Central Asia

Exclusive: Pakistani fighters, Taliban instructed to target Indian assets in Afghanistan, say sources

Pakistani intelligence agency ISI has directed its fighters and Taliban to target buildings and infrastructure built by India, over the last 20 years, in war-torn Afghanistan.

The instructions are clear that the first target should be Indian assets in areas that come under the Taliban’s control, sources said.

According to estimates, more than 10,000 Pakistani fighters have entered Afghanistan through the porous borders, while several were stationed there for many years — actively fighting against the US and allied forces.

India has spent over $3 billion in Afghanistan since the Taliban was uprooted from Kabul in 2001. The major symbols of Indian assets include the 218-km road between Delaram and Zaranj, IndiaAfghanistan friendship dam (also known as the Salma Dam) and the Afghan Parliament building which was inaugurated in 2015.

Meanwhile, whether India would be able to maintain its presence in Afghanistan with the return of the Taliban is still not clear. There has been no indication or assurance received from the new radical Islamic establishment in this regard.

he Indian citizens involved in the construction work and maintenance have been asked to move out safely even as other countries are closely monitoring the situation at the Kabul airport — which is soon likely to be handed over to the Turks by the Americans.

India is left only with two of its institutions in Afghanistan — the consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif and the embassy in Kabul.

The Kandahar consulate saw the return of Indian citizens and security personnel recently while the ones in Jalalabad and Herat were shut earlier.


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