In its latest report on Afghanistan, the independent and bipartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) identified Pakistan, the most important neighbor of Afghanistan.
However, it said, Pakistan continuously had friendly relations with terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan such as the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.
“Pakistan’s security establishment, fearful of a strategic encirclement by India, apparently continues to view the Afghan Taliban as a relatively friendly and reliable anti-India element in Afghanistan,” the CRS said.
According to the report, Islamabad cannot tolerate India’s strong diplomatic and commercial presence in Afghanistan.
“India’s diplomatic and commercial presence in Afghanistan – and US rhetorical support for it – exacerbates Pakistani fears of encirclement. India interest in Afghanistan stems largely from India’s broader regional rivalry with Pakistan, which impedes Indian efforts to establish stronger and more direct commercial and political relations with central Asia,” the CRS latest report on Afghanistan further said.
“Pakistan’s security services maintain ties to Afghan insurgent groups, most notably the Haqqani Network, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) that has become an official, semiautonomous component of the Taliban,” the Congress’s think thank that periodically prepares reports on issues of importance for Congressmen for them to make informed decisions, said.
Nasrullah Stanekzai, a lecturer in Kabul University, told Ariana News that the release of this report by U.S. Congress is a positive point, but Kabul government has a weak diplomacy compared with the Islamabad when it comes to the their relation with the Washington.
Commenting on the report, Rahmatullah Baizhanpoor, a Kabul-based Afghan political analyst said, the U.S. will not prevent Pakistan from its negative role in Afghanistan.
This report is released at a time, as diplomatic and military tensions are high between the two neighboring countries. The relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have long been tense and marred by mistrust.