The Great Afghan Betrayal: A Palace Coup?
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 24 Sep , 2021

In a series of articles exclusive to Canary Trap, investigative journalist, VK Shashikumar stitches together accounts of staff members who worked in President Ashraf Ghani’s administration. This series attempts to convey their perspectives on what happened on August 15th and what led to fall of Afghanistan’s Government and the swift takeover by Taliban.


Three phone calls from Doha on August 15, 2021, between 9 am and 10 am led to the collapse of President Ashraf Ghani’s government in Afghanistan.

The First Call

Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, head of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating team in Doha, Qatar (former chief of the National Directorate of Security) called Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor that he had “received instructions to hand over Arg to the Taliban”. The Arg is Afghanistan’s Presidential Palace compound in Kabul and the country’s seat of power. Mohib was asked to prepare a list of evacuees from Arg. Eventually, the list had 52 names. Almost all of them (90%) on the list of evacuees were Pashtuns. Except for some loyalists, like the former First Lady, Mrs Rula Ghani’s NDS bodyguard, who is a Hazara.

Shortly, after 10 am, Mohib, in turn, called Dr. Fazel Mahmood Fazly, former President Ashraf Ghani’s Chief of Staff. “Tell all the staff at Arg to go home.” The instruction was clear, except for a handful of administrative staff, everyone was told to leave their workstations and head home. The author has verified this with multiple employees at the Arg, including those who worked in the communications and media team of Ghani. One of the staff members who worked at the Archive Office said “a few members of NDS walked into our offices and asked us to leave urgently. Everyone panicked and just rushed out with their office bags. I left with my papers lying around on my desk.”

The Second Call

The next person on Masoom Stanekzai’s speed dial was the Head of Presidential Protection Service, Muhammadullah Amin. He was told to ensure that President Ghani was safely evacuated in a helicopter with his wife and close aides to the Kabul International Airport. The evacuation window was set for between 1 pm and 4 pm on August 15th.

The Third Call

Finally, Masoom Stanekzai called up President Ashraf Ghani. “You must leave. The Taliban has decided to kill you. They have changed their mind on the peaceful power transfer to a transition government. They will take over the government.” Ghani refused to vacate his office or leave the Presidential compound. However, he had already indicated a day earlier and during the emergency meetings on August 15th morning that he was willing to relinquish power to a transition government. He was confident that his pro-Pashtun stance in the recent years would be looked at favourably by the Taliban.

Till late night on August 14th, there were a flurry of phone calls between Doha and the Arg. None of them were about saving Afghanistan or fighting Taliban forces stationed on the outskirts of Kabul. These calls were all about differentiating political messaging from the strategic/military intent. The twin political messaging for the domestic and international audience emphasised Ghani’s readiness to work out peaceful transition to a unity government which included Taliban leaders and “avoiding bloodshed”. The strategic and military intent was of staging a palace coup.

Ghani and his two chief advisers, Hamdullah Mohib (NSA) and Fazal Mahmood Fazly (Chief of Staff) were derided in the Arg as the ‘three-man republic’. It is not clear if Ghani was an active participant of the palace coup or if he understood what was happening.

The Political Messaging

In the days leading up to August 15th Mohib informed all informed all the diplomatic missions that there is no need to worry. Meanwhile, Ghani, consistently maintained that “Kabul will be protected by ANDSF (Afghanistan National Défense and Security Forces) and our international partners.” The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken recalled in an interview to CBS on August 22 that a day before Kabul was taken over by the Taliban he was on the phone with Ghani “when he was telling me his intent, as he put it, to fight to the death. Well, the next day, he was gone.”

Insiders in the Arg now reveal that Ghani was an ethnocentric Pashtun nationalist. “He is a fascist, an Afghan chauvinist who secretly harboured the view that political power should always remain with the Pashtuns” an Arg insider who worked as one of Ghani’s aides for 3 three years and is now residing in a Western country told this author. Ghani relied completely on two inexperienced Pashtuns – Mohib and Fazly.

The peace plan accompanying the political messaging that Masoom, Mohib and Fazly worked out was never intended to be implemented. Everyone knew that the Taliban would lay siege to Kabul and build the pressure for the President to resign. The plan entailed that Ghani would step down, hand over power to a transitional Government with a power sharing arrangement with the Taliban. This would give international legitimacy to the Taliban, and it would be promoted as a genuine Afghan solution.

The Military Imperative

Mohib was running with the hare and hunting with the hound. From middle of July till August 14th, Mohib in his meetings and calls with the diplomatic corps in Kabul and in interviews to the international media would give “excuses to explain the inability of ANDSF to halt the Taliban advance and at the same time underline that ANDSF would eventually prevail.” Even as he conveyed the Afghan Government’s resolute determination to the diplomatic corps in Kabul to overcome the Taliban challenge, Mohib was coordinating a controlled surrender of all the 34 provinces to the Taliban.

Afghanistan’s Defence Minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammedi, who is now in Panjshir Valley heading the Afghan resistance forces said angrily, referring to Ghani and his team of advisors, “they tied our hands behind our backs and sold the homeland, damn the rich man and his gang.” Between August 6th and August 14th, Mohib strategically enabled the Taliban to rapidly advance by withdrawing the ANDSF and preventing them from actively engaging the Taliban.

By August 13th, five of the seven Afghan Army Corps had surrendered meekly – 203rd in Gardez, 205th in Herat, 207th in Kandahar, 2015th in Helmand & 217th in Kunduz. On August 14th, the remaining two army corps – 201st in Babul, and the 209th Corps in Mazar-i-Sharif surrendered. On August 15th, 111th Division of ANDSF exclusively raised for the security of Kabul melted away.

The Taliban just walked into Kabul and took over Afghanistan in a pre-arranged palace coup.


Few minutes after mid-night on August 15, 2021, a Taliban leader, Qari Salahuddin Ayoubi entered the Arg, Afghanistan’s presidential palace in Kabul with the fighters under his command. By 12.45 am he takes over the Arg and few minutes later gives an interview to Al-Jazeera, sitting at the desk of deposed President Ashraf Ghani. Qari Salahuddin was the Taliban governor in Faryab and was arrested by National Directorate of Security in 2015. In 2018, Salahuddin was exchanged with army prisoners and released.

A few minutes past 1 am on the intervening night of August 15/16, the Taliban flag is installed atop the Arg.

TV Screengrab of Taliban Flag Atop Arg

The palace coup was achieved through an intelligence operation within an intelligence operation within a military operation.

The US Plan

The original intelligence operation was hatched by U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Chief, Lt. General Faiz Hameed. This plan hinged on a peaceful transition of political power to a Taliban approved unity government. The Biden government wanted a clean exit from Afghanistan by August 31st.

By the afternoon of August 14th it was becoming increasingly clear that President Ashraf Ghani had agreed to handing over power. Around 2.30 pm Ghani sent a communication to his lead peace negotiator in Doha, Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, confirming his decision. This was immediately conveyed to the Khalilzad.

Before Ghani informed his lead peace negotiator in Doha about his decision to resign, he met all the important political leaders, including former President Hamid Karzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation or National Peace Shura). Mohib and Fazly, his two key aides were also present in the meeting. It was during this meeting that he was convinced to hand over power. Ghani agreed to handover the power to a group of political leaders or directly to the new head of the interim/transition administration.

In this crucial meeting, the only person who was not present was Amrullah Saleh, the Vice President of Afghanistan.

Saleh’s Chair is Vacant

Saleh’s vacant chair in this momentous meeting was exploited by Mohib and Fazly to mount psychological pressure on Ghani. They tried to make him doubt Saleh’s intentions. The Vice President was not in favour of Ghani resigning. The trusted advisors played mind games with Ghani. They informed him that Saleh was planning a coup with the Défense Minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammedi.

This disoriented an-already anxious Ghani because just a few hours ago he had chaired a coordinating meeting on the security of Kabul and its adjacent provinces. In this meeting Bismillah Khan presented his security plan to safeguard Kabul. In this meeting, General Pitt Weasley, the commander of the United States forces in Afghanistan, assured the support of US for the country’s armed forces.

Ahead of this meeting the Arg issued a press release on the appointment of Field General Seyyed Sami Sadat as the General in-charge of Kabul security. Given all these complex arrangements – the security of Kabul, the agreement to form a transition government and Ghani’s agreement to resign – what were the compelling reasons for Mohib and Fazly to meet Ghani till 11.30 pm to convince him that the peace plan was a trap?

The Pakistan Plan

Ghani’s work day on August 15th started with an emergency request for a call with Defence Minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammedi and other security officials. One of the pictures coming out of the Arg that morning is Ghani at his desk with a well-thumbed book placed on the right.

Around 11 am on August 15th Ghani’s panicked trusted advisors, Mohib and Fazly, rushed to the President’s office. They informed him that gun shots have been reported from Kabul city and that the Taliban was closing in. Fazly instructs Waheed Omer, head of President’s communications and media team to put out a social media post: “Honourable compatriots of Kabul, the sound of gun fire has been heard in the outskirts of Kabul city. The country’s security and Défense forces together with international colleagues are looking after the city’s security. The situation is under control.”

Some insiders have told this author that Mohib evicted Ghani by force. The President Protective Service (PPS) personnel first evacuated the First Lady, Rula Ghani, to the helicopter. The President didn’t want to leave his office because he believed that he would be safe. According to him the government’s peace negotiating team had struck a deal with the Talban for a peaceful transition of power. Fatima Gilani a member of the Afghanistan’s peace negotiating team in Doha is on record, confirming that the Taliban agreed that they would not enter Kabul and allow a peaceful transfer of power. This is what the Americans believed, too. In any case this was the American plan.

By noon on August 15th the Afghan Government had collapsed. There was complete disarray amongst the rank and file of the Afghan defense and security forces. Vice-President Saleh and Defense Minister Bismillah Khan were already on their way to Panjshir Valley. Later Amrullah described the collapse as a “shameful surrender to Pakistan.”

According to one of the closest aides of President Ghani who escaped from the Arg “every security arrangement at all levels collapsed. This vacuum led to looting across several areas of Kabul city and the situation had become so untenable that the former President Hamid Karzai called on the Taliban to enter the city to restore order.”

The script of the peaceful transfer of power went awry from this moment onwards.

Till 10 am on August 15th, the US Embassy precincts appeared to be normal. The US Embassy is close to the Arg. But around 12 noon a column of smoke rose from one corner of its compound. The embassy staffers were destroying documents and equipment as they prepared to evacuate. Two hours later, at around 2 pm, US military Chinook helicopters began evacuating diplomats and staff from US Embassy in Kabul.

TV Screengrab Showing US Military Carries out Evacuation of US Embassy Staff

By this time Ghani, his wife and his core team of officials were already at the Kabul International Airport, ready to head out. The US military had taken over the control of KIA and all air traffic around the Kabul airspace was suspended to facilitate evacuations. Flight tracking open-source intelligence platforms reported two significant departures”.

“3.27 pm: An unidentified aircraft is heading from Kabul to Uzbekistan right now…” Presumably, this was a decoy and Ghani left with his entourage in a Boeing 737-800 around midnight and the plane was being flown by Russian pilots.

Inclusive of Ghani and his wife there were supposed to be 53 people from the Arg escaping Afghanistan. But one of them had to make a difficult choice at the tarmac because of the last and final call from Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, head of Afghanistan’s peace negotiating team in Doha to Muhammadullah Amin, Head of Presidential Protection Service. The instruction was crisp and clear: “Hand over the Arg to Taliban.”

So, Amin returned to the Presidential Palace and waited for the Taliban. He received Taliban leader Qari Salahuddin Ayoubi and his Talib fighters at the entrance, escorted them straight to the President’s office. Qari sat on the President’s chair. One of his body guards drew up another chair next to him for Amin to sit.

Amin confessed on live television that he returned from the airport on the order of Stanekzai to surrender the Arg to Taliban.

This is how Taliban announced its takeover of Kabul and Afghanistan.


On August 13, 2021, Ismail Khan, a revered Tajik elder/leader and militia commander of Herat – also, called the Lion of Herat – in his early 70s was engaged in a last stand against the Taliban. At the same time, unknown to him, the famed 207th Zafar (Victory) Corps of the Afghan Army was engaged in a planned surrender to the Taliban. Eventually Khan was captured. A Taliban spokesperson reportedly told media organisations that Khan, the provincial governor, and security officials were in their custody as part of agreement with the Taliban.

Agreement with whom?

A day later the 209th Shaheen (Falcon) Corps at Mazar-e-Sharif surrendered. The people of this legendary capital of the Balkh province sharing its northern border with Uzbekistan have had a rich history in rising against the religious extremism of Taliban. This city was home to the famous anti-Taliban war lord, Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Ata Mohammad Noor, leader of Jamiat-e-Islami Afghanistan and Governor of Balkh province tweeted at 1.07 am on August 15:–

Noor had tweeted: “I have a lot of untold stories that I will share in due course. Thanking all who proudly resisted to defend their land. Our path won’t end here.”

Those stories need to be told now, not later. Who orchestrated the surrender?

There were 52 people who escaped to Abu Dhabi on a chartered Boeing 737-800 flown by Russian pilots. Some of them know the plot because they were involved. But they are currently inaccessible and most importantly they have an incentive to stay silent forever. There are others like Noor who are preferring to hold their silence. But some brave Afghans who were closely associated with the affairs at the Arg are speaking up.

“Mohib, Fazly and Stanekzai sold out our country to Pakistan. It was a military coup planned by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence to re-install Taliban”. This is what one of Ghani’s former aides who was in active contact till August 15th with several people on the list of 52 escapees from the Arg told the author. As of today, it seems difficult to verify this statement. But over time the truth of the controlled collapse of August 15th will emerge. Perhaps, leaders of Afghanistan government who are now part of the National Resistance Front like Vice President Amrullah Saleh and Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammedi or Arg escapees may find it necessary or strategic to reveal what they know.

For now, the author is giving voice to several Afghans who worked in the Arg and are presenting compelling versions, which needs to be placed in the public domain. The role of Hamdullah Mohib (National Security Advisor, Afghanistan) in the collapse of the government and enabling Taliban to takeover the country will certainly be discussed in the days ahead.

In September 2020, the US State Department issued a statement that it would refrain from contact with Mohib, because of his outburst against ‘US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation’, Zalmay Khalilzad. Similar action was taken by the Pakistani government in May 2021. Islamabad was outraged by Mohib’s comments against Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. In fact, during a parliamentary debate Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, described him as a “dog”.

‘Controlled Surrender’

Given this context, it is difficult to understand why Mohib was calling up provincial Governors and regional army commanders to surrender. Mark these words – “controlled surrender”. These words will be heard more often in the days ahead. According to some bureaucrats who worked in the Arg, one of the reasons why the trained and well-equipped Afghan army collapsed without a fight was because Mohib was contracting surrender deals with the Taliban to help it advance.

What does Defense Minister Bismillah Khan know, given that he tweeted “those trading and selling out their motherland should be punished and arrested.”

“Mohib was calling every district governor and every regional army chief to surrender because it is part of the peace deal,” a source who is currently in the US told the author.

Mohib was intensely disliked by Ghani’s Cabinet, especially, those in the Ministry of Defense. In an interview with BBC Persia, Munira Yousefzada, the former Deputy Defense Minister claimed that “decisions at all levels of the army were illegally taken away from the Ministry of Defense and assigned to the office of Hamdullah Mohib, the national security adviser. These included critical decisions over war, intelligence, the appointment of officials, training, and personnel matters. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense had no role in the war and all commanders, from district commanders to commanders of corps, had to be close to Hamdullah Mohib.”

“Controlled Surrender” strategy was set into motion by Mohib early this year. A crucial element to trigger the collapse of local security formations was mass replacement of local army commanders and district police chiefs with pro-Taliban, pro-Pashtun nationalists. It is important to know that Mohib hand-picked each of these appointments. It is of utmost importance to know the districts where Mohib replaced the security forces commanders were the ones to surrender to the Taliban at the first opportunity. Most of them were appointed between January and March 2021.

In fact, by the time Ghani’s Cabinet realised what was happening, it was too late. The Taliban were already on a roll, capturing one district after another. On July 21, 2021, three weeks before Taliban took over Kabul and Afghanistan, the head of the Defense Affairs Commission said in the country’s Parliament that one of the reasons for the fall of districts to the Taliban is the unprofessional management and selection of police commanders for the districts.

“The way they were recruited was not right; if we were looking to bring reforms, we had people in the police ranks to be replaced and the situation could be much better than it is now,” said Mir Haidar Fazli, head of Parliament’s Défense Affairs Committee.

Role of Hamdullah Mohib

The appointment of district police chiefs and regional Army commanders were mandated to the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense respectively. But Mohib’s office (Office of National Security Council), with the support of President Ghani bypassed both these ministries in matters related to appointments and policy making. It’s ironic that weeks before Ghani fled, he said this in support of Mohib’s inexplicable appointments across more than 200 districts (out of a total of 387 districts): “There will be a management system, a motivation, a commitment and a movement and the Afghan nation will remember it with pride in their history.”

In the days leading up to the collapse of the Government on August 15th, several politicians and senior commanders of security forces and agencies openly voiced their fears that interference by Mohib and his incompetence was severely endangering the security and stability of Afghanistan.

“Regarding this issue, the Office of the National Security Council does not have any authority and it cannot interfere there,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former deputy minister of interior.

“From a legal perspective, it (ONSC) does not have the authority to do so—they have defined authority in their own way and there is no one above them to ask why,” said Sayed Eshaq Gailani, the head of Nahzat-e-Hambastagi Milli Afghanistan party.

The swift advance of the Taliban in July and August muted all these concerns, especially in the last few weeks when the threat of a Taliban takeover became increasingly clear and real. Dawlat Abad district in Faryab, Jalga and Nahrain districts in Baghlan, Khan Abad district in Kunduz, Jurm and Shaghnan districts in Badakhshan, Darqad district in Takhar, Siah Gard district in Parwan, Ab Band district in Ghazni is among the districts that had fallen to the Taliban by July 2021. These districts were among the districts for which Mohib announced new commanders.

Interestingly, Mohib’s office had changed commanders in those districts that were already categorised as facing high-level security threats. By the time US announced the withdrawal of its forces, the Taliban had taken over all the 200 districts in which Mohib had interfered with appointments.

Here’s something that staffers at the Arg have wanted to know for a long time.

“Hamdullah Mohib, you are a British citizen. You served as Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor. Your official biography says that you are from Nangarhar. We would often discuss with your deputies at the Arg about your place of birth and relatives. They said they have never met any of your relatives or even heard you ever speaking to them or speaking of them. Many of us have long wondered who you are. You just came from nowhere.”

Part 4

This 4th and the last part of the series looks at how Pakistan installed its most lethal terrorist enterprise, the Haqqani Network, as the new rulers of Afghanistan under the banner of Taliban.

Pakistan’s invasion of Afghanistan to dethrone an elected government is being received with Afghans chanting “death to Pakistan”. By installing a puppet government led by some of the most wanted UN designated terrorists, Pakistan has sounded its death knell. So far, Pakistan’s military, and its Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), have had a free run incubating scores of terrorist-organisations and organised criminal syndicates as a client State of United States of America and Saudi Arabia. This industrial scale production and support of terror groups has now reached an end game. In an over-the-top, webbed communicative world driven by technology Pakistan will find it extremely difficult to prop its terror surrogates in Afghanistan.

Kabul now hosts a Pakistan-sponsored coalition government of terrorist groups, led by the Haqqani Network. This will be the first time in contemporary world history that a state sponsor of terrorism used terrorist assaults in a foreign country to unseat a government. Afghanistan is now a de-facto confederate of Pakistan with the latter’s facilitation in establishing a Government led by a terrorist enterprise which has massive investments in mining, real estate, narcotics, gun running and an array of organised criminal activities.

Taliban 2.0 is dominated by the Haqqani Network, designated as a ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization’ by U.S. after the 2011 attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul. It was after this attack that the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, testified before Congress that the “Haqqani network acts as a veritable arm of Pakistani intelligence, the ISI. The admiral emphasised that with ISI support “Haqqani operatives planned and conducted the assault on the U.S. Embassy in September 2011.”

The United States of America signed an agreement with the Taliban, aka, the Haqqani Network in February 2020 with the stated intention of allied troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, 2021. Soon after ISI began military training of the terrorist fighters of the Haqqani Network in Pakistan’s tribal area of North Waziristan, world’s deadliest terrorist haven. This is the same base where Al-Qaida trained and planned terror attacks under the protective constellation of the Haqqani network. The objective was to takeover Afghanistan and establish a Taliban 2.0 rule with a big difference. The Taliban of today is merely a banner brand because more than two-thirds of Talib militia personnel are Pakistanis and/or Afghans under the payroll of Pakistan controlled Haqqani Network.

After 3 months of training the ISI began deploying the Haqqani Network Talibs, fighters indoctrinated with a violent Wahabi version of Islam that is murderously intolerant of all other faiths and non-adherents. Pakistan’s strategic intent is to continue strengthening Haqqani Network’s military capability as a strategic leverage. The Taliban 2.0 is now a full-fledged extension of Pakistan’s military, and its core is designed to use brutal force to achieve its objectives.

By May 2020 well-trained Haqqani Network commando units, dressed up as Taliban 2.0 fighters, commenced a series of targeted assassinations. A UN report noted that assassinations “have become a feature of the violence in Afghanistan and that appear to be undertaken with the objective of weakening the capacity of the Government and intimidating civil society.”

Pakistan has now strategically co-located Al Qaida units along with Haqqani Network bases in the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The ISI has set up hybrid, co-located units which have elements of Pakistan Army, Taliban represented by the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida and other foreign terrorist fighters.

A UN Security Council report dated July 1, 2021, states “the primary component of the Taliban in dealing with Al Qaida is the Haqqani Network (TAe.012). Ties between the two groups remain close, based on ideological alignment, relationships forged through common struggle and intermarriage. The Taliban has begun to tighten its control over Al Qaida by gathering information on foreign terrorist fighters and registering and restricting them.”

Taliban will not live up to its commitment to suppress any future international threat emanating from Al Qaida in Afghanistan.

The Haqqani Network dominated Taliban and its affiliate Al Qaida and likeminded terrorist organisations continue to celebrate the “defeat” of U.S. and its NATO allies in Afghanistan. Religious radicalism fueled by Pakistan’s terror franchisees ruling Afghanistan – 33 violent religious fundamentalists, including 4 under the U.S. Sanctions List – is a direct threat to global security. Already, massive momentum is being created to unify various warring terror groups inspired by fundamentalist Wahabi ideology.

Even though the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) has diminished in its effectiveness since the middle of 2018, the ISI via the Haqqani Network has attempted to establish a military relationship with its ambitious new leader, Shahab al-Muhajir. According to a UN Security Council report ISIL-K “continues to position itself as the sole pure rejectionist group in Afghanistan, to recruit disaffected Taliban and other militants to swell its ranks.”

The future trajectory of Pakistan’s complex manoeuvres in Afghanistan is moving towards building structured co-located terror units with active Pakistan military support. It is now a question of timing as to when some of these units will be directed towards India and Jammu and Kashmir. It is important to note that Pakistan’s ISI used a terrorist organisation, Haqqani Network, to dismantle the Afghan Army with the help of top advisors in the Afghan government led by former President Ashraf Ghani.

The Taliban force that entered Kabul was completely staffed by Haqqani Network terrorists because this group is extremely familiar with Kabul city’s geography. It is also important to note that a specialised unit of Haqqani Network along with a team from ISI took control of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security on August 15th and currently have access to all NDS data centre along with sophisticated U.S. equipment and documents. A similar parallel operation took complete control of Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Pakistan has full control of the Afghanistan’s national security assets created over the last two decades and the country’s communication network.

The views expressed in the article are solely of the author in his personal capacity. Attributability of the contents lies purely with the Author. First published on

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

VK Shashikumar

is a Systems Strategist and writes occasionally on Defence and Strategic Affairs. Recipient of 'Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism'

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