As the Taliban continues to gain ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s former Senator has said that the Pakistani generals are “very happy” with the developments in the war-stricken nation. In an interview with BBC, Afrasiab Khattak also said that Pakistan is “fully supporting” the insurgents as they move to capture most of the country. Khattak, a member of the Awami National Party (ANP), claimed that Islamabad is content with the advances made by the Taliban. However, the United Nations (UN) has stated that over 1,000 civilians have died due to the Taliban’s violence in just the last month.
> “Pakistan is fully supporting the Taliban. The Taliban is in a way an instrument of Pakistan’s policy of strategic depth in Afghanistan. I think Pakistan is very happy with the Taliban’s advances. I mean to say, Pakistani generals, as the civilian government has no role in shaping or executing this policy,” Khattak stated in an interview with the BBC.
Meanwhile, former United States National Security Adviser (NSA) HR McMaster placed the blame on China for its hidden interest in the region and harbouring Taliban and Pakistan through its debt diplomacy. He said, “China wants to just continue to keep Pakistan on life support financially and economically. China should have an interest in Pakistan no longer supporting terror groups.”
Taliban Tightens Grip On Afghanistan
Gradually circling Afghan capital Kabul, the Taliban has now captured the western province of Ghor taking half of the country’s total 34 provincial capitals in the recent days. The second and third-largest cities of Herat and Kandahar have also fallen to the insurgents. As per The Associated Press, the Taliban has completed their sweep of Afghanistan’s south on August 13. The militants captured four new provincial capitals in a devastating offensive that is slowly rounding up to Kabul. This comes just weeks before the United States is set to officially end its two-decades-old war against terrorism.
Reportedly, the latest prominent blow for the Afghan government is the loss of the capital of Helmand province. It is the same place where the US, UK and allied NATO forces fought some of the most violent battles in the last two years. In the province which reportedly is a major opium hub, hundreds of foreign troops lost their lives. In one of the most brutal attacks by the Taliban in several years, the insurgents have taken control of over two-thirds of the country. As per AP, even though Kabul isn’t directly under threat yet, the losses and advances in other regions have further tightened the Taliban’s grip over the country.