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Pak Continues Effort To Counter Indian Influence In Afghanistan: Pentagon

Indian and Afghan officers have for lengthy accused Taliban of getting hyperlinks to Pakistan.(Representational)

Washington:

United States Department of Defense quarterly report back to US Congress says that Pakistan continues to harbor the Taliban and related terrorist teams in Pakistan, such because the Haqqani Network, which maintains the power to conduct assaults towards Afghan pursuits.

The report is the primary one to be issued because the US and the Taliban signed an settlement on February 29 to facilitate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. It comes at a time when the US particular envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has known as on India to carry direct talks with the Taliban.

Pakistan continues to concentrate on countering Indian affect in Afghanistan and harbours the Taliban and teams such because the Haqqani Network, which have the power to interact in violence on Afghan soil, in response to a brand new Pentagon report.

The report by the inspector normal of the US Department of Defense for the January-March quarter, issued on Monday, pointed to a continuation of Pakistan’s efforts to realize its strategic aims in Afghanistan, together with shutting out India from the war-torn nation.

The report is the primary one to be issued because the US and the Taliban signed an settlement on February 29 to facilitate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

The deal has stalled as a result of variations between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities on prisoner releases and intra-Afghan dialogue.

There was no fast response to the report from Indian officers.

“According to the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency], Pakistan’s strategic objectives in Afghanistan continue to be countering Indian influence and mitigating spillover of instability into its territory,” the report mentioned.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) additionally reported to the inspector normal that “Pakistan has encouraged the Afghan Taliban to participate in peace talks, but refrained from applying coercive pressure that would seriously threaten its relationship with the Afghan Taliban to dissuade the group from conducting further violence”.

The DIA additionally instructed the inspector normal that “Pakistan continues to harbour the Taliban and associated terrorist groups in Pakistan, such as the Haqqani Network, which maintains the ability to conduct attacks against Afghan interests”.

Indian and Afghan officers have for lengthy accused the Taliban, significantly its sword arm, the Haqqani Network, of getting shut hyperlinks to the Pakistani navy management. Most of the Taliban management and their households proceed to be primarily based in Pakistani cities reminiscent of Quetta.

The report comes at a time when the US particular envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has known as on India to carry direct talks with the Taliban. However, the Trump administration’s outgoing level particular person for South Asia, Alice Wells, mentioned on Wednesday that it was as much as India to take a name on participating with the Taliban.

In his message within the report, Sean O’Donnell, the performing inspector normal of the US division of protection, mentioned: “The United States and Taliban agreed to a [one]-week discount in violence previous to the signing of the settlement, however Taliban violence throughout the quarter total was excessive.

“In January and February, each the United States and the Taliban elevated operations with a purpose to affect negotiations. In addition, whereas the Taliban decreased assaults towards US and coalition forces, it continued to assault the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, significantly after the signing of the settlement.”

The division of protection didn’t present data on Taliban-initiated assault for the January-March quarter, saying this was “delicate” because it was a part of ongoing deliberations on whether or not the Taliban is complying with the phrases of the settlement with the US.

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