(This was originally posted in India Today by Manjeet Negi)
As Pakistan attempts to assert its influence in Kabul, there is a major tussle going on between Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Faiz Hameed. Sources in the intelligence agencies said the tussle has come to a point where the Pakistan Army chief has been trying to remove Hameed from his post, but has not been able to do so due to the strong influence of the Pakistani spy agency.
“Over the years, ISI have nurtured and taken care of Taliban leaders and used them to run their interest and operations inside Afghanistan. Now, when the Taliban are in government, the Pakistan Army also wants to influence the decisions there, which is being resisted by the ISI,” sources told India Today. The ISI has strong links with the Taliban leaders, including different factions including the Haqqani group which occupies a strong position in the new Afghanistan government. ISI also has men on ground in Afghanistan, with warlords and other key players, as per sources.
Most of the Taliban factions and their leaders have also allegedly fought against the US using the ISI safe houses in Peshawar and Quetta. The sources added that Pakistan’s attempt in interfering in Afghanistan’s new government has also resulted in fissures inside Taliban grouping. Due to ISI, the Taliban are also reportedly finding issues over each and every decision that they have to take on establishing links with foreign countries. Sources said that the ISI also wants a share of the money or aid that Afghans are to receive from western nations. Pakistan has always considered Afghanistan to be its B team and always tried to use it for having a strategic depth while dealing with India militarily, sources said, added that the Taliban factions are also fighting for control.