South Asia and Beyond

Afghanistan: Where Daesh, ISI, Taliban, Haqqani Network Come Together

It’s been less than three months since 27 Afghan Sikhs were killed in an attack on a gurudwara in Kabul. The Islamic State Khorasan Province or ISIS-K claimed responsibility. One of the attackers was Mohammed Sajid Kuthrimal from Kasaragod in Kerala! Viewers will also recall StratNews Global’s exclusive video report on the interrogation in Afghanistan of the wives and widows of two groups of 60 Indians (including Sajid) who travelled from Kerala to ‘Khorasan’ to join Daesh.

So what is Daesh in Afghanistan? Who are its members and where does it get its funding and weapons from? Is it really affiliated to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)? Was it created to provide Pakistan and the Taliban a convenient cover for targeting civilians, pregnant mothers, even newborns?

Tolo News explores these questions from ISKP’s roots in the villages in eastern and northern Afghanistan, where it emerged in 2014-15. Afghanistan’s current National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib, Interior Minister General Massoud Andrabi and former spy agency chief Rahmatullah Nabil repeatedly point to links that join Pakistan’s ISI with the Afghan Taliban, TTP, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Taliban leaders, though, vehemently deny connections, saying they are fighting Daesh in the country and have been responsible for its virtual annihilation. Tolo also interviews ex-Daesh fighters and captured members in this documentary.

Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani believes that Daesh has links with those in his country that have backed the Haqqani terrorist network. A UN Security Council report last month concluded that the Taliban still has deep links with Al Qaeda, LeT and JeM—the latter two being linked to the Pakistani military establishment that’s still responsible for smuggling, training and suicide attacks in Afghanistan. While negotiations between the Taliban and an Afghan government-appointed team are expected to start soon, as NSA Mohib puts it: “The war will continue; only the names will change, unless there is a guarantee from Pakistan”.

(By arrangement with Tolo News)

Team StratNews

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