Now Afghanistan belongs to Taliban. 6 months ago, when the Biden administration ordered the withdrawal of US troops from Afghan, experts predicted that Afghanistan doesn’t stand a chance against Taliban, it will takeover Afghanistan and within months it will fall into Islamic militia hands. This doesn’t come as a surprise to many.
The Taliban occupied almost 20 percent of Afghanistan, even before Biden’s proclamation, and almost in 50 percent, they had a strong presence. The Taliban takeover got a conducive atmosphere with US withdrawal, Moral-melted Army, and a weak government. Taliban is earning more than $400 million from mineral mining and drugs. So economically, too, they became affluent. President Ghani’s hope in the Afghan Armed Forces also became redundant. As the Taliban takeover Kabul, thousands of people tried to flee to neighboring countries like Tajikistan. In fact, the PM itself fled the scene.
China and Pak:
We might see an IRAN like nation-building in Afghanistan. Strict Sharia enforcement, lack of freedom and expression, another Islamic nation, which might soon come US Sanction like Iran and Iraq. For the US animosity, there is one more reason, China. Taliban already established an informal relation with China, which irked the west as well as India. China needs Afghanistan, to push its big projects like BRI and CPEC.
Taliban Takeover and what it means to India:
We might think Pakistan is going to gain from all this chaos. The so-called “Strategic depth” in Afghanistan might not get materialized, as the spokesperson for the Taliban clarified that no external force will dictate its course of action, not even Pakistan. As China got a new friend in Afganistan, Pakistan will become a second player. Now China does not need Pakistan to connect Central Asia with China. China and Afghanistan already share a land boundary, hence Afghanistan will be a lever for China against Pakistan.
India is in a dilemma, as it made it clear in the past that they won’t talk to a terrorist organization, but backdoor channel talks with the Taliban in Doha shows a departure from this. In addition, Pakistan still had a cordial connection with the Taliban and Indian security forces could not ignore this relation. India has diplomatic relations with even North Korea, hence making a diplomatic relationship with Afghanistan under Taliban is not a bad idea. Moreover, India has investments and infrastructure interests that need to be protected in Afghan.
The only fact that needs to be taken care of when dealing with Taliban is that the Islamic terrorist network which is active in Pak-Afgan geography should not be spilled over India, with the assistance of Taliban. By establishing a diplomatic tie with Taliban, we can provide them with diverse options to select from, which will, in turn, might be able to stem the monopoly that China and Pakistan may have in the region.
Also Read: Afghanistan: A Failed Political Laboratory
There are Taliban sympathizers in India who might argue that this is a new Taliban, as they have said that men and women will get equal consideration. But if we look at their track record between 1991 and 2003, how they performed in Social rights of Taliban government, and how they assisted the Pak hijackers to execute their plans in 1999. Ironically, these are the same sympathizers who outraged against Israel to support Palestine. Nobody is interested in the Afghan people’s menace, because there is no Israel here. They are now whitewashing Taliban by arguing that the Taliban is a consequence of US funding and training Mujahideen. The US needed Mujahideen to fight the Soviet Union. They paid their price, United states faced with one of the largest terrorist attacks of the century, contributed billions of dollars to build back Afganistan, almost for 20 years.
The fact that the US left Afghan without providing a conclusive pathway for the future, but blaming them solely for the current developments and fall of Taliban for the sake of criticism is immature. Islamic terrorist proliferation in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, and other disturbed West Asian countries were not invaded by the US, but still, they have a strong presence of such Islamic militia presence.
Afghanistan is bleeding, and it will remain so for an unforeseen future. Afghans can only save Afghanistan, not anybody else. A country like the US may give them help with Arms, money, or any other resources. But we can’t force a man to fight for his motherland. He has to realize that if he wants to protect his home; he has to fight back. That’s why India’s principle of “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” action is vital right now like never before.