Due to the current situation in Afghanistan, where the interim Taliban government is being questioned by many western countries, CIA Director Willian burns flew to Pakistan recently for important meetings and consultations about the future of war-torn country.
Burns met General Qamar Javed Bjwa, the head of Pakistan’s army, and Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the intelligence chief.
“It was reiterated by Pakistan that Pakistan remains committed in cooperating with its international partners in peace in the region and ensuring a stable, prosperous future for the Afghan population,” said an Inter-Services Public Relations press release (ISPR) in Pakistan.
The reality is, however, not as bright as the media portrays. According to some reports, the main reason the CIA chief visited Pakistan and India was to ensure that Islamabad remained an ally in the US’ war on terror. The US also proposed increasing influence and presence in Afghanistan for India when it announced its South Asia policy in Trump’s administration.
Pakistan plays an important role in the evacuation foreign nationals from Afghanistan. It was also a crucial destination for the US and NATO troops that were evacuated from Kabul during their troop withdrawal process.
Turkey, Iran, Russia and China have been converging in Afghanistan since the US withdrawal. This alliance-based convergence is causing serious concern in Washington.
According to the Joe Biden administration, it will be closely monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and insists that drone strikes would be used to eliminate terrorist hideouts.
A drone attack by the US on a vehicle carrying an alleged member of Islamic State (IS), claimed at least 10 lives. After the attack on Kabul’s airport which killed hundreds of Afghans and injured dozens of US soldiers, the drone strike was launched. ISIS-K (Islamic State of Iraq & Levant – Khorasan) claimed the attack.
Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, criticized the US for conducting the drone strike. He said that it claimed innocent civilians’ lives and added that the US does not have the right to attack Afghanistan.
He stated that “if there was any threat to Afghanistan, it should be reported to us”, and not an arbitrary attack that has caused civilian casualties.
As the CIA chief, the agenda appears to be the same as his. He met with top military brass from India and Pakistan to discuss security concerns related to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.
It is believed that the US wants to maintain its influence in Afghanistan through intelligence sharing through Pakistan, and eyes on the ground through India because it fears Afghanistan becoming a target for its key enemies from the region.