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Pakistani ISI chief holds secret meetings with Taliban, Al Qaeda

Pakistani government, ISI, Inter Service Intelligence, Taliban, Al Qaeda, Faiz Hameed, Biden

Oped

Pakistani ISI chief holds secret meetings with Taliban, Al Qaeda

Pakistani government and its notorious espionage agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) have been celebrating victory of the Taliban and radical Islamic militancy forces, including Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Now within less than a week of the withdrawal of American troops, ISI chief Faiz Hameed has taken an “emergency” trip to Kabul to discuss various strategies of cashing the current situation in Afghanistan by accelerating jihadist notoriety within the Middle Eastern region as well as implement terrorist attacks on the US and Western cities. Although the trip of ISI chief has been propagated by Islamabad as an “efforts to resolve an evolving internal crisis in the Taliban after reports emerged about a clash between factions between in which the group co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar suffered injuries, the main agenda behind this trip was totally different. Moreover, none of the media in the world has exposed secret meeting between Faiz Hameed and at least two of the key figures in Al Qaeda.

Commenting on Hameed’s visit, Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) wrote: Hameed’s emergency visit [to Afghanistan] affirms that the Taliban regime merely is an ISI puppet.

In his article titled ‘Taliban in crisis: Why ISI chief Faiz rushed to Kabul’, Michael Rubin wrote: Faiz Hameed, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, arrived in Kabul today to address a developing crisis in the Taliban’s new state. Whereas the Taliban had said that they would unveil their new government on September 3, the day passed without any official word of the appointment of Haibatullah Akhundzada whom the group’s representatives earlier signaled would be the Islamic Emirate’s supreme leader based in Kandahar. That delay also postponed Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar’s efforts to become political leader in Kabul.  The delay may signal a much greater crisis within the Taliban, hence Hameed’s emergency trip.

As the Taliban consolidate control, President Joe Biden has sought to shift blame for Afghanistan’s collapse to his predecessor. He said Trump’s deal tied his hands. This is false: While Trump’s Taliban deal was deeply flawed and essentially a surrender agreement, the Taliban never adhered to its side of the bargain and, regardless, Biden did not hold himself to the same standard with regard to Trump’s decisions on the border wall, the Keystone XL pipeline, or the Nord Stream-2 sanctions.

The deeper problem with which Hameed now struggles is the fact that a unitary Taliban has always been illusionary. More than a decade ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put the United States on the path of negotiations with the Taliban. “You don’t make peace with your friends,” she explained. “You have to be willing to engage with your enemies if you expect to create a situation that ends an insurgency.” That ultimately led to the decision to open a Taliban political office in Doha, Qatar. That was the easy part, even as diplomats wrestled with the question of whether such an office should fly the flag of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate. The real question—and one which successive administrations and Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad never addressed—was whether that political representation really spoke for the group in its entirety. The Quetta Shura is different from the Haqqani Network is different from the Northern Taliban. While Western diplomats and even Pakistani officials may consider the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as having no legitimacy in Afghanistan, there is no indication that the group truly concurs. Such factionalism initially played into Taliban hands: They could feign compliance and blame attacks on splinter groups even as Taliban leaders privately approved the attacks to bleed the Afghan government.

Like the Mouse that Roared, neither Taliban leaders nor their ISI handlers expected that they could defeat the United States; two decades ago, no one expected either Trump or Biden could be president. Now that they are in power, the infighting has—quite literally—begun…

The visit of ISI chief Faiz Hameed now evidently proves their active involvement behind lightening arrival of the Taliban in Kabul and the demise of Afghan government.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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