Pakistani intelligence agency ISI’s terrorist proxy Haqqani network is involved in the killing of Al-Qaeda chief Al-Zawahiri claims a think tank report. The report also mentions that the Haqqani network was involved in Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri`s movements and his stay in Kabul.
Infamous terrorist and a key 9/11 plotter, Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a US drone strike on 31st July in Kabul. The prospect of Pakistani involvement in Zawahari’s targeting has surely raised many eyebrows as neither the US nor Pakistan has so far publicly acknowledged such a role.
Recently the European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) reported about Zawahiri’s stay in Pakistan till the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, probably under the protection of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
By quoting a New York Times report, the think tank claimed that for many years Zawahiri was hiding in the border areas of Pakistan and it remains unclear why he returned to Afghanistan. Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, it is believed that Zawahiri`s family returned to the safe house in Kabul.
Many reports quoting top intelligence sources also claimed that Zawahiri was being sheltered in Karachi. He was then shifted to Kabul soon after the Taliban takeover through the Chaman border by the Haqqani network.
The strong links between ISI and Haqqanis were pretty evident when the then chief of the ISI, Faiz Hameed, openly visited Kabul on multiple occasions after the Taliban takeover. The chief of Pakistan’s intelligence agency was lobbying to fetch key ministries for the Haqqani network in the upcoming Taliban government.
A senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Michael Rubin said that he is convinced that Pakistan had a role in Zawahiri`s killing. He underlined that “Pakistan`s economy is in danger, and the country is in danger of collapse. It was in this context that, Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa spoke to Washington to seek U.S. help to expedite the dispersal of a USD 1.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.” Pakistan needs the cash now to avoid default as its foreign reserves stand only at $9 billion, and its currency crashes.