New Delhi: On ‘Talking Point‘, Bill Roggio, Editor, Long War Journal and Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defence of Democracies in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.
Mr Roggio discusses one year of the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan, its pledges not to allow terrorist groups to operate from the country, al-Qaeda(AQ) head Ayman al-Zawahiri being killed in a U.S. air strike in Kabul weeks before the one-year anniversarry, a UN report that outlines the Taliban’s links with AQ, the LeT and JeM, assurances by the top Taliban leadership to India that AQ or Pakistan based terrorist groups will not be allowed to target India and the de facto government will act against them on the basis of actionable intelligence, India’s reopening of its embassy and reports that the Biden administration has decided it won’t release any of the roughly $7 billion in foreign assets held by Afghanistan’s central bank on U.S. soil and that it has suspended talks with the Taliban on the funds after the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Kabul.
On over a year of Taliban rule, on Zawahiri being killed in Kabul, and about the Taliban pledges to break terror ties, Bill says, “The Taliban will continue to shelter and support the LeT, Jem, HuM, the alphabet soup of Pakistani terror groups. Pakistan is in a great place right now. They don’t have to host these camps. They don’t have to take the risk of Indian intelligence detecting these camps. They can get all they have moved inside of Afghanistan, where it’s far more difficult for Indian intelligence to detect”.
On India engaging the Taliban, he adds, “You should not trust the Taliban in any way, shape or form. The Indian government is making a big mistake by engaging the Taliban in any way, shape or form. They can’t be trusted. The Taliban is very good at luring those who want assurances that they aren’t the monsters that they are. The Indian government should be taking the exact opposite tack. Because, the reality is that no matter how the Indian government engages the Taliban, it won’t change their behaviour”.