Pakistan’s secret hybrid war against Afghanistan over the past 20 years: Analysis by Gautam Mukhopadhaya

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency of Pakistan knew it had to outlast the United States, and ensure that Afghanistan could never stand on its feet and never be strong enough to threaten Pakistan, analyses Gautam Mukhopadhaya. He has been India’s Ambassador to Syria, Afghanistan, and Myanmar.

Breaking down Pakistan’s strategy, Mukhopadhaya says, it’s first factor was religious indoctrination of madarsa students on Pakistani side of the Durand Line. This was accompanied by a radicalization of religious teachers and preachers in both Afganistan and Pakistan.

The radicalization was followed by a planned programme of infiltration, sleeper cells and shadow government built over time through fear and intimidation, he describes how these moves were used within a skillful diplomatic and political strategy.

Mukhopadhaya further analyses that Pakistan used the United Kingdom, China and Russia to legitimize the hardline Islamist group Taliban, keep India out, and shape an outcome to its liking. Deception has been a key part of the strategy of Taliban/Pakistani at the negotiating table & the battlefield through the 20-year operation.

We should be prepared for a Syria-Iraq-Libya scenario in Afghanistan, he warns adding that regionalization and internationalization of an extreme Islamist jihad, inspired and emboldened by Pakistani-backed Taliban victory over the US in the war-torn nation.

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