The European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) held a conference on Thursday regarding ‘Situation in Afghanistan and future trajectories for the region and the West’ in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, in recognition of the importance of a comprehensive and coherent European response to the situation in Afghanistan.
Andreas von Brandt, the EU Ambassador to Afghanistan, pointed out that Pakistan has not received enough attention while talking about the state of affairs in Afghanistan and the future course of events for the West and the South Asia region.
The conference, which was attended by the EU ambassador to Afghanistan, Andreas von Brandt, Member European Parliament (MEP) and Chair of the delegation for relations with Afghanistan, Petras Auštrevičius, Afghan scholars as panelists and engaging audience, pinpointed Pakistan’s culpability in Afghanistan.
Blaming Pakistan for “hosting, sponsoring and exporting terrorism to the region and the wider world,” the panelists called on the EU to take serious measures against Pakistan.
While the winner of the prestigious Women’s Rights Defender Award, Horia Mosadiq, labeled Pakistan to have “never ceased to support the Taliban”, Bashir Ahmad Gwakh, a journalist, accused Pakistan of playing the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban.
He also explained that Pakistan has always made a distinction between the “Good” Taliban, those who fought NATO forces in Afghanistan, and the “Bad” Taliban, those who attacked Pakistan.
The first person of Afghan descent to be elected to public office in the UK, Peymana Assad, claimed that the western states’ reason for not sanctioning Pakistan is that it is a nuclear state, calling it a “hypocrisy policy” given that they sanctioned Russia for invading Ukraine.
EU ambassador acknowledged that many mistakes have been made by the West in the past 20 years, saying “What was said about Pakistan is also very important and I think we are not speaking enough about Pakistan. That is probably all I can say, but I agree with that”.
Petras Auštrevičius, the MEP, expressed concern about the growing terrorism in the region, especially central asia, stated that given Pakistan’s GSP+ status, EU will keep checking Pakistan, while calling on Afghans to “consolidate” their opinions and raise their “voice”.