Pak terror groups now present in Kabul, finds Indian assessment

New DelhiWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Aug 18, 2021, 08:48 AM IST

Taliban fighters (file photo). Photograph:(Twitter)

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Amid the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, India has been hoping for an inclusive government in Kabul with sources saying that it is "not dominated by Pashtuns".

With the Taliban emerging as the dominant force in Afghanistan, including capital Kabul, according to Indian assessment Pakistan based terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) have made their presence in parts of the country.

According to sources, "Pakistani terror groups like LeT have built check posts in some parts of Kabul. There have been reports of looting in Afghanistan's villages".

Sources pointed out that it's too early to say anything since "assumptions can go wrong". The state of flux in Afghanistan after the fall of the previous Ghani government and the Taliban entering into the capital, the big question is what next in terms of the governance structure.

Sources highlighted that "Afghanistan could become the epicentre of Islamic radicalism, which could have a state which is recognized. IS also had territory but that was geographically far". While the Indian government's priority is bringing back its nationals, the political development in Afghanistan is also dominating the Indian government's thought process on the crisis.

India has been hoping for an inclusive government in Kabul with sources saying that it is "not dominated by Pashtuns". So far, no power-sharing pact has been agreed to with leaders like Dr Abdullah Abdullah or Hamid Karzai.

On Tuesday, Abdul Ghani Baradar reached Kandahar, the traditional capital of the Taliban. And while this development is taking place Amrullah Saleh, former vice president of the country declared himself as the president.

Asked how does India see the Taliban as a political force, the sources said, "India's conduct depends on how other democracies deal with Taliban".

While no one has recognised the Taliban, Beijing has been sending feelers and other regional countries have had contacts with the grouping. Taliban off course has been regular in Islamabad and in the past few months has been visiting Tehran, Moscow and Beijing for legitimacy.