There is ample proof of Pakistani regulars and Mujahids fighting alongside Taliban in covert mode, with Pakistani officers even leading Taliban columns. The Taliban were raised in Peshawar, not in Kandahar as believed.
|The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army|
The US has abandoned Afghanistan to the Taliban after fighting them for 20 years that resulted in thousands of Afghans killed and millions displaced. And, the Afghan tragedy continues with Taliban demonstrating its old ways of barbarity shortly after taking over Kabul – killings, assassinations, abducting girls, rapes, enforcing Sharia, you name it.
During the erstwhile Taliban rule in Afghanistan (1996-2001) before the US invasion, Indian Airlines flight IC-184 was hijacked on December 24, 1999 with ISI support; the hijack ending at Kandahar after India released three terrorists – Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh and Masood Azhar.
In October 2019, three of the five engineers working on an electricity sub-station in Baghlan Province taken hostage by Taliban in May 2018, were freed in exchange for 11 of top Taliban cadres from the jail in Bagram. The Indians were reportedly released following meetings between US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban representatives led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in ‘Islamabad’.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, also called ‘Taliban Khan’, before he became Prime Minister, for obvious reasons, has lauded the Taliban victory in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s DG, ISI Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed visited Kandahar on August 19 to pray with Taliban.
Mullah Baradar, incidentally, was released from jail in Pakistan and taken to Doha in Qatar on behest of the US to work out the so-called US-Taliban peace deal – safe exit of US troops from Afghanistan in exchange for US abandoning the country to Taliban’s mercy. Earlier, Pakistan’s ISI had done a masterstroke by positioning Sirajuddin Haqqani (head of Haqqani network) as the Deputy Leader of Taliban, Haqqanis being major supporter of Taliban.
Geopolitical journalist Michael Hughes had written on July 6, 2010, “Haqqani Network is Al-Qaeda. Pakistan has had a close relationship with the Haqqanis for over 30 years, who are still seen as a crucial anti-Indian asset. So, for nine years the Pakistanis protected Haqqanis and claimed ignorance about the whereabouts of Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden and the Quetta Shura. Nine years, nearly $300 billion dollars and 1,900 dead coalition soldiers later, the US has officially verified that the entire war effort has been focused on the wrong side of the mountains.”
On October 31, 2011, Pir Zubair Shah and Carlotta Gall wrote in New York Times, “The Haqqani family, which runs the network like a mafia, maintains several town houses, including in Islamabad and elsewhere, and they have been known to visit military facilities in Rawalpindi, attend tribal gatherings and even travel abroad on pilgrimages.”
In his editorial in March 2012, Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi wrote, “The ISI has walked into GHQ and seized command and control of the armed forces”. BBC Documentary “Secret Pakistan” provides further proof of Pakistan’s ISI training, advising and directing the Taliban.
But above is not all. There is ample proof of Pakistani regulars and Mujahids fighting alongside Taliban in covert mode, with Pakistani officers even leading Taliban columns. The Taliban were raised in Peshawar, not in Kandahar as believed. Same was in the case of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) and pushed into Afghanistan. Besides, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has periodically reported that Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Jhanghvi (LeJ) and Haqqani Network are operating in Afghanistan.
“Utopians in India are jubilant that Pakistan has made peace with India. Nothing in reality can be farther from the truth. The real picture of true intentions of the Pakistani military will emerge when the US withdraws from Afghanistan.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, also called ‘Taliban Khan’ before he became Prime Minister for obvious reasons, has lauded the Taliban victory in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s DG, ISI Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed visited Kandahar on August 19 to pray with Taliban and coordinate further terrorist activities (mainly against India?) and further plans to spread Islamic jihad worldwide.
Syed Salahuddin, head of Pakistan-based Hizbul Mujahideen, has congratulated the Taliban for gaining control on Afghanistan in an audio message and requested assistance for terrorism in J&K. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s rabid foreign minister too visited Kabul for tête-à-tête with the Taliban.
Former Pakistan army officer, Major Agha H. Amin had prophesied in 2005 (which he repeated in 2012, “Utopians in India are jubilant that Pakistan has made peace with India. Nothing in reality can be farther from the truth. The real picture of true intentions of the Pakistani military will emerge when the US withdraws from Afghanistan. Pakistan sponsored Taliban regard all Shias, Ismailis, non-Pashtuns, moderate Pashtuns as infidels who deserve to be massacred.”
Mehbooba Mufti is jubilant as expected though she probably cannot decide whether her crush is more on Mullah Baradar (Taliban), Hafiz Saeed (Let), Masood Azhar (JeM), Syed Salahuddin (HM) or Ayman al-Zawahiri (Al Qaeda) suffering from tuberculosis. But many of our scholars and scribes are spin doctoring that Taliban is not interested in J&K and presents no threat to India. One clown who had his face smeared with ink sometimes back has penned that India and Pakistan should together approach Taliban and dialogue with them (sic).
Another clown, who some years back was spreading fake stories of an attempted military coup in India, writes that India should forget Afghanistan, Pakistan and shift its strategic gaze to the sea. Tavleen Singh’s book ‘Raag Darbari’ reveals this man used to beg her for an introduction to Rajiv Gandhi. Because of the ‘dynasty’ he got away spreading lies of an army coup and no court would entertain a suit against him. His present argument that Pakistan is no threat since it would find difficulties in dealing with Taliban and that India should move out to sea ignoring land borders because geography dictates history, is nothing more than idiotic.
Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid recently stated that Pakistan is our second home and we will not allow anyone to use our soil against Pakistan
There is plenty in news about how Chinese have bought the media in foreign countries. But never has there been any report by our intelligence agencies how much money the Chinese intelligence and Pakistan’s ISI has and continues to pour in Indian media to mould perceptions. The only explanation could be that the ‘deep state’ embedded in the government administration too is on payroll of foreign intelligence. Otherwise when journalists get arrested simply for comments against the Prime Minister, how come those writing against national interests go scot free especially when some of them are well known?
Finally, Afghan-origin terrorists have been operating in J&K in the past whether as part of ‘Al Badr’ or infiltrated by Pakistan. There could be more instability in Pakistan with Taliban takeover of Afghanistan especially since some 2,300 cadres of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have recently been freed in Afghanistan and TTP has Pakistan in its crosshairs.
But Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid recently stated, "Pakistan is our second home. We will not allow anyone to use our soil against Pakistan. We want to make it clear that Pakistan is not meddling in internal affairs of Afghanistan."Also, ISI links with ISKP, Al Qaeda and Pakistan-based terrorist organisations (all supported by China) present a heightened threat to India.As per intelligence inputs of August 23, 2021, Pakistan’s ISI has floated a new terror outfit ‘Hizb-e-Wilayat’ to carry out attacks exclusively on Indian assets in Afghanistan. We cannot let our guard down on any front.