Pakistan Doesn’t Have the Money to ‘Control’ Taliban, Says Brother of Runaway Afghan President

Islamabad has long objected to New Delhi’s economic and diplomatic presence in Afghanistan. It is believed that a favourable government in Kabul will provide Pakistan with 2,300 kilometres of strategic depth in its rivalry with western neighbour India.

Hashmat Ghani, the brother of runaway Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, believes that Pakistan doesn’t have the money to call the shots in Taliban*-controlled Afghanistan.

But, at the same time, he says that Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), does wield a significant influence on the Taliban leadership.

Ghani made the observations during an interview with Indian TV channel CNN-News 18 on Tuesday. 

Since the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban on 15 August, there have been escalating concerns about the dire economic situation in Afghanistan, with the US freezing the country’s $9 billion worth of foreign reserves.

He also suggested to the Indian government that if it wished to take on the ISI, it should do that “directly” instead of “using Afghanistan”.

Over the last few months, Islamabad has repeatedly accused India of being a “spoiler” in the intra-Afghan peace process, even accusing Delhi of training terrorists in Afghanistan to launch strikes inside Pakistan.

Even the Taliban last month accused India of interfering in the intra-Afghan talks. The allegation came in the wake of New Delhi’s consistent backing of a “democratic” government in Afghanistan.

Ghani, currently the leader of the Ahmadzai tribe,…

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