After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, internet users in Pakistan celebrated the occasion by sharing a video of the late Hamid Gul, who headed the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the country’s premier spy agency.
“When history is written, it will be stated that the ISI defeated the Soviet Union in Afghanistan with the help of America,” Gul, who was the ISI chief in from 1987 to 1989, said in an interview to a Pakistani broadcaster in 2014.
After a pause, he continued: “Then there will be another sentence. The ISI, with the help of America, defeated America.”
As Gul, who passed away in 2015, prophesied, the arrival of the Taliban in Kabul is somehow a victory for Pakistan, a country that helped the insurgents in the 1990s and was one of the only three countries then – along with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – to recognize the extremist regime.
Much has been said about the “Great Game” in Afghanistan, a term coined by Rudyard Kipling to denote the rivalry between the United Kingdom and Russia in Central Asia in the 19th century.
But it is Pakistan that is really the expert on the “Great Game,” which although has already cost the Asian country dearly in the past.
For the past 20 years, Pakistan has played a double game in the Afghan conflict: On one hand, it has received billions of dollars from the United States for supporting the war on Afghan soil and on the other it has allowed the Taliban to use its territory against Washington.
This is the US version. Pakistan has always admitted to having influence with the Taliban, but has denied helping them.
Thus, among the few leaders that seemed to celebrate the Taliban victory in Afghanistan was Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.
A day after the insurgents took over Kabul, Khan said that that it represented the Afghans breaking the “shackles of slavery.” EFE