An Indian analyst, in a piece published in Hindustan Times, has acknowledged that the Indian spy agency the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has ties with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Bharat Karnad, professor for national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research and author of “Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)”, writes, “Severing relations with TTP will mean India surrendering an active card in Pakistan and a role in Afghanistan as TTP additionally provides access to certain Afghan Taliban factions.”
This, he added, together with “the Abdul Ghani regime’s desire for India’s presence and the tested friendship with Abdul Rashid Dostum and his Tajik-dominated ‘Northern Alliance’, ensures that no solution for peace in Afghanistan can be cobbled together without India’s help”.
Discussing US secretary of defence, Lieutenant General (retd) James Mattis’ trip to India starting September 25, Karnad wrote, “As a former head of the US Central Command Mattis appreciates Pakistan’s indispensability as base for military operations to bring the Taliban in Afghanistan to their knees. But Islamabad has insisted that India’s role in Afghanistan be restricted and complained about the Indian support for the TTP accused by Islamabad of terrorism in Pakistan. The RAW-TTP link was publicly revealed in April this year by its former commander, Ehsanullah Ehsan.”
The analyst believes that Mattis would request India to moderate its support for the TTP as it is s useful as an Indian counterpart of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Muhammad. However, he maintained that the US official returning home empty-handed would not hurt relations with the US at all because there’s China; and the US needs India to strategically hinder it.