Pak-Taliban alliance under unprecedented strain as their interests diverge

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANS) Since the Taliban seized electricity in August 2021, its ties with Islamabad have deteriorated amid lethal border clashes. More these days, the militants have accused Islamabad of permitting its air area to be used by US drones to strike goals in Afghanistan. In flip, Pakistan has accused the Taliban of harbouring terrorists, media pronounced.

Experts say the longstanding alliance, which dates returned to the emergence of the Taliban in southern Afghanistan inside the mid-Nineteen Nineties, is coming below unheard of strain as their pastimes diverge.

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“The Taliban might also have widely wide-spread Pakistani guide for years however do not desire to be Pakistani proxies forever,” said Husain Haqqani of the Washington-based totally Hudson Institute who formerly served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the US, RFE/RL said.

Last month, the Taliban accused Pakistan of allowing US drones to use its airspace to behavior moves inner Afghanistan. The August 28 declare came after an American drone strike in Kabul killed Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in July. Islamabad has denied involvement in or advanced expertise of the strike.

On September 14, Islamabad accused the Taliban government of harbouring Masood Azhar, head of the Jaish-e Mohammed (JeM) extremist group and a UN-blacklisted terrorist. The Taliban strongly rejected Pakistan’s claims, RFE/RL stated.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 23, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Islamabad “shares the important thing subject of the worldwide network regarding the risk posed by most important terrorist organizations working from Afghanistan.”

Sharif cited the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan as organizations based totally in Afghanistan that “need to be handled comprehensively, with the aid and cooperation of the meantime Afghan government.”

The speech provoked a pointy rebuke from the Taliban, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai on September 27 claiming Islamabad was “receiving thousands and thousands of dollars” from Washington for allowing American drones to behavior flights over Afghanistan.

“How lengthy can we tolerate this?” Stanikzai asked a meeting in Kabul. “If we rise in opposition to this (Pakistani interference), no one may be capable of forestall us.”

Experts say another source of tension is the Taliban’s unwillingness to crack down at the TTP, a close ideological and organizational ally. From its bases inside Afghanistan, the extremist organization has intensified its insurgency towards Islamabad in recent years, RFE/RL pronounced.