Canadian ex-diplomat calls for Pak to be sanctioned over its role in Afghanistan
Chris Alexander was the first resident Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003-2009 and also served as the UN secretary general’s deputy special representative for the country
As the Taliban are running amok in Afghanistan sparking a humanitarian crisis, a former Canadian ambassador to the country has called for sanctioning Pakistan, claiming that it is allegedly invading its neighbouring country using hardline proxies.
Chris Alexander, who was the first resident Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003-2009 and also served as the UN secretary general’s deputy special representative for Afghanistan, is among the key voices behind the viral hashtag #SanctionPakistan, which calls for Islamabad to be held accountable for its alleged role in the Afghan crisis.
The Conservative Party member stressed that “strong and decisive” action is required from the UN to ensure the capital city of Kabul doesn’t fall to the Taliban.
Alexander, also former cabinet minister for citizenship and Immigration, tweeted, “Anyone denying or omitting to condemn the fact of Pakistan’s invasion is now complicit.”
He also claimed that there was an emerging nexus between China, Pakistan and the Taliban.
Alexander told HT that the “world should worry a great deal” about this development and its implications. “Apart from being Pakistan’s mercenaries, the Taliban are UN-listed terrorists. Anyone cozying up to them is playing a dangerous game,” he added.
He has come under repeated attack from Islamabad for his claims that Pakistan has played a role in destablising Afghanistan and enabling the Taliban to expand its footprint.
Last week, Pakistan’s consul general in Toronto complained to Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole to take action against Alexander.
Alexander described that complaint as “unbelievable” and a “journey to the heart of Pakistani psychology and its understanding of how democracies work”.
“If they’re writing to Erin and making ridiculous statements, it shows they’re a bit desperate,” Alexander said. He asserted that Pakistan needs to be “held to account” for the “threat to international peace and stability that it’s been underwriting”.
In this regard, he said, India had the “deepest experience, but the whole world has been a victim of their ploy”.
While the #SanctionPakistan hashtag is a recent trend, the position is not a new one taken by Alexander. In a report he authored titled “Ending Pakistan’s Proxy War in Afghanistan”, released in March by the Ottawa-based Macdonald Laurier Institute (MLI), he claimed that “Pakistan’s aim was to break Afghanistan’s post-2001 constitutional order by installing a Taliban-led coalition to replace the current government, which [Pakistan’s] ISI sees as a stalking horse for India”. He added, “Without ISI support, the Taliban-led proxy war would end quickly.”
He also wrote that “every serious partner of Afghanistan now has a duty to enact far-reaching sanctions against those individuals and agencies in Pakistan responsible for this covert proxy war in Afghanistan”.
Among his recommendations was listing Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism.