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US defence analyst Sarah Chayes explains how Pakistan’s ISI ran a sophisticated campaign for reinstalling the Taliban in power

Over the years, several journalists, from across the globe, have arrived at the same conclusion that Pakistan has been aiding the Islamic terrorists

In wake of the Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan, US Defence Analyst Sarah Chayes shared her wisdom on the ongoing crisis and the reasons that led to the resurgence of the extremist group in the country.

In an interview with CNN on September 1, 2021, a fortnight after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in a swift and lightning offensive, Sarah attributed the terror outfit’s resurrection to the emotional and military support it received from Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency ISI.

When asked if the Taliban had cleverly utilised the 20 years time to build its capability and stake its claim to power, Chayes said it wasn’t the terror group but Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI that used its resources cleverly to help topple the US-backed Ashraf Ghani government in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s ISI propped up the Taliban against the Soviet forces in the early 90s. Then they repurposed them to establish their control over Afghanistan. Since 2003, I started seeing that the ISI was reconstituting the Taliban. At that time, the Taliban was at its nadir. They could not have stayed inside Afghanistan. Maybe, they would run in one attack and then run back across the border,” Chayes said while revealing Pakistan’s role in helping the Taliban survive the NATO onslaught.

“As time went on, I saw quite a sophisticated campaign plan developed that responded well to where NATO forces had positioned themselves,” said Chayes, adding that contrary to US and NATO officers’ assessment, the Taliban was not a disorganised group of terrorists acting randomly against the western forces.

The US Defence Analyst, who had closely studied Pakistan’s role in keeping Afghanistan on tenterhooks, also shared her opinion on why the Pakistan government and the ISI are bent on bringing the Taliban back into power in their neighbourhood.

“In the current context. Look at them. The simultaneous defeat and surrender of Afghan government forces and the civilian government leaders all around the country, all at the same time. Look at the focus on the north first and then the south. Look at the people who flooded across the border from Pakistan into the border town of Spin Boldak. And I would say do we really believe this ragtag militia as we have been told the Taliban were. Did they have the capacity to conduct such an effective campaign with an obvious plan?” Chayes wondered.

Chayes is not the only one who has chalked up the resurgence of the Taliban to Pakistan. Her assessment of Pakistan’s complicity in the crisis that has roiled Afghanistan concurs with others, who also believe that Islamabad is pulling the strings of the Talibani government in Kabul. Over the years, several journalists, from across the globe, have arrived at the same conclusion that Pakistan has been in thick with the Islamic terrorists while portraying itself to be an ally of the western countries in their fight against Islamic terrorism.

2012 documentary reveals Pakistan’s support to the Taliban against NATO forces

Back in 2012, almost a decade before the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, a documentary was released by the Frontline, shedding light on the double-dealing of Pakistan that identified itself as an ally of the United States in the fight against terrorism but was covertly working to undermine its mission in Afghanistan. Titled ‘The Secret War’, the documentary revealed how the United States was fighting a losing battle in Afghanistan all these years.

During the investigation, Smith and Grey, the two journalists associated with the Frontline, found that the American soldiers stationed along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border were unhappy with the latter, for their covert support to the insurgency and terrorism targeted against the United States. One of the US troops, who wished to remain anonymous, confided to the reporters that the ground soldiers manning the border reportedly complained to the seniors about the Pakistani complicity in helping the Talibani and Al Qaeda terrorists cross the border and infiltrate into Afghanistan. 

“It could be turning a blind eye as the insurgents launched rockets from Pakistan to the US bases located across the border. It could also be allowing passage to the terrorists, right under their noses, to safely cross the border into Afghanistan. It could be providing insurgents with vital information such as details of our patrol or the Afghan army’s patrol along the border. It was complicity on their part, said Maj Michael Waltz, US Army Forces Reserves, while speaking about Pakistan’s treachery in propping up Al Qaeda and the Taliban terrorists against the United States. 

The documentary showed that the Taliban leaders, who had fled Afghanistan in the aftermath of the US invasion, moved freely inside Pakistan. The two journalists met a Taliban commander in the outskirts of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The commander told them how dependent the Taliban was for a sanctuary in Pakistan to continue their war across the border.


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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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