One of the conditions of the peace deal signed between the US and Taliban was that the latter won’t allow any terror outfit, including al-Qaeda, to operate from its land.
A few days after laying siege on Kabul on August 15, the Taliban said it could not find any evidence to prove al-Qaeda was behind the September 11 terror attacks on the US.
The Americans felt betrayed as it was al Qaeda and its supreme leader Osama bin Laden, who they were after since the twin tower attacks in 2001.
The Taliban and al-Qaeda were born during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1989 and became strong as a result of the mujahideen conflict.
The defeat of the Soviet Union was followed by Osama bin Laden promising to support (called ‘bayah’, which means a pledge of loyalty to a Muslim leader) Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar . The two militant groups have been inseparable since then. Therefore, it is quite understandable that Taliban unconditionally supports al-Qaeda.
Senior Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir wrote in India Today about Taliban’s repeated refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden to the US though two Pakistani leaders – Nawaz Sharif and Pervez Musharraf tried hard to strike a deal.
The al-Qaeda-Taliban-Pakistan nexus becomes evident when we see that the Pakistani establishment has been an all-weather friend of the Talibs.
The interim Taliban government has a significant presence of the Haqqani Network, which is completely backed by the Pakistanis.
Pakistan may not be worried about al-Qaeda, but it is definitely anxious about Taliban’s closeness to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is in conflict with the Pakistani government, and doesn’t miss a chance to launch terror attacks on Pakistani establishments. Of late, the TTP has increased attacks on Pakistani security forces, especially after Taliban came to power in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani Taliban wants to achieve what Taliban did in Afghanistan – an Islamic Emirate in Pakistan.