With all the talk of Pakistan and the Taliban being 60 miles from Islamabad (as if they have tank divisions or conventional forces), I’d like to consider just a few things.
1) The Taleban are an insurgent group, not conventional fighters. If they try to become one, they will be decimated by the Pakistan army just as happened for example during the Tet Offensive.
2) From Pakistan’s perspective, support for the Taliban is a hedge against the future withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan and a slowing or stop of US support. Remember, the US and Pakistan had bad relations since 1989 when the US lost interest and slapped Pakistan with host of nonproliferation sanctions. Pakistan sees the US as an unreliable ally and fair weather friend. Hence, if Pakistan truly does turn on the Taliban and wins, it will inevitably lead towards a situation where the US/NATO accomplishes its mission and leaves. Then Pakistan will be left alone to fight India with no ally in Afghanistan and fewer proxy forces.
India is still seen as Pakistan’s primary threat while the opposite is of course not true.What are the US/NATO’s options here?