Pakistan has been playing double-standard in Afghanistan through its infamous spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI). In February 2020, just days before the US-Taliban reached into Doha Agreement, the intelligence community and military intelligence leaders from South and Central Asia gathered at a US Central Command conference in Tampa, Florida, where the topic was unconventional warfare. One of the most electric moments was when a panellist described how the Pakistani security service had failed twice to get their puppet regimes in Kabul recognized by the United Nations.
The two Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) generals present were at first angered that someone was exposing their campaign to control the Afghan government through proxy fighters. Later, one of the ISI leaders admitted that elements of Pakistan’s ruling powers had indeed backed the failed efforts of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the Afghan civil war and the Taliban militia in the 1990s and 2000s to gain UN recognition as the government of Afghanistan. He further admitted to the panellists and a US Army general that Pakistan continues to back the Taliban-Haqqani campaign to retake Afghanistan.
To have two Pakistani officers publicly admit that their nation continues to back and aid the Taliban-Haqqani terror network to defeat the Afghan republic and its NATO partners should have been a signal to the gathered intelligence community audience that Pakistan could not be trusted on counter-terrorism issues. Instead, the admission was met with a shrug. Doha was signed, and Pakistan took it as a green light to continue its efforts. Afghans took the Doha Agreement and, later, President Joe Biden’s decision to abandon all US-Afghan security promises, as the United States handed the country over to terrorists headquartered in Pakistan.
This public admission made it clear that Pakistan was playing Americans for fools. It was also revealed that the tons of cash the United States sent to Pakistan was ultimately used for funding the same terrorists that had been maiming and killing US service members for more than a decade.
US high official later told the Congress that Pakistani duplicity puts in jeopardy not only the frayed US-Pakistani partnership against terrorism but also the outcome of the decade-old war in Afghanistan.
Pakistani government and its spy agency are directly playing a role in establishing peace in Afghanistan. Pakistani ISI uses Haqqani Network and other jihadist outfits as its proxies inside Afghanistan. At the same time, the Pakistani spy agency has been using billions of dollars it was receiving from the United States. Towards spreading terrorism in South Asian nations, particularly India, Islamabad has also encouraged Islamist militants to continue their plots against Saudi Arabia. Pakistan uses such rogue practices to put Riyadh in constant fear.
It may be mentioned here that after the Taliban-Haqqani jihadists took control of Kabul in 2021, then Pakistani prime minister and diehard supporter of jihadist terrorism, Imran Khan declared that the Taliban “broke the shackles of slavery” with the US defeat in Afghanistan. Imran Khan and his administration saw Afghanistan slipping into the grips of Taliban jihadists as a victory. He also openly showed the hearts and minds of Pakistanis, who always consider the US, Christians, Jews, Hindus and non-Muslims as their enemies.