Pakistani terrorists who are trying to take over the disputed region of Kashmir are carrying "M4s, M16s, and other U.S.-made arms and ammunition" left in Afghanistan following the Biden administration's disastrous withdrawal of American troops, NBC reported Monday.
Authorities in Indian-controlled areas of Kashmir told NBC that they have recovered the weapons, mostly from terrorists in the Pakistan-based groups Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Kashmir police first reported last year that they "had seized an M4 carbine assault rifle" from Jaish-e-Mohammad, NBC noted.
President Joe Biden in 2021 botched the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of 13 service members. The Taliban quickly swept the country after the U.S. withdrawal, establishing a government that has oppressed women, cracked down on human rights, and committed mass executions of civilians. As part of the withdrawal, the United States left vehicles and weapons, which the Taliban has paraded in celebration of its takeover.
A Defense Department report found that "more than $7.1 billion in U.S.-funded military equipment was in the possession of the Afghan government when it fell to the Taliban," NBC wrote.
Some of those U.S. weapons ended up in the hands of the Pakistani groups. Indian Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emron Musavi told NBC that militants from both groups had gone to Afghanistan before the withdrawal "to fight alongside or train the Taliban."
"It can be safely assumed that they have access to the weapons left behind," Musavi said.
The embarrassing U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover also "gave an ideological boost to radical militants" all over the world, said Ahmad Shuja Jamal, an Afghan official forced into exile by the withdrawal.
Militants "now see in clear terms the political dividends of long-term violence," Shuja said.
Published under: Afghanistan Crisis , Biden Administration , India , Pakistan , Terrorism