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Setting The Scene

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – the premier intelligence agency of Pakistan, operationally responsible for gathering, processing, and analysing information relevant for national security from around the world – has been reportedly funding the Islamic Invitation Alliance (IIA), an organisation formed in early 2020 in order to ensure the Taliban’s victory, for the past one year. Although the Pakistani agency initially helped the IIA bring the Taliban back to Power, it, seemingly, has started using the Alliance against the Taliban in recent times.

It is flagrant that the Taliban Government is going through a turmoil, with the group, led by Abdul Ghani Baradar, and Haqqani Network getting involved in a Cold War over the control of the Government. Using this opportunity, the ISI is trying hard to disintegrate the Taliban from within. At a time when the Taliban are desperately trying to present their new image at the global stage, a series of bombings in different parts of the country has created troubles for the Taliban-led Government in Kabul. Experts are led to believe this is what the ISI wants.

Rahmatullah Nabil, the former Head of Intelligence for the previous Afghan Government, is of the opinion that the ISI has successfully attracted elements dissatisfied with even the most extreme factions currently in control of Afghanistan. He explained that the tussle for power between Baradar group and Haqqani Network because of the uneasy power-sharing agreement encouraged the Islamic State (IS) to challenge the Taliban’s control of the war-ravaged nation. The scenario is an impediment to the stability of Afghanistan, as well as regional peace. Referring to the Taliban’s control of heroin production and trafficking, Nabil stressed: “Guerrilla fighting with drug smuggling income is easier than running a State. They have already faced several challenges, and their internal divisions are increasing.

Meanwhile, Weeda Mehran, a Conflict Expert at the University of Exeter, has explained the current situation in Afghanistan from a different angle. She stated: “We knew the Taliban was not a homogenous group. Nonetheless, we are seeing violence between rival factions now becoming more public.” According to Mehran, the IS is a “convenient scapegoat” for attacks possibly committed in the fratricidal battle for Supremacy.

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