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Pakistan's Strategic Interest in Afghanistan is to Counter India's Influence: US Intel

Pakistan Flag in air - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.08.2021
After nearly 20 years, Taliban* fighters have regained control over Afghanistan. The Indian government has so far has taken a cautious approach towards the situation unfolding in Afghanistan, saying it will take some time before deciding how to deal with the new Taliban rule in the country.
Pakistan's strategic security interests in Afghanistan will be to counter India's influence and mitigate the spillover of any instability into Pakistani territory, suggests a report by the US Department of State Office of the Inspector General, citing information from the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).
"Pakistan continues to support peace talks while maintaining ties with the Afghan Taliban. According to the DIA, Pakistan's strategic security objectives in Afghanistan almost certainly continue to be countering Indian influence and mitigating spillover into Pakistani territory", the US Department of State Office of the Inspector General said in its latest quarterly report on Afghanistan.
Last week, India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said: "At this point of time we are looking at what is the evolving situation in Kabul. Obviously, the Taliban and its representatives have come to Kabul. I think we need to take it on from there".
The report also suggests that the Pakistani government is concerned that a civil war in Afghanistan might have a destabilising effect on Pakistan, "including an influx of refugees and providing a potential safe haven for anti-Pakistan militants".
The report for the quarter (1 April 1 to 30 June) said the presence of the Afghan Taliban has increased in Pakistani border regions. "Solicitation efforts traditionally targeted mosques, but Afghan Taliban militants now openly visit the bazaar areas in nearby Pakistani towns", the report reads. 
On 15 August, the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul, thus finishing its blitz through the country. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled for the United Arab Emirates, while the Taliban declared the nearly 20-year war over and announced its plans to establish the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. 
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.
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