If Biden ignores Afghanistan-Pakistan, ISI will get a long rope. India must play bigger role

By The Print

Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami’s chats about the Pulwama attack in 2019 aren’t the only thing Pakistan’s Imran Khan is complaining about this week. Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s admission that Pakistan has complained to Kabul — “with evidence” — about India interfering in the Afghan peace process is as interesting a development.

Perhaps Qureshi was referring to the visit of National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Kabul recently, where he held talks with his counterpart Hamdullah Mohib and other Afghan leaders to “synchronise efforts to combat terrorism” and expand cooperation.

In the wake of the meeting, the irrepressible first vice-president of Afghanistan, Amrullah Saleh, tweeted:

“Had a pleasant meeting with NSA Ajit Doval of India. We discussed the enemy. It was an in-depth discussion.”

No prizes for guessing who Saleh was referring to. Since he was a 25-year-old aide to the former Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, who fought the Taliban until he was assassinated two days before the 9/11 attacks in the US, Saleh has openly called out the ‘Pakistan hand’ in destabilising Afghanistan.

With a new US administration taking over this week and US troops drawing down as per schedule, the Afghans are keen that India fill the vacuum or at least play a bigger role in staving off the Taliban terror attacks masterminded by Pakistan next door.

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