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Pakistan takes U-turn on Afghanistan– ISI chief now meets anti-Taliban warlords in Turkey

ISI Chief Anjum met Afghan war lords Atta Noor, Marshal Dostam and Mohammad Mohaqiq. ( Pic courtesy : Twitter)

It seems the honeymoon between Pakistan's military establishment and the Taliban government is over. In a fresh move to put pressure on the Taliban leaders, the chief of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Lt. General Nadim Ahmad Anjum has approached the anti-Taliban leaders. Last week the new chief of the ISI met Afghan warlords Marshall Dostam, Nadim Ahmad Anjum and  Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq in Ankara – the capital of Turkey.

The meeting took place at the request of Anjum to discuss Pakistan's concerns about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, reports the Persian edition of The Independent.

 رئیس سرویس اطلاعاتی پاکستان با سران شورای مقاومت ملی در ترکیه دیدار کرد

Citing sources, the daily says that Anjum and two of his deputies met the three anti-Taliban leaders who are founders of anti-Taliban National Resistance Council of Afghanistan (ANRC).

In the meeting, General Anjum told the three leaders about his dissatisfaction with the current situation in Afghanistan and the Taliban's reluctance to form a cohesive structure, including all ethnic groups of Afghanistan.

“We have been trying to help them but the Taliban have failed to address Pakistan’s security concerns. They have failed to keep their promises including inclusive government,” Anjum reportedly told them about the Durand Line and Taliban’s refusal to take action against the TTP.

Without naming his flamboyant predecessor, Lt. Gen. Faiz Hamid who “helped” the Taliban leaders to form an interim government last year in September, Anjum said that there  is a realisation among Pakistani policy makers that without making a inclusive and cohesive structure, it would be difficult for the Pashtun dominated Taliban regime to govern the country. 

Atta Mohammad Noor, the once-powerful governor of northern Afghanistan's Balkh province, and veteran ethnic Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq are in Uzbekistan  since the Taliban captured power last year. They had offered to talk to the Taliban leaders who refused to share power with them. 

Dostam and Atta Noor made it clear to the ISI chief that the extremist and partisan policy of the Taliban is unacceptable, and if the Taliban did not agree to form an all-inclusive government according to the wishes of Afghans, their war against the Taliban would continue. They complained to Anjum about the Pakistani army’s direct involvement against their supporters.

According to sources, Lt. Gen. Anjum had a meeting with Ahmad Massoud, the leader of anti-Taliban National Resistance Front (NRF) in one of the countries in the region, a few days before meeting with Atta Mohammad Noor, Mohammad Mohaqiq and Marshal Dostum.

This is the first meeting between the Pakistani military establishment and anti-Taliban Afghan leaders. According to experts, this is a significant strategic development in Pakistan’s policy regarding Afghanistan and the Taliban. But unlike the Taliban, these leaders have always been suspicious about Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan. According to Afghan experts, Dostum and Atta Noor are well aware of “games” that ISI has been playing. They know that the ISI wants to use them to put pressure on the Taliban.

Also Read : Pakistani Generals accuse Taliban govt of sheltering anti-Pakistan groups as 5 soldiers killed in attack