US Diplomat, Tom West, highlighted that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is causing the most trouble in the region.
Nonetheless, he also said that the Taliban actions have contributed to the weakening of the Islamic State (IS).
The agreement that allowed the US to withdraw from Afghanistan, known as the Doha agreement, isn’t as important as it used to be, according to West.
He recalled that in the past, the US mainly looked at Pakistan through an Afghan lens, but that has changed recently.
Dave Smith, a former US diplomat, asked whether Pakistan is helping or hindering US goals in Afghanistan.
Mr. West said, Pakistan is generally helpful, especially when it comes to security, helping with relocating people, and processing refugees.
Mr. West also pointed out that the Afghan Taliban and the banned TTP have become close allies.
As the TTP was pushed across the border, they joined forces with the Taliban, supporting them financially, logistically, and operationally.
Regarding whether the Taliban supports TTP attacks on Pakistan, West didn’t provide a public answer, but he acknowledged that this is a significant concern for Pakistan right now.
Mr. West emphasized that the TTP poses a substantial threat to the region, with an increase in attacks aimed at Pakistan.
When it comes to Al Qaeda, West mentioned that they are not as strong as they used to be in the region.
They currently have limited capabilities to pose a threat to the US, compared to when they moved to Afghanistan from Sudan in 1996.
Mr. West praised the Taliban for successfully combating IS, which significantly weakened the group.
Taliban operations in Afghanistan have eliminated several key IS leaders who were responsible for planning external attacks.
In terms of the Doha agreement, West indicated that it’s not a major topic of discussion anymore.
Instead, the US is guided by its interests in Afghanistan.
They do, however, consider the commitments made by the Taliban, particularly regarding security, as binding.
The Doha agreement isn’t something they refer to regularly in practice.