A review of the recent trends in Afghanistan and relations with China and Pakistan. The IED attack on a Tehreek Taliban Pakistan leader in Kunar province of Afghansitan has raised concerns of sanctuaries of the group provided by the Taliban. Meanwhile Pak politics is grappling with appointing a replacement for General Bajwa the Army chief. China has established rail and air corridor with Afghanistan. Here is a brief review and links for the detailed reports.
China is struggling to revive the mining and oil exploration contracts in Afghanistan. Despite a series of meetings held with the top leadership of the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan by
Chinese diplomats and businessmen in the past one year there is no progress in activation of the Mes Aynak copper mines in the Logar province or the oil and gas projects in the Amu Darya basins in the North.
However China is now adopting a different strategy of increasing connectivity and trade with Afghanistan by establishing air and direct rail corridor with the hope that this will lead to the Taliban opening up the mining and energy sectors.
On October 09, a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Maulvi Abdullah was critically injured in a targeted attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. He was reported to be a former chief justice of the Bajaur tribal district.
The blast took place in the Marawara district of the Kunar province as per the Express Tribune.
Abdullah is one of the top leaders who along with Umer Khurasani, Uqabi Mullah and Maulvi Faqir, is one of the core members of the Bajaur Shura.
The IED attack may have been organized by Pakistan’s intelligence agency operative the ISI given increase in the number of attacks by the group in Pakistan.
The IED incident in which a TTP commander is critically injured in Afghanistan is not an isolated one and at least two such instances have occurred in the recent past.
With just under two months left for the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to retire, there is much speculation of nomination of his successor given that the head of the Pakistan Army is seen as a critical actor not just in the field of defence and security but also politics of the country.
General Bajwa has repeatedly claimed that the Pakistan Army will not indulge in politics of the country, however this remains disbelieving given recent developments in the country with the judiciary once again flipping to give relief to the Sharifs.
Clearly Pakistan’s political circles are set to be abuzz in the coming days with two issues – the audio leaks revealing former Prime Minister Khan and the PTI leaders attempts to manipulate the issue of cypher alleging US intervention in removal of their government and appointment of the Army Chief.