Pakistan, the Taliban and Australia

Rural conditions Australia

Christopher Snedden of Deakin University writes that on the basis of his record, Pakistan’s new president, Asif Zardari, has neither the skills nor the aspiration to effectively address Pakistan’s deep-rooted and threatening problems. With more than a thousand Australian troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, Snedden argues that "there also appears to be little that Australia can do to encourage or help Pakistan to confront the Taliban with greater effectiveness.” “One serious option, therefore,” he concludes, “is for foreign governments and their forces to engage the Afghan Taliban in dialogue in order to try to understand its point of view, to attempt to influence and moderate it, and to engage it in a political process. While this may be unpalatable, it is practical and not harmful to non-combatants. It also could also assist Pakistan, and it would be playing to one of the West’s strengths.”

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