Former Diplomats Flag 'Strong Pakistani Imprint' On New Afghan Government

Taliban has unveiled a hardline interim authorities led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund

New Delhi:

Terming the brand new interim authorities in Afghanistan as “old wine in a new bottle”, former Indian diplomats at the moment mentioned the cupboard shaped in Kabul has dispelled “myths” of Taliban 2.0, and asserted that it has a robust Pakistani imprint on it which is a “cause of concern” for India.

The Taliban yesterday unveiled a hardline interim authorities led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the rebel group, together with Sirajuddin Haqqani, a chosen world terrorist of the dreaded Haqqani Network with a USD 10 million US bounty on his head, as the inside minister.

Though there are some voices within the authorities reminiscent of Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, named because the deputy to the overseas minister, who has spoken of getting pleasant ties with India however they’re much decrease within the pecking order.

Former exterior affairs minister Ok Natwar Singh, ex-diplomats Meera Shankar, Anil Wadhwa and Vishnu Prakash famous that the brand new authorities had extremist components and India should proceed with its “wait and watch” strategy going ahead.

Rakesh Sood, a former Indian envoy to Afghanistan, mentioned the interim authorities introduced in Kabul dispels any fantasy a couple of Taliban 2.0.”This is clearly the same as Taliban 1.0 with ISI fingerprints all over it,” he asserted.

Ms Shankar, who served as India’s Ambassador to the United States between 2009 and 2011, mentioned one must wait and see what the event means for India by way of the insurance policies that the Taliban undertake.

“But it does not appear promising and indeed there is cause for concern because it seems to be old wine in a new bottle because many of the players who have been appointed are the same (that were there in the previous Taliban regime),” she advised PTI.

The appointment of Sirajuddin Haqqani to move the inside ministry is a explanation for fear and the Doha group which offered the reasonable face of the Taliban appears to have been marginalised to a substantial extent, she famous.

Noting that it was a setback for India, she harassed that as a substitute of taking a look at it by way of India-Pakistan, what was extra vital was that will probably be a setback for the folks of Afghanistan.

She additionally famous that the presence of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General (DG) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed whereas the cupboard formation was being mentioned, clearly confirmed that there was an “overt” Pakistani interference and never a refined one anymore.

Mr Wadhwa, who served as Secretary (East) within the Ministry of External Affairs earlier than retiring in 2017, mentioned it was fairly anticipated that the federal government won’t be an “inclusive” government as people expected it to be.

“The Taliban factions have discovered their very own steadiness and the extremist components are prevalent there; the others are sidelined, so mainly the Doha faction has been sidelined. To have anticipated an inclusive authorities for an outfit like this particularly when Pakistan is taking part in a really robust hand was not likely as much as actuality,” he told PTI.

“What has occurred is alongside the anticipated traces and it’s after all a setback for international locations like India, the US and the West usually. But I’ve a sense that since these international locations (West) are distant from the motion in Afghanistan, they’ll regularly over time come to stay with it. But the nation that may face the brunt of it might be presumably India, maybe in a while international locations like Iran and Russia, however not a lot China,” Mr Wadhwa said.

He asserted that the new government had the imprint of Pakistan’s ISI and pointed out that the Haqqani faction holding the Interior ministry speaks volumes.

Agreeing that it was rhetorically a case of “previous wine in a brand new bottle”, he said, “proper now, sure we’re not going to recognise this type of authorities however I do not see why we must always not have a channel of communication with them.”

Echoing similar views on keeping a channel of communication open, Mr Prakash, who has been India’s envoy to Canada and South Korea, said that does not mean recognition or endorsement but it just means “we’re having a channel of communication” so that Pakistan does not get a “free run”.

Mr Prakash said what was surprising was that even the Doha group had been eased out because they were not considered to be hardline enough, and asserted that “Rawalpindi (a reference to Pakistani Army) was calling the pictures”.

“I might say that the bottle is previous and the wine is previous when you might have folks like Mullah Hasan Akhund, who was the one that ordered the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas, or you might have Sirajuddin Haqqani who was instrumental in attacking the Indian embassy, these are the individuals who know just one language and that’s the language of the gun,” he asserted.

Talking about Pakistan’s influence on Afghanistan now, Mr Prakash said he does not think that anyone in the know of things had any doubt that Pakistan was “holding all of the aces”.

Pakistan has put its own nation at risk by cultivating the Taliban, supporting them, and the entire fight was masterminded by Rawalpindi, he said.

“Pakistan’s imprint was writ massive. You should be in denial to state that Pakistan’s position was restricted. It is a unique matter whether or not the Taliban, as soon as it consolidates itself, will carve out an impartial course solely time will inform,” he said.

Mr Singh, who was the foreign minister in UPA-I and also served as India’s Ambassador to Pakistan besides holding other senior diplomatic positions, said the one responsible for the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas is part of the government and pointed out that there were extreme Islamists who were part of it.

“I believe for a few months we should simply wait and watch as we have no idea what actions will comply with. One doesn’t know what their priorities are,” Mr Singh said.

He also said Pakistan financed and armed the Taliban but could face a problem as they could turn against Islamabad going forward.

“We wish to have good relations with them however for the time being it does not appear that they’re ,” he mentioned.

Former External Affairs minister Yashwant Sinha yesterday mentioned India can’t and shouldn’t do enterprise with the federal government shaped in Afghanistan.


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