Hundreds of Kabul residents came out on the streets today in protest against what they said was meddling by Pakistan in Afghanistan’s affairs, three weeks after the Taliban takeover. In videos shared by local journalists on social media, the crowds were heard shouting slogans like “death to Pakistan”, “we don’t want a Pakistani puppet government” and “Pakistan, leave Afghanistan”, among others.
Pakistan’s espionage agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which has gained notoriety for supporting terror groups against India, is believed to be working with the Taliban and laying the groundwork for the new government in the country where a US-led alliance fought a war against terror for 20 years.
“ISI stay away,” reads a placard in the hands of a woman at today’s protest outside the Pakistani embassy in the Afghan capital.
“The Islamic government is shooting at our poor people,” one panic-stricken woman on the street says over sounds of gunfire in a video clip posted on Twitter by Asvaka news agency. “These people (Taliban) are very unjust, and they are not human at all.”
ISI chief Faiz Hameed was in Kabul at the weekend, reportedly to be briefed by his country’s ambassador but is likely to have also met with Taliban officials.
The Taliban fired shots into the air to disperse crowds at the protest today, news agency AFP reported.
The armed group has not yet announced a government, but the name of a lesser known Taliban leader who is in the United Nations terror watch list, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, is doing the rounds as someone who could be the next Prime Minister of Afghanistan.
Disagreements between the terrorist group’s multiple factions have so far stymied government formation in the war-torn nation.
The main contenders for power, whose struggles have delayed the announcement of a new regime, include the Doha unit of the Taliban headed by Mullah Baradar, the Haqqani Network, a semi-independent terror outfit that operates in eastern Afghanistan, and the Kandahar faction of the Taliban.