There is “no hiding” that Pakistan has been a player in Afghanistan but the country does not have the money to control Taliban, said former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s brother Hashmat Ghani amid reports of Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi meeting the Taliban on the issue of government formation.
Qureshi had earlier said Pakistan was determined to play a “positive role” in Afghanistan as he appealed to the Taliban insurgents and former rulers of the war-ravaged country to formulate an all-inclusive political government after mutual consultations.
Speaking to News18, Hashmat Ghani — whose brother fled to UAE as the Taliban took over the reins of Afghanistan — also dismissed reports of joining the Taliban, saying he has “accepted their rule” but “accepted not to join them”.
Hashmat Ghani also had a piece of advice for India as he asked the country to keep its embassy open and “keep working for people of Afghanistan no matter who is at the helm”.
“We have been fighting others people’s war forever and Afghans were fighting each other. Trump struck a deal directly with Taliban, side-lined the government and now they want Afghans to fight among themselves,” the influential politician and businessman who oversees the Ahmadzai tribe, the largest of the Pashtun tribes, said.
He added that if India wants to pick a fight with ISI, “they should do it directly, without using Afghanistan”.
The Pakistan ISI’s heavy involvement in the deliberations between the Taliban and the Pakistan government has been confirmed as exclusive photos accessed by CNN-News18 showed ISI Chief Hameed Faiz meeting top Taliban leaders in Kandahar.
CNN-News18 had previously reported that Pakistan is set to play a major role in the formation of a new government in Kabul. Hameed Faiz, with Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other leaders, was seen carrying out Namaz prayers in Kandahar, before Baradar’s departure to Kabul on Saturday.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his address to the United Nations Security Council earlier, had spoken on the issue of Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taliban, and in a veiled criticism of Pakistan, said whether it was in Afghanistan or against India, groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed continued to operate with both impunity and encouragement.
“In our immediate neighborhood, ISIL-Khorasan (ISIL-K) has become more energetic and is constantly seeking to expand its footprint. Events unfolding in Afghanistan have naturally enhanced global concerns about their implications for both regional and international security,” he had said.
Jaishankar added that the heightened activities of the proscribed Haqqani Network justified this “growing anxiety”.