The recent quick takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban might have raised eyebrows of many countries and intelligence agencies, but not for Pakistan and it’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI). It’s nothing new for ISI as it has been repeatedly accused by the India, USA and other NATO countries of secretly providing safe haven to the Taliban.
A recent statement given by the Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan exposed Pakistan’s involvement in the instability of Afghanistan. He went live on the television and said “Taliban had broken the shackles of slavery in Afghanistan“. This blatantly given statement given by the Pakistani PM proved that how Pakistani government profoundly celebrated the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.
If you look at the past, Pakistan supported and recognized the Taliban government when in first came into power in 1996 and Pakistan’s ISI providing weapons,intelligence and safe haven to Taliban during the 90’s era and even after the USA’s invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11. Matt Waldman a noted international relations expert, wrote in a widely discussed paper titled “The Sun in the sky: The Relationship Between Pakistani ISI and Afghan insurgents” that the ISI orchestrates, sustains and strongly influences the movement. They say it gives sanctuary to both Taliban and Haqqani groups, and provides huge support in terms of training, funding, munitions, and supplies. In their words, this is ‘as clear as the sun in the sky, said by the Taliban commanders.
An Indian Expert who is closing following the Afghanistan-Pakistan region said,“The two provinces of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan bordering Afghanistan, were used by its deep state and the ISI to safely keep the Taliban leaders after 9/11 for a few years; afterwards, they provided logistics and training to start their insurgency once again around 2007.Leaders of Taliban were provided high security to escape any US drone strike or assassination attempt. What we are seeing now is not the Taliban’s invasion in Afghanistan, but a Pakistani proxy military invasion.”
The exiled president of the Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani always time and time again used to strain the fact that Pakistan provided safe havens for the fighters of Taliban and provided them with weaponry and intelligence to disrupt the peace of Afghanistan. Clearly, the repeatedly strategic attacks done by Taliban to cause commotion and harm to the people living in the cities of Afghanistan showed that they were provided external support.
The ISI has always influenced the Taliban directly or indirectly, and has asserted a dominance in the decision making on Taliban’s field operations. The main motive of ISI is to support Taliban, gain dominance in Afghanistan and topple India’s influence from the country. Since Karzai’s administration, India always had a good relationship with Afghanistan as India have invested 3 billion$ in Afghanistan’s infrastructure projects and Pakistan has always took that with a pinch of salt.