Kabul has fallen once more to the Taliban. Surprisingly, so has the Panjshir Valley the place the legendary Ahmad Shah Massoud defied each the Soviets and the Taliban. Much more surprisingly, India has stayed silent to this point.

It was in 1996 that the Taliban took over Kabul the final time round. Following a model of maximum Islam, it unleashed a reign of terror in Afghanistan. It additionally exported terror to India. It despatched jihadi fighters within the type of the mujahideen to liberate Kashmir.

Will the Taliban Finish Up Underneath the Affect?


There’s one occasion that’s etched within the reminiscence of the area and should certainly be indelible within the Indian consciousness. On December 24, 1999, 5 terrorists hijacked a aircraft from India and compelled the pilot to fly it to Kandahar. The Taliban fighters surrounded the aircraft to forestall Indian navy operations to rescue the hostages.

India capitulated to the calls for of the Taliban. It launched Maulana Masood Azhar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar. Azhar went on to discovered Jaish-e-Mohammed, a lethal terrorist group in Pakistan that’s notorious for putting the Indian parliament and conducting the 2008 Mumbai assaults. Sheikh was arrested for abducting and murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl. Zargar has been sending jihadis to Kashmir.

India’s capitulation in 1999 continues to be a black mark on its status. The Taliban sees India as a smooth goal. It sees India as a land of kafirs who worship idols that must be smashed. It is very important do not forget that the Taliban blew up the historic statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan in 2001 regardless of requests from Buddhist communities everywhere in the world. Within the eyes of the Taliban, India is a land of Hindus that oppresses Muslims and should be defeated, if not transformed, to Islam.

As within the Nineteen Nineties, the Taliban is a transparent and current hazard to India. In August, India chaired the particular session of the UN Safety Council on Afghanistan. But India didn’t take a place on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. No unbiased assertion was forthcoming. 

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Can India Afford to Lose Afghanistan to the Taliban and Pakistan? 

It’s an open secret that the Taliban have been nurtured by Pakistan. Ever since its start in 1947, Pakistan has sought strategic depth in opposition to India. The nice Mughal metropolis of Lahore is merely 24 kilometers from the Indian border. India’s inhabitants, economic system and manufacturing capabilities dwarf Pakistan’s. Due to this fact, Islamabad has at all times sought strategic depth by controlling Afghanistan. Prior to now, the Taliban have acted as auxiliaries to the Pakistani military and carried out quite a few operations in opposition to India. The actions of the Taliban and different jihadi fighters have given Islamabad believable deniability in its struggle of terror in opposition to India.

The victory of the Taliban is a double-edged sword for Pakistan. On the one hand, Islamabad has achieved its goal of strategic depth. This time, the Taliban have even taken over the Panjshir Valley. However, this victory will fan Pashtun nationalism. Lest we overlook, 15% of Pakistan’s inhabitants is Pashtun. This neighborhood was arbitrarily divided by the Durand Line into Afghanistan and British India in 1893. Pashtun nationalists take into account it a humiliating colonial legacy and have by no means accepted it. As Pashtun energy rises, so does the risk to Pakistan’s territorial integrity.

Pakistan’s resolution to its Pashtun downside is to make use of an more and more excessive model of Islam to tie the nation collectively. On this model of Islam, India is the bogeyman. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has consistently known as the Bharatiya Janata Social gathering a Hindu fascist occasion. He has damned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for main a genocidal regime that kills harmless Muslims. This narrative seeks to unify the Pashtuns, the Balochs, the Sindhis, the Punjabis and different Muslim communities of Pakistan in opposition to India. The Pashtuns are lionized as the best fighters of the area and inspired to battle a jihad in opposition to India for the liberation of fellow Muslims in Kashmir.

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Ajit Doval is India’s nationwide safety adviser. In 1999, he negotiated with the Taliban for the discharge of hostages. He’s properly conscious of their designs. But India has adopted a wait-and-see strategy to Afghanistan. Presumably, India desires to deal with its China border. But it’s inevitable that the Taliban and Pakistan will menace India on the west.

India should take a bolder stand in opposition to the Taliban now and never wait till the hazard is at its door. New Delhi has failed to talk up for a democratically elected official authorities in Kabul. As a substitute, it has accepted the takeover by the Taliban as a fait accompli. Like India, Afghanistan is a rustic with great ethnic and cultural range. India is an effective mannequin for a future Afghan democracy.

India Can and Should Act

In realpolitik phrases, the Taliban is now dominant throughout Afghanistan. Indian policymakers may suppose that they will do little to intervene. They don’t have the availability traces, navy or intelligence wherewithal and political capital to function in landlocked Afghanistan. So, coping with the satan now in cost may appear to be the one sensible choice.

But many Indians overlook that their nation instructions a lot smooth energy in Afghanistan. Afghans who don’t assist the Taliban have at all times regarded as much as India, not Pakistan, as a mannequin for his or her nation. So, assist for Afghanistan’s democratically elected authorities would strengthen India’s attraction amongst hundreds of thousands of Afghans. 

India might additionally take into account supporting Afghanistan’s Nationwide Resistance Entrance (NRF) led by Ahmad Massoud. Traditionally, India has been extra comfy backing Amrullah Saleh, the previous vice chairman who has declared himself as appearing president of Afghanistan. Nonetheless, Saleh is tainted by his affiliation with Ashraf Ghani, the previous Afghan president. Ghani has little credibility left after his flight from Kabul. He handed over the capital and the nation to the Taliban on a platter with out even the pretense of a battle. Ghani’s status for corruption, conceitedness and incompetence has made him a persona non grata in Afghanistan. The anti-Taliban Afghans haven’t forgiven Saleh for going together with Ghani, and he has skinny assist within the nation now.

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In a clan-based conventional society, Massoud has emerged because the tallest anti-Taliban chief. He’s helped by the truth that he’s the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Massoud Jr. skilled on the prestigious British navy academy Sandhurst. He entered Kabul the day Ghani fled the nation. Since then, he has put up a battle in opposition to the Taliban and is now main a guerrilla pressure in Panjshir Valley. Massoud Jr. has known as for a nationwide rebellion in opposition to the Taliban and is rising as Afghanistan’s greatest hope to tackle the Taliban.

It’s in India’s strategic curiosity to again Massoud Jr.’s NRF. The Taliban have received many battles to this point, however they’ve but to win the struggle for Afghanistan. Ethnic teams just like the Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Hazaras and others are sure to rally in opposition to their harsh, illiberal regime. Many Pashtuns will be a part of them. Massoud Jr. wants backing from powers like India, Britain and the US to hold on the battle in opposition to the Taliban. In any other case, this hardline regime will inevitably export terror to the remainder of the world once more.

Of all of the world powers, India will endure probably the most from the Taliban’s terror exports. Islamabad will direct the Taliban in opposition to India to protect Pakistan and to avenge New Delhi’s liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Even China has entered the fray in Afghanistan. Beijing has already hosted leaders of the Taliban and is prepared to work with them. Russia is staying very quiet and there are rumors that it has made its personal cope with the Taliban

With the US pulling out dramatically and chaotically, Afghans who opposed the Taliban for many years want assist. Simply as India as soon as backed Bangladeshis, they need to now help Afghans preventing the Taliban.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Truthful Observer’s editorial coverage.