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The Russian and British empires battled over Afghanistan in the 19th century, and the United States and the Soviet Union in the 20th. As the Taliban take over in the strategic, landlocked nation, the new “Great Game” has Pakistan in control, with its ally China looking to cement its grip on the region.

Pakistan has deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of supporting the Islamist group as it battled the U.S.-backed government in Kabul — charges denied by Islamabad. When the Taliban captured Kabul last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Afghans had broken the “shackles of slavery.”

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