Regional intelligence chiefs fine-tune security strategy in wake of Taliban’s rise

Statesman Report

ISLAMABAD: Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed on Saturday hosted a meeting of regional intelligence chiefs on Afghanistan as the situation in the country rapidly evolves after a takeover by the Taliban nearly a month back.

Sources told Geo News that intelligence chiefs of Russia, Iran, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan attended the meeting hosted by Pakistan.

The participants of the meeting exchanged views on the security situation in Afghanistan, a few days after the Taliban announced an interim government to fill the political void.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has asked the international community to recognise the Taliban’s government in Afghanistan, assuring them that the group would address the issues various countries have put forth.

However, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a news conference on Thursday that the interim Taliban government did not reflect what the international community and the United States had hoped to see.

Lt Gen Hameed last week visited Kabul to meet with the Taliban representatives and discuss matters related to the safe evacuation of foreign nationals, border management, and security in the region, sources had said at the time.

It is also pertinent to note that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Joseph Burns held a meeting with Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa earlier this week and discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, according to a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

In the statement, the military’s media wing said that Lt Gen Hameed was also present during the meeting, which focused on the Afghanistan situation and regional security after the US’ withdrawal of troops and the formation of the Taliban government in Kabul.

“It was reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to cooperate with its international partners for peace in the region and ensuring a stable and prosperous future for [the] Afghan people,” the ISPR said.

The CIA chief appreciated Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, including the successful evacuation operation, efforts for regional stability and pledged to play a role for further improvement in diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.