Thousands of Pakistani terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and different teams are at present preventing alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan in a transparent violation of the 2020 peace deal signed by the Taliban and the US, in line with reviews from safety businesses.
The assessments come at a time of rising alarm within the worldwide neighborhood, together with India, on the Taliban’s speedy resurgence in Afghanistan that some intelligence businesses concern is poised to wrest management of key elements of the nation from the Afghan authorities.
A majority of the LeT and JeM fighters are lively in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces in jap Afghanistan and Helmand and Kandahar provinces within the nation’s southeast, in line with info gathered by Afghan and Indian safety businesses, folks conscious of the matter mentioned. All 4 Afghan provinces share borders with Pakistan – Kunar and Nangarhar with the erstwhile tribal areas and the opposite two with Balochistan.
Terrorist fighters from different Pakistan-based teams equivalent to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jamaat-ul-Arhar, Lashkar-e-Islam and al-Badr have additionally been noticed preventing alongside the Taliban in sizeable numbers, these folks mentioned on situation of anonymity.
Pakistani terrorists have additionally been sighted in Ghazni, Khost, Logar, Paktia and Paktika provinces in south and southeast Afghanistan, the folks mentioned, citing the most recent reviews from safety businesses. In these areas alone, the variety of Pakistani fighters from LeT has been estimated at 7,200, the folks added.
“LeT men are being hired as advisers, commanders and administrators by the Taliban in several areas,” one of many folks cited above mentioned. “There has also been fresh recruitment of fighters in Pakistan by LeT and JeM for fighting in eastern Afghanistan,” the individual added.
Reports recommend that Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the navy chief of the Afghan Taliban and son of late Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar, is working intently with LeT and JeM commanders.
Security businesses have additionally learnt of a whole lot of Taliban fighters being skilled in LeT camps at Hyderabad, a city in Pakistan’s Punjab province positioned between Faisalabad and Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The coaching was performed with the help of the Pakistani navy, the folks mentioned.
“The LeT and JeM terrorists are deployed in Afghanistan in groups of about 200, which includes five to eight suicide bombers. There are also reports of Pakistani intelligence officials being embedded with these groups, which is a tactic that was resorted to in the past,” mentioned a second individual.
The info gathered by the safety businesses is essentially consistent with the findings within the newest report by the UN Security Council’s analytical help and sanctions monitoring crew, which was issued in June and mentioned the Afghan Taliban had proven no indicators of reducing ties with al-Qaeda and different international terrorist teams.
“A significant part of the leadership of Al-Qaida resides in the Afghanistan and Pakistan border region, alongside Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent. Large numbers of Al-Qaida fighters and other foreign extremist elements aligned with the Taliban are located in various parts of Afghanistan,” the UN report had mentioned.
In mid-2020, the UN sanctions monitoring crew had said in one other report that 6,500 Pakistani terrorists had been working in Afghanistan, and JeM and LeT performed a key function in bringing international fighters into the nation.
There have been reviews that LeT and JeM, each blamed for high-profile assaults in India, have despatched a whole lot of fighters to Afghanistan since 2019, following elevated strain on Pakistan from organisations such because the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Western powers to crack down on terror teams.
The Taliban have dramatically expanded their maintain on Afghan territory in latest months, leaving the US-backed authorities accountable for little greater than 20% of the nation, in line with knowledge compiled by the Long War Journal, Bloomberg reported on Saturday. The rebel group now holds 204 of 407 districts, up from 73 in the beginning of May, whereas the Afghan authorities solely controls 74 at present. The relaxation are contested.
The newest UN sanctions monitoring crew’s report cited an unnamed UN member state as reporting that “there is regular communication between the Taliban and Al-Qaida on issues related to the peace process” in Afghanistan. The report additional mentioned that al-Qaida within the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which consists primarily of Afghan and Pakistani nationals, “operates under the Taliban umbrella” from Kandahar, Helmand and Nimruz provinces.
AQIS is “reported to be such an ‘organic’ or essential part of the insurgency that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to separate it from its Taliban allies”, the report mentioned, including that the widow of former AQIS chief Asim Umar was amongst 5,000 Taliban prisoners freed in 2020 as a part of the settlement with the US.
The Haqqani Network, which has shut ties with Pakistan’s navy and intelligence, “remains a hub for outreach and cooperation with regional foreign terrorist groups and is the primary liaison between the Taliban and Al-Qaida”, the UN report added.
Taliban’s failure to chop ties with international terrorists is a transparent violation of the settlement the group signed with the US in Doha in February 2020, which paved the best way for the drawdown of American forces. Under the pact, the Taliban had made a dedication to take a number of steps to stop any group or particular person, together with al-Qaeda, from utilizing the soil of Afghanistan.
Sameer Patil, fellow for worldwide safety research at Gateway House, mentioned reviews of LeT’s presence in Afghanistan will not be new however the group’s involvement within the present violence are worrisome.
“The presence of LeT in parts of Afghanistan is not new. But the withdrawal of US troops and expanding control of Taliban since last year have encouraged LeT to increase its presence and activities. Clearly, the group is looking to up its activities after lying low for the past few years,” he mentioned.
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