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DNA Explainer: How Pakistan helped Taliban come to power in Afghanistan

 Days after the Taliban took over the reins of power in Afghanistan, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in an address to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) said that the events in Afghanistan have naturally enhanced global concerns about their implications for both regional and international security.

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"Whether in Afghanistan or against India, groups like Lashkar-e Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to operate with impunity and encouragement. Heightened activities of the proscribed Haqqani network justify growing anxiety," he said. "What is true of COVID is true of terrorism. No one is safe until all of us are safe. (But) Some countries undermine our collective resolve," added the minister.

Many believe within India's diplomatic and intelligence establishments that the Taliban control over Afghanistan was only possible because of active assistance from Pakistan. And this is very clearly reflected in statements made by our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in the UNSC.

Taking a dig at neighbouring countries Pakistan and China he said, "When we see state hospitality being extended to those with blood on their hands, we must call out the doublespeak." A day after the Taliban took over Kabul, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan endorsed the group, saying they have broken the 'shackles of slavery'.

On the other hand, Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi at a meeting with the Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Tianjin told that Afghanistan belongs to the Afghan people, and its future should be in the hands of its own people.

Relationship of Pakistan with Taliban

Pakistan has a long relationship with the terrorist outfit Taliban right from its origin in September 1994 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Pakistan fully supported the Taliban when the terror outfit first took over Afghanistan in 1996 overthrowing Ahmad Shah Massoud, the ethnic Tajik leader. 

It sheltered the Taliban fighters and leaders in the aftermath of the post 9/11 US invasion and simultaneously claimed it supported the US in the 'war on terror'.

Through these years, the Pakistan security establishment pushed for talks with the terror outfit Taliban.

Co-founder of the Taliban, Abdul Ghani Baradar was arrested by Pakistan in 2010 but was freed three years ago from a Pakistani jail at the request of the US.

Abdul Ghani Baradar helped lead negotiations for the United States to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2020 after he got released from Pakistani prison.

How Pakistan helped the Taliban takeover

As US troops withdrew from Afghanistan in haste, the Taliban within weeks was able to easily defeat the Afghan forces and take over the country.

Afghanistan's deposed Vice President Amrullah Saleh and other members of the Ashraf Ghani government allege the Pakistan Army's Special Forces and the ISI were guiding the Taliban.

Pakistan remained the safe haven for the Taliban terrorists virtually from the start of the US 'war on terror' in 2001 after the World Trade Tower attack.

The political leadership of the Taliban was put up in the Balochistan capital of Quetta whereas the Afghan Taliban fighters took refuge in South and North Waziristan.

Taliban's associated group the Haqqani Network and al-Qaeda and some other jihadists kept moving in and out of Pakistan to Afghanistan.

This time too, in its fight to conquer Kabul, the Taliban launched its attacks in Afghanistan from the same safe havens in Pakistan.

Funeral prayers have regularly being held for Taliban fighters killed in Afghanistan, a Voice of America report quoted villagers near Quetta.

Sheikh Rashid, a minister in Imran Khan's cabinet, told Geo News in July that the Afghan Taliban wounded in the fighting were treated in hospitals in Pakistan.

Taliban regime in Kabul would ensure the Pakistan military a free pass over Afghanistan, a territory that it can use to maintain its enmity with India.

Source: DNA Explainer: How Pakistan helped Taliban come to power in Afghanistan (


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