Islamist militant outfit Haqqani network which is long known to be a terrorist proxy of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, was involved in Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri's movements and his stay in Kabul is a clear indication of Pakistani complicity, a think tank report said.
Notably, key 9/11 plotter, Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan by a US drone on the morning of 31 July.
The prospect of Pakistani involvement in Zawahiri's targeting, meanwhile, has emerged as a contentious issue, even if neither the US nor Pakistan has so far publicly acknowledged such a role.
It is worthwhile to point out that Zawahiri was reported to be living in Pakistan till the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, probably under the protection of the Pakistani intelligence agency the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), reported European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS).
The think tank while quoting a report by the New York Times said that for many years it was believed that Zawahiri was hiding in the border area of Pakistan and it remains unclear why he returned to Afghanistan.
Following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, it is believed that Zawahiri's family returned to the safe house in Kabul.
Reports quoting top intelligence sources have also claimed that Zawahiri was being sheltered in Karachi and that sometime after the Taliban takeover he was moved to Kabul through the Chaman border by the Haqqani network.
Relations between the ISI and the Haqqanis have been so symbiotic that the then chief of the ISI, Faiz Hameed, had openly visited Kabul on multiple occasions after the Taliban takeover to weigh in for key ministries for the Haqqani network in the government that the Taliban was then engaged in negotiating and forming.
Over the role of Pakistan in Zawahiri's killing, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Michael Rubin said that he is convinced that Pakistan had a role in Zawahiri's killing.
He underlined that "Pakistan's economy is in danger, and the country is in danger of collapse. It was in this context that, Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa spoke to Washington to seek U.S. help to expedite the dispersal of a USD 1.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund."
Pakistan needs the cash now to avoid default as its foreign reserves stand only at $9 billion, and its currency crashes. (ANI)