and environment. This goal aims to ensure that due to the massive population migrations from rural to urban, there is no concentration of poverty due to the economic shift. Cities are to be safe havens for their constituents with public transport, parks, recreational spaces, and economic opportunities. 

Goal 17 Partnerships for Goals

No system of such a scale can work in isolation therefore, to bring sustainability to Pakistan, there needs to be a joint effort by international powers and national institutions. Global platforms such as the UN, WTO, SAARC, ASEAN, and IMF are all contributing their part be it through funding, medical aid, or economic policing. Pakistan also partakes in multiple confidence-building measures and FTAs to live up to this goal. 

Priority III

Goal 12 Responsible consumption and Production

Focuses on management and usage of natural resources to not run out before other renewable sources are in place. This goal actively works to reduce the negative impact of state consumption on the environment – be it through chemical dumping, food waste, or wasteful consumption. 

Goal 13 Climate Action

The recent floods in Pakistan and the searing temperatures in June and July point to the absolute necessity of taking climate action. Extreme temperatures, droughts, and flooding are all contributing to the deterioration of human and environmental health. Being a primarily agrarian exporter, Pakistan needs to be vigilant regarding any threat to its agricultural economy and counter it through planning, policies, and preventive strategies. 

Goal 14 Life below Water and Goal 15 Life on Land

The sustainable Development goals have provided guidelines to ensure a hospitable future. This includes protection and conservation of the living habitat aka Oceans and Land. Due to the rapid rate of globalization, modernism, and human development, ecosystems both above and below have suffered. Many species have gone extinct as well, due to unregulated hunting and fishing throughout the year. Ocean acidification and pollution are major concerns due to it being a major food source for the global population. Similarly, deforestation, desertification, and poaching need to be eliminated on land. Pakistan has participated in such initiatives to conserve and protect forests through artificial reforestation – the Changa Manga Forest.

Pakistan is constantly making progress in seeing the SDGs through. Consistency is key to success and in this case, sustainability. 

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Breaking Diplomatic Norms: Indian Response to OIC & Turkish Support for Kashmir Issue




Recently, the Indian government has been facing backlash for its highly undemocratic and derogatory remarks on Turkey’s support to the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The Indian government has also criticized the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for its statement on Indian Human Rights Abuses in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

India’s long-standing hostility towards Pakistan has been a subject of much criticism in international diplomatic circles. While the two countries have a history of conflicts and disputes, India’s approach towards Pakistan has often been seen as unconstructive and counterproductive. The Indian government’s hardline stance on Pakistan has resulted in a deepening of the mistrust between the two countries, which has had serious implications for regional stability and security.

India’s rhetoric towards Pakistan has often been marked by derogatory and aggressive remarks, particularly in the context of the Kashmir issue. In recent years, India has sought to internationalize the issue of Kashmir and has baselessly accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism in the region. This has resulted in a hardening of positions on both sides and has made any meaningful dialogue between the two countries almost impossible.

India’s recent criticism of Turkey’s support for the Kashmir issue at the UNHRC and its condemnation of the OIC’s statement on Indian human rights abuses in IIOJK is another example of its obsession with Pakistan. The Indian government’s response to these developments has been highly un-democratic and derogatory, with Indian officials using aggressive language and personal attacks to discredit Turkey and the OIC.

India’s preoccupation with Pakistan has also had implications for its relationship with other countries in the region. India’s increasingly assertive foreign policy and its strategic partnership with the US have raised concerns among its neighbors, who fear that India’s pursuit of its own interests could undermine regional stability and security. India’s aggressive stance towards China and its border disputes have also added to regional tensions and have led to a deterioration in its relationship with Beijing.Bottom of Form

It is important to note that Turkey has always been a strong supporter of the Kashmir issue, and has been vocal about the human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the region. In September 2021, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue of Kashmir during his speech at the UN General Assembly, stating that the “Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace of South Asia, is still a burning issue.”

In response to Turkey’s support of the Kashmir issue, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement condemning Turkey’s stance, claiming that it was “completely unacceptable” and that Turkey had no right to interfere in India’s internal affairs. India’s statement also accused Turkey of using the Kashmir issue as a “distraction” from its own internal problems.

This reaction from the Indian government is highly undemocratic and uncalled for. It is the right of any nation to express its views on global issues, and India’s attempt to suppress Turkey’s support for the Kashmir issue is a clear violation of this right. The Kashmir issue has been a longstanding dispute between India and Pakistan, and the international community has a responsibility to support a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Turkey’s support for the Kashmir issue is a step in the right direction towards achieving this goal.

Furthermore, the Indian government’s criticism of the OIC’s statement on Indian Human Rights Abuses in IIOJK is also highly inappropriate. The OIC, a group of 57 Muslim-majority countries, has expressed concern over the human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in IIOJK, including extrajudicial killings, torture, and enforced disappearances. The OIC’s statement is a reflection of the international community’s concerns over the situation in IIOJK, and it is the right of the OIC to express its views on this matter.

India’s response to the OIC’s statement has been highly critical, with the Indian government accusing the OIC of interfering in India’s internal affairs. This response is yet another attempt by the Indian government to suppress international criticism of its human rights abuses in IIOJK. The Indian government’s stance on this issue is highly hypocritical, as it has repeatedly called for international support in its own disputes with other nations, including Pakistan.

Indian government’s highly undemocratic and derogatory remarks on Turkey’s support for the Kashmir issue at the UNHRC, as well as its criticism of the OIC’s statement on Indian Human Rights Abuses in IIOJK, are reflective of its lack of respect for international law and global human rights standards. The Kashmir issue is a longstanding dispute that requires a peaceful and just resolution, and the international community has a responsibility to support this goal. The Indian government must recognize this and work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict, rather than resorting to undemocratic and inflammatory rhetoric.

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The Taliban’s Loss of Popular Support in Afghanistan

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image source: Tehran Times

Afghanistan is currently facing an unprecedented crisis due to the Taliban’s takeover of the country in August 2021. Despite initially claiming to have widespread support from the Afghan population, reports from within the country now suggest that the Taliban’s grip on power is increasingly fragile. The Taliban’s regime has been marked by egregious human rights violations, economic hardship, lack of inclusivity, international isolation, and brutal tactics during the war, all of which have contributed to their diminishing popularity. The people of Afghanistan continue to suffer under the oppressive rule of the Taliban, and urgent action is needed to address the humanitarian crisis and restore stability to the region.

Economic Hardship

One of the most pressing issues facing Afghanistan under the Taliban is the economic crisis that has emerged in the wake of their takeover. The country is facing inflation, food shortages, and job losses, all of which are having a significant impact on the lives of ordinary Afghans. The prices for basic goods such as flour and sugar have skyrocketed and many families are struggling to afford even one meal a day. In 2022, many reports emerged that people are selling their kidneys to feed their families.

The Taliban has struggled to revive the economy, and their policies have not been effective in addressing the economic crisis. According to the New York Times, “the Taliban’s financial plan relies heavily on the illicit drug trade, a strategy that may provide some short-term gains but will ultimately lead to greater instability and economic hardship for ordinary Afghans.”

Human Rights Violations

The Taliban’s history of human rights violations, particularly their treatment of women and girls, has also contributed to their loss of popular support in Afghanistan. The Taliban has a reputation for imposing strict restrictions on women’s rights, including banning girls from attending school and requiring women to wear burqas in public. Various media outlets report suggest that women and girls have been virtually invisible in public since the Taliban took over. The Taliban has also used violence against civilians, including women and children who raised voice for their rights. We see constant demonstrations against ban on girls’ education in Kabul and Taliban use to suppress them by using force. No one is allowed to held a protest against the Taliban repressive policies.

Lack of Inclusivity

The Taliban’s government has been criticized for its lack of inclusivity and representation of Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic, political and religious groups. The Taliban is dominated by Pashtuns, and there are concerns that other groups may be marginalized or excluded from political participation. No previous polit al leaders who are in politics for decades is a part of the new set up. Taliban have imposed a narrow interpretation of Islam that does not reflect the country’s diversity and tolerance as well as equal opportunities to men and women. The Taliban’s cabinet is made up entirely of men, and there are no non-Pashtuns or Shia Muslims in key positions.

International Isolation

The Taliban’s return to power has resulted in international isolation, with several countries imposing sanctions and restrictions on the Taliban regime. This has limited the Taliban’s ability to access international aid and resources, which has further exacerbated the economic crisis in Afghanistan. The Washington Post reports that “the Taliban’s international isolation is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan,” and that “the country desperately needs international aid to address its economic woes and provide basic services to its people.” Unless the Taliban bring a change to their repressive policies, they will remain isolated in the international community.

Taliban’s Tactics During the War

The Taliban’s tactics during the war against US-led NATO and ISAF forces, including their use of suicide bombings and targeting of civilians, have also contributed to their loss of popular support among Afghans who have been affected by the violence. The New York Times reported in September 2021 that “the Taliban’s brutal tactics during the war have left a legacy of fear and trauma among the Afghan people.” Many Afghans are deeply distrustful of the Taliban because of the group’s violent tactics during the war and the atrocities they committed against civilians. The Taliban’s reputation as a violent and extremist group has made it difficult for them to gain the trust and support of the Afghan population.

Addressing the Issues

The Taliban faces a significant challenge in regaining the trust and support of the Afghan people. They will need to address the economic crisis, provide basic services to the population, and create an inclusive government that represents Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic, political and religious groups. They will also need to address human rights concerns especially women rights and restore the rule of law. Also, they will need to make significant concessions if they hope to regain the trust of the Afghan people and the international community. They need to create a more stable and predictable environment for the Afghan people if they hope to build a functioning state. The Taliban has taken some steps to address these concerns, including pledging to respect women’s rights and promising to form an inclusive government. However, the effectiveness of these measures remains to be seen.


The Taliban’s loss of popular support in Afghanistan is a significant challenge for the group as they seek to govern the country. Economic hardship, human rights violations, women rights, lack of inclusivity, international isolation, and the Taliban’s tactics during the war have all contributed to their declining popularity. The Taliban will need to address these issues if they hope to regain the trust and support of the Afghan people and build a functioning state. The Taliban’s future depends on their ability to govern effectively and address the concerns of the Afghan people. If they fail to do so, they risk losing the support of the population and facing significant challenges in the years to come. It remains to be seen whether the Taliban can rise to this challenge and create a stable and prosperous Afghanistan for all its citizens.

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