The US troops had not even left Afghanistan when the Taliban took control of Kabul. On 16th August, a day after Kabul fell to the Taliban forces, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan claimed that Pakistan had broken the shackles of slavery.

A year since that, the jubilation has subdued, as Pakistan is gripped with insurgencies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. In its pursuit of strategic depth and the infatuation with having the Taliban govern Afghanistan, Pakistan has pushed the security structure in the Afgan-Pak region to the brink of collapse, threatening not just the continued existence of the state of Afghanistan and Pakistan but also the billions of dollars that China has invested in Pakistan and its ambitions in Afghanistan.

At the time of writing, Pakistan is facing dual insurgencies in KP and Balochistan. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been emboldened by the Taliban’s capture of Kabul and has been a recipient of the Taliban’s hospitality, something which Pakistan expected for itself. In the last year, TTP has conducted more than 350 attacks across Pakistan. In Balochistan, BLA has received renewed support from the TTP, and Pakistan now finds itself fighting a two-front war.

Balochistan, regrettably for Pakistan is also a host to China’s biggest investment in the form of CPEC. A mild level insurgency has been going on in the region for over decades. China’s interference via investments has also become a point of conflict between Pakistani authorities and Baloch insurgents.

Pakistan had hoped with the Taliban ruling Afghanistan, it’d finally be able to fence the border across the Durand Line. However, that has not been the case. Cross-border firings across the Durand Line have increased incessantly. Moreover, since coming to power Taliban has released maps which show the Greater Pashtunistan region as part of the Afghan territory.

China, which had hosted the Taliban leadership after the fall of Kabul, and refused to close down its embassy along with Russia in the Afghan capital, had high hopes of getting its hands on the $1.3 trillion worth of Afghan minerals and securing a route for its ambitious BRI has failed to achieve any of its objectives. In addition, it is growing incessantly aggrieved about the current security situation in Balochistan, KP and Gilgit Baltistan through which the CPEC passes.

Incidentally, China has also refused to furnish further loans to Pakistan until the security situation improves in the region. Currently, Chinese loans amount to a quarter of Pakistan’s external debt. Without fresh funds coming to the nation, Pakistan’s economy is in free fall. Its exports have dried up and food imports to the nation have dried up the country’s Forex reserve which is below $5 billion.

Pakistan faces an unprecedented climb out of the economic and security situation. Parallels of its economic situation can be drawn with Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan economic crisis was the worst economic crisis since its independence. China’s share in Sri Lanka’s external debt was around 20% which shows the seriousness of Pakistan’s economic situation which could be on the brink of collapse.

There is no doubt that the current economic and security situation in the Afgan-Pak region has been exacerbated by the Taliban’s capture of Kabul. If Pakistan is unable to secure its borders and weed out the insurgencies there is a greater risk of Pakistan breaking up which would be detrimental to the security of South Asia as a whole.

Pakistan is a nuclear state and has a population of 220 million. Its neighbours, especially India and China (Xinjiang) face unprecedented mass immigration and the threat of nuclear terrorism. Therefore, Pakistan requires greater attention from the international community.

While the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan was welcomed by Pakistan and China alike, they now face unprecedented risk to their future and investments respectively.