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HomeWorldPak-Taliban alliance under unprecedented strain as their interests diverge

Pak-Taliban alliance under unprecedented strain as their interests diverge

NEW DELHI: Because the Taliban seized energy in August 2021, its ties with Islamabad have deteriorated amid lethal border clashes. Extra just lately, the militants have accused Islamabad of allowing its air house for use by US drones to strike targets in Afghanistan. In flip, Pakistan has accused the Taliban of harboring terrorists, media reported.

Consultants say the longstanding alliance, which dates again to the emergence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan within the mid-Nineties, is coming beneath unprecedented pressure as their pursuits diverge.

“The Taliban may have accepted Pakistani support for years but do not wish to be Pakistani proxies forever,” stated Husain Haqqani of the Washington-based Hudson Institute who beforehand served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the USA, RFE/RL reported.

Final month, the Taliban accused Pakistan of permitting US drones to make use of its airspace to conduct strikes inside Afghanistan. The August 28 declare got here after an American drone strike in Kabul killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in July. Islamabad has denied involvement in or superior information of the strike.

On September 14, Islamabad accused the Taliban authorities of harboring Masood Azhar, head of the Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) extremist group and a UN-blacklisted terrorist. The Taliban strongly rejected Pakistan’s claims, RFE/RL reported.

In his speech to the UN General Meeting on September 23, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated Islamabad “shares the key concern of the international community regarding the threat posed by major terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan.”

Sharif talked about the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-Okay), the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda, the East Turkistan Islamic Motion and the Islamic Motion of Uzbekistan as teams primarily based in Afghanistan that “need to be dealt with” comprehensively, with the help and cooperation of the interim Afghan authorities.”

The speech provoked a pointy rebuke from the Taliban, with Deputy Overseas Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai on September 27 claiming Islamabad was “receiving millions of dollars” from Washington for permitting American drones to conduct flights over Afghanistan.

“How long can we tolerate this?” Stanikzai requested a gathering in Kabul. “If we rise against this (Pakistani interference), no one will be able to stop us.”

Consultants say one other supply of stress is the Taliban’s unwillingness to crack down on the TTP, a detailed ideological and organizational ally. From its bases inside Afghanistan, the extremist group has intensified its insurgency in opposition to Islamabad in recent times, RFE/RL reported.

(Sanjeev Sharma might be reached at [email protected])

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