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ISKP ‘clever creation’ of Pak intelligence agency to shed responsibility of Afghan crisis: Think tank


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Hundreds of people gather near an evacuation control checkpoint during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul

The Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP), which has claimed responsibility for the horrific Kabul attack, is a “clever creation” of notorious Pakistan intelligence agency–ISI–to deny responsibility for the recent spiralling crisis in Afghanistan, said an Armenian think tank. In a piece in Mirror-Spectator, Armenian Network State said that the experts believe that Pakistan created ISKP by planting Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives in leadership positions in the outfit.

“ISKP is a clever ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence, of Pakistan] creation to help in ensuring deniability to the Pakistani intelligence agency as Pakistan was being blamed for whatever was being done by the Taliban,” the think tank said.

“The Pakistani project in Afghanistan has nearly succeeded with one Pakistani proxy Taliban becoming a ‘good boy’ and another Pakistan proxy ISKP becoming a ‘bad boy’. The latest attack on Kabul airport is indicative of the fact that ISI’s operation has been launched in full swing,” it added.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber and multiple ISIS-K gunmen killed 13 U.S. service members and at least 169 Afghan civilians in the attack at the Kabul airport.

Soon after the attack, ISKP came forward to claim the responsibility. A commander of the ISKP named Amaq issued a statement on its Telegram channel wherein he claimed that a suicide bomber, Abdul Rahman al-Logari, managed to reach near a group of US soldiers, translators, and collaborators and detonated his explosives.

Pakistan’s ISI is coordinating the joint efforts of the Taliban, ISKP, and LeT to provide support to the Taliban through the game of good and bad boys, with LeT being the major player, the think tank said citing experts.

The think tank noted that ‘Emir’ or the chief of ISKP, Mawlawi Abdullah is a Pakistani citizen and had confessed about his connections with Lashkar-e-Taiba when the Afghan NDS arrested him for attacking a Gurdwara in Kabul and butchering 27 members from the Sikh minority community.

After being detained, Aslam Farooqui was replaced by Maulvi Mohammed as the new chief of the outfit. Similar to Farooqui, Maulvi Mohammad was also trained by the ISI and was associated with the LeT.

According to a report of Long War Journal, an independent watchdog on Afghanistan, “a number of Pakistani groups are known to operate inside Afghanistan and fight alongside the Taliban, and top leaders of Pakistani terror groups have been killed inside Afghanistan. Additionally, a number of Pakistanis are known to fight in the ranks of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISKP).”

Following the attacks, President Joe Biden, who is facing an intense backlash in the US over the Kabul airport attack, vowed to retaliate and “not forgive” the perpetrators. It would be interesting to see whether he holds the source of the attack, the ISI, accountable or just gives it the cold shoulder. 

(With inputs from ANI)

Also Read | US airstrike targets Islamic State in Afghanistan

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