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ISI unlikely to change its policy on India, Afghanistan:expert


Washington, Nov 14 (PTI): The recent leadership change in Pakistan’s powerful spy agency ISI is unlikely to alter its policy on India and Afghanistan, according to a noted US expert on South Asia.

“With regard to India and Afghanistan, there are few reasons to believe that the strategic priorities have changed.

On India, this reflects both continuity in the strategic objectives and a tactical adjustment to current circumstances,” said Frederic Grare, Director and Senior Associate of South Asia Programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Grare made the remarks in an interview posted on the Carnegie website. Last week, Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar took over as head of Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“With the Pakistani army fighting the Pakistani Taliban along the Afghan border, the ISI seeks to avoid any provocation that may lead to a military escalation on the line of control or the international border while also keeping the main issues, such as Kashmir, unresolved,” he said.

“On Afghanistan, the priorities remain unchanged. The overarching objective is still to promote a relatively friendly government in Kabul while limiting Indian influence as much as possible,” Grare said in response to a question.

“The means, however, have changed,” he said, adding that the ISI is no longer limiting itself to the Pashtun areas, and has reached out to its former enemies of the Northern Alliance.

“The ISI is also trying to promote a reconciliation process between the Afghan government and the Taliban, but on its own terms and under its control,” Grare said.

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