Cracks Emerging in Pakistan-China Ties Over Islamabad’s ‘Double-Game’ in Afghanistan, Say Officials

Government sources watching the intra-Afghan talks say that many governments in the region are now increasingly concerned about the security repercussions of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. In pointed references to China and Iran, Indian officials say that the same nations used to criticise the presence of foreign troops in the region.

The outlook of China towards the security situation in Afghanistan has been affected of late by an uptick in violence since 1 May. Beijing is now increasingly concerned about the possibility of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) finding a safe haven in the Central Asian country once the American troops complete their withdrawal process on 31 August.

However, Indian foreign ministry officials point out that Pakistan’s “double-game” in Afghanistan has recently become “more apparent, evident from recent news reports about hundreds of Taliban* fighters between Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

Pakistan earlier used to deny the presence of the Quetta Shura (a militant organisation composed of the leaders from the Afghan Taliban). Now, the Taliban also holds rallies in Pakistani cities such as Quetta,” note the officials.

The regional connectivity conference in Dushanbe was attended by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, among other leaders. 

Officials involved in discussions say that two recent events…

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