Exactly 31 days after Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the then Director General ISI’s visit to Kabul and subsequent meeting with Taliban raised eyebrows, Pakistan has posted him as Corps Commander Peshawar. Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum is now the new ISI Chief.
Reports suggest this posting will be for his likely elevation to the post of Chief of Army Staff after Bajwa. Going to Peshawar is seen as continuity in his critical role in handling Afghanistan.
Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum is now the new ISI Chief. (News18)
The Taliban, who took control of Afghanistan in just 10 days in August in its lightning blitz, on September 7 declared an interim government after Pakistan’s intelligence chief Lt General Faiz Hameed visited Kabul.
The Doha team of Taliban leaders, which was aware of the compulsions imposed by the world community, wanted moderate faces to lead and few hardliner governors to manage other business. It also wanted to include former Afghan president Hamid Karzai, former CEO Abdullah Abdullah and another Anas Haqqani from the Haqqani group. But the situation changed when Hameed reached Kabul on Sunday after Mansoor Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, informed HQ about the developments.
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Stock-taking in the US of the disastrous ending to its two-decade campaign in Afghanistan has led to questions being asked of the role played by Pakistan in the Taliban’s return to power. A group of US senators have now backed a Bill that seeks an inquiry into Pakistan’s role in the return of the Taliban, recommending sanctions for any entities that are found to have helped the group.
While Pakistan is seen as using its ties with the Taliban to gain strategic leverage in the region, including over India, proximity to terror actors also poses an increasingly stubborn headache for its rulers, who have to fight twin fires of terrorist activity within their borders and punitive actions internationally, as represented by its ‘grey-listing” by FATF.