In an apparent clarification of their stance on Kashmir, days after taking over Kabul in a literal powershift of governance in Afghanistan, the Taliban called it a “bilateral and an internal matter”, news agency ANI posted on Twitter quoting people familiar with the development. The Taliban is unlikely to focus on Kashmir, the news agency reported attributing it to the official.
Amid concerns over increased militancy in Kashmir, the official said that security in the Valley have been increased and Pakistan-based groups in Afghanistan have little capacity to use the evolving situation in the war-torn nation. “There are security concerns that #Afghanistan might become the first epicenter of Islamic terrorism which has a state, they have access to all the weapons which Americans have supplied and also the weapons of 3 lakh plus Afghan National Army personnel,” ANI tweeted, quoting the official.
Those familiar with the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan said Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have a presence in Afghanistan and they are known to have built checkpoints in some villages and parts of Kabul, with the help of the Taliban. “In the past, there were camps of Pakistani outfits in Afghanistan. So we have to be careful in Jammu & Kashmir,” the official told the news agency.
Concerns have been raised over the possibility of Pakistani spy agency ISI trying to influence the Taliban. However, the official said such a move by Pakistan is likely to have a very limited effect as the Taliban acquired power in a “position of strength”. “The ISI can only influence weak Taliban but it looks unlikely in the present situation,” the official said.