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Afghanistan crisis updates | CIA chief, Russian security head in Delhi

India is in “close contact” with both Moscow and Washington over developments in Afghanistan, official sources said, with two high-level intelligence delegations to Delhi this week

The Hindu has learnt that an American delegation of intelligence and security officials, led by Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns, is visiting the region including India and Pakistan, and held consultations with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on September 7 to discuss a number of issues arising from the Afghanistan evacuation effort and Taliban government formation. On September 8, the Russian Secretary of the Security Council General Nikolay Patrushev will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NSA Doval and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, the MEA announced.

The separate meetings with U.S. and Russian officials in South Block come as the Taliban announced an acting or interim government led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, and Abdul Ghani Baradar as deputy Prime Minister.

Here are the latest developments:

Taliban name new Afghan government, interior minister on U.S. sanctions list

The Taliban named Mullah Hasan Akhund, an associate of the movement’s late founder Mullah Omar, as the head of Afghanistan’s new government on Tuesday, with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the movement’s political office, as deputy.

Sarajuddin Haqqani, son of the founder of the Haqqani network, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, will be the new interior minister, the Taliban’s main spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in Kabul.

Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, has been named as defence minister. All the appointments are in an acting capacity, Mujahid told a news conference in Kabul. – Reuters

 

CIA chief, Russian security head in Delhi

India is in “close contact” with both Moscow and Washington over developments in Afghanistan, official sources said, with two high-level intelligence delegations to Delhi this week.

The Hindu has learnt that an American delegation of intelligence and security officials, led by Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns, is visiting the region including India and Pakistan, and held consultations with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on September 7 to discuss a number of issues arising from the Afghanistan evacuation effort and Taliban government formation.

On September 8, the Russian Secretary of the Security Council General Nikolay Patrushev will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NSA Doval and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, the MEA announced. Both the MEA and the U.S. Embassy declined to confirm or deny the visit of Mr. Burns, when asked for a response by The Hindu.

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CIA veteran: al-Qaeda will rebuild within Afghanistan

The CIA man who briefed President George W Bush on September 11, 2001, and later President Barack Obama on the intelligence that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden said that he’s convinced the Taliban will invite al-Qaeda to rebuild in Afghanistan.

“There is no doubt in my mind,” said Michael Morell, who twice served as acting CIA director. “I believe that the Taliban will give safe haven to al-Qaeda, and I believe it will be al-Qaeda’s intention to again build its capability so that they can attack us here at home.” Morell spoke at an online forum sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which is holding multiple panels this week to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. – PTI

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China will try to work out arrangement with Taliban, says Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden said on September 7, 2021 that he was certain that China would try to work out an arrangement with the Taliban after the Islamic insurgents seized power in Afghanistan on August 15.

Asked if he was worried that China would fund the group, which is sanctioned under U.S. law, Mr. Biden told reporters, "China has a real problem with the Taliban. So they’re going to try to work out some arrangement with the Taliban, I’m sure. As does Pakistan, as does Russia, as does Iran. They’re all trying to figure out what do they do now." – Reuters

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