CIA chief holds important meetings with Pak, India on Afghanistan

William Burns, who is President-elect Joe Biden nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency. (File photo: State Dept./IANS).

Islamabad, Sep 11 (IANS) In view of the developing situation in Afghanistan with the interim Taliban government being questioned broadly by the western countries, including the US, CIA Director Willian Burns flew to Pakistan and India recently to have important meetings and consultations on the way forward for the war-torn nation.

During his stay in Pakistan, Burns met the head of the army, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the Intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed.

“It was reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to cooperate with its international partners for peace in the region, ensuring a stable and prosperous future for the Afghan people,” read a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in Pakistan.

However, the situation is not as bright as it is reported. It is said that the main purpose of the CIA chief’s visit to Pakistan and India was because Islamabad remained an ally to the US in the war on terror, and the US proposed increased influence and presence of India in Afghanistan, when it announced its South Asia policy under the Donald Trump administration.

Pakistan is playing an important role in the evacuation of foreign nationals from Afghanistan and became a vital destination when the US and other NATO troops were evacuated from Kabul during the troop withdrawal process.

Since the withdrawal of the US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, countries like Turkey, Qatar, Iran, Russia, China and Pakistan are converging in Afghanistan with constant consultations and active contacts with the Taliban regime, an alliance-based convergence that is raising serious concerns in Washington.

The Joe Biden administration has stated that it would keep a close eye on the developing situation in Afghanistan, insisting that if would take out terror hideouts through drone strikes at the time of its choosing and whenever needed.

It should be noted that US drone strike claimed the lives of at least 10 members of a family, including children, as it targeted a vehicle carrying an alleged Islamic State (IS) member. The drone strike was carried out after the deadly blast at the Kabul airport that claimed the lives of hundreds of Afghans and dozens of US troops. The attack was claimed by ISIS-K (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant – Khorasan).

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid slammed the US for carrying out the drone strike, which he said claimed the lives of innocent civilians, adding that the US has no right to carry out attacks in Afghanistan anymore.

“If there was any potential threat in Afghanistan, it should have been reported to us, not an arbitrary attack that has resulted in civilian casualties,” he said.

The CIA chief’s agenda seems to be on the same lines, as he met with the top military brass of Pakistan and India and discussed security concerns linked to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

However, it is believed that the US is trying to keep its influence in Afghanistan alive through intelligence sharing through Pakistan and eyes on ground through India as it sees Afghanistan being wrapped with its important opponents from the region.

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