MOSCOW – In a major development, four high profile spy chiefs of Pakistan, Russia, Iran and China reached an understanding of the importance of coordinated steps to prevent the trickling of IS terrorists from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan.
Sergei Ivano, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Intelligence revealed that the meeting was held in Islamabad on Tuesday was held under the auspices of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to discuss how to counter the extremist group’s influence.
“The discussions focused on the dangers arising from a buildup of the Islamic State on the Afghan territory,” Ivanov said, adding that the partner countries have reached consensus to prevent IS influence which is posing a threat to security of neighbouring countries.
The top security and intelligence officials stressed the need for a more active inclusion of regional powers in the efforts to settle the years-long Afghan conflict.
A Russian State Department official requesting anonymity said: “ISIS has grown stronger over the last couple of years, despite a really withering military campaign, principally from U.S. forces, but with strong support as well from Afghan forces”.
US rejects all such suspicions, especially in light of their increased air strikes targeting the ISIS members. They allege that chances for peace with Afghanistan have been deterred by non-cooperation and support for the Taliban by Russia and Iran.
They also commented that the recent huddle in Pakistan was a chance to escalate involvement which is not conducive to the goal of peace, Washington examiner reported.
In the meeting, discussions pertained to trying to ensure that there was no domino effect of the terrorism in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to the neighbouring countries of Iran, China and Russia.
Russia and China have recently been trying to exert more control in Afghanistan as displayed by the Beijing-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which vows to adopt a more active stance on security issues in Afghanistan.