By scapegoating Pakistan for all its problems, Kabul continues to do a great disservice to the people of Afghanistan who remain deprived of peace and stability for over four decades now. Any unfortunate incident is instantly linked to Pakistan. There is never any need felt for an impartial investigation to reveal the truth; conclusions are tailor-made and ready to serve. The glaring absurdity of unfounded allegations has never deterred anti-Pakistan hardliners in the Afghan government. The latest in this sordid saga comes after the arrest of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) head Abdullah Farooqi, allegedly a Pakistani national. Unsurprisingly, hawks in both Afghanistan and India have pounced on the opportunity to link the terrorist group’s activities to Pakistan’s official policy.

In the real world, the ISKP is the Afghanistan chapter of ISIS – an international terrorist organisation with roots in the Middle East. The claim is that Abdullah Farooqi used to be a member of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and so it follows, he must have links with the ISI. Again, the fact is that the TTP is a sworn enemy of Pakistan and its institutions, who have sacrificed much to defeat this group. In fact, evidence exists that shows TTP finding support from intelligence agencies of both Afghanistan and India. Transnational terrorist organisations draw members from across the globe. The nationality of a terrorist is not proof of collusion between said terrorist and their country of birth. Following Kabul’s logic, the government of the United Kingdom could be accused of patronising “Jihadi John” and many others.

In a volatile region where both war and dialogue have failed to yield desired results, it should not come as a surprise that non-state actors will be found vying for resources and influence. The fact is that the ISKP and the Afghan Taliban have been fighting each other for influence in certain provinces of Afghanistan. Kabul should focus on getting its own house in order, which it has failed to do owing to crippling incompetence, rampant corruption and constant infighting. Leave Pakistan out of it.