Sunday, July 25, 2021

Taliban rule imminent in Afghanistan

Editorial

It is only a matter of time before Taliban seizes control of Kabul and entire Afghanistan. The US forces have abandoned the people of Afghanistan in a never ending war, struck a hurried one-sided deal and are withdrawing in haste.

This is an admission of abject failure of their mission in the war-torn country. The ultimate winner has been Pakistan and its proxy Taliban. Pakistan, being a master of double-crossing, has used its guile in achieving all its objectives through Taliban.

Now that US is out, Taliban are a free force. And they are likely to run amok for some time before stabilising their wings.

The report that Salma Dam, on which India has made huge investments has been captured by Taliban may or may not be true. However, it is only a matter of time before Taliban seizes all the assets in the country, including the Parliament building that it helped build.

Taliban’s advancement in Afghanistan has been a jolt to Indian interests. There cannot be two views about it. Taliban, for now, is in cahoots with Pakistan. All its leaders have deep investments in Pakistan and have their families living there.

However, it is only a matter of time before Taliban see themselves as rulers of Afghanistan and start growing their own ambitions.

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The day Taliban leaders take their families and interests away from Pakistan, they would start growing their own ambitions and freedom. And once they start thinking about their country’s long-term interests, reality would begin to dawn upon them.

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It is not that Taliban leaders do not understand Pakistan’s machinations. But they have been too dependent on Pakistan’s support. Once that dependence is removed, Taliban too would start thinking rationally.

While, it may seem that Indian interests have got a jolt in Afghanistan, it may be a matter of time before India too gets a handle in the country.

The best thing from Indian perspective is the amount of goodwill that Indian policies have generated among Afghanistan people. Even Taliban know it. And it would be in India’s interests to see that people-friendly projects continue in Afghanistan.

India has made multiple good decisions in Afghanistan. It refused to get physically involved in the mess created by Islamist and Western forces. However, it continued to build bridges with the people. The amount of goodwill that India’s seemingly benevolent investments have generated in Afghanistan can prove to be a big asset.

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While it is difficult to build bridges with Taliban, which for now is completely running on the dictats of Pakistan, India ultimately would have to deal with them when they come to power in Afghanistan.

India should continue to wait for the first cracks to appear between Pakistan and Taliban. Pakistan’s exploitative relationship, China’s predatory inroads and West’s treachery are bound to create fissures between Pakistan and Taliban. India should only focus on staying away from the mess and ensuring that Taliban sees through Pakistan’s game as soon as possible.

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So far Indian policies in Afghanistan have been on the right track. What Afghanistan people do is none of our business. Our focus should remain limited to ensure that Pakistan do not succeed in turning the Taliban forces against us.

Reports say that Taliban has allegedly captured Salma Dam and given a big jolt to the government forces in Afghatnistan.

They have launched their first assault on provincial capital since waging a major offensive against government forces. The latest attack has caused panic among the locals and the prisoners broke out of the prison too.

According to multiple sources, a blood fighting has erupted in the city of Qala-e-Naw, which is also the capital of northwestern Badghis province. The armed group Taliban has reportedly captured all the districts adjoining the province.

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More than 200 prisoners in the central prison of Badghis broke the prison gate and escaped.

Since April, when US President declared that his forces would withdraw from Afghanistan, Taliban has been advancing through the war-ravaged country.

The Taliban now controls one third of all 421 districts in Afghanistan.

The latest advance of Taliban comes after NATO vacated their main Bagram airbase near Kabul. It was the base from where they were leading the operations for the last 20 years.

Things are fluid and uncertain at this stage and India would have to wait and see how things unfold before it makes any concrete decision about building bridges with Taliban. There are indications that suggest that some back channel might have been opened. But for anything concrete, India would certainly need to wait for some more time.

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