Pakistan's Intelligence Service May End Up the Real Winner in the Afghan Peace Deal, at Least for Now by Sean D. Naylor – Yahoo News
On the surface, one winner in the peace deal the United States signed with the Taliban on Saturday is Afghanistan’s neighbor Pakistan, which has been a longtime supporter of the Islamist group that may now be in a position to regain at least a share of power in the Afghan government. But the deal also poses long-term risks to Pakistan, whose intelligence service has spent years empowering militants that may no longer be under its control, according to analysts and former military officials.
From its formation in 1994 through its 1996 seizure of power in Kabul, the Taliban’s battlefield successes owed much to the help of the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, known as the ISI. The peace agreement, a clear victory for the Taliban, is in some ways a culmination of the ISI’s longtime support for the militant group.
“The Pakistani military intelligence, I’m sure they’re relieved, because they wanted this kind of an outcome,” said Hassan Abbas, a professor at National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C., and a former Pakistani official. If the Taliban enter into some form of power-sharing agreement with the current Kabul government, that would mean “Pakistan will be able to push back on Indian interests in Afghanistan,” added Abbas, who authored the 2014 book “The Taliban Revival.” For Pakistan, he said, the Taliban represent “a tool to confront India.”…