The President of the USA, Joe Biden chose to play the card that the presidents before him had put on the game – the complete withdrawal of armed personnel from Afghanistan. This would mean an end to about 20 years of war in the country that had pitched the NATO and the US against a radical Islamic militant group to a supposed war on terrorism.
The Taliban controlled about 90% of all Afghanistan before 2001. It even had embassies established in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – the only two countries to give recognition to the government. It was after the 9-11 attacks that it suddenly became an enemy to every state on the planet that supported USA. The US and its NATO allies invaded the Afghanistan that was already torn between the Taliban led groups and the democratic rebels. 20 years have passed since then. From young adults born after 2001 to a now estranged prince of the British royal family, a lot of people fought in Afghanistan. The results were visible with the Taliban clearly on the loss. But, the results were never conclusive. And now, when the US and the NATO would finally withdraw from a war that never reached a conclusion, Taliban has all good reasons to take back what it owned for a brief period of time.
Afghan politics has become highly broken – factions that want peace but not the loss of a theologically driven Taliban government and many more of people wanting a democracy – the government promised in the first Afghan republic in the late 1960s. For the present state of a mujahideen within the once flourishing nation has always been there, but the present state of catastrophe is a result of the Soviet-American rivalry. It was due to the establishment of the Afghan Socialist state that the mujahideen and the Soviet-Afghan war erupted and it was because of obvious and many-a-times accepted training by the Pakistani(Parvez Musharaff, the Army general of Pakistan and later President of Pakistan accepted on a TV show that the Taliban and Lashkar were heroes to him and his people) and American forces (American newspapers have routinely praised not just Taliban but also the infamous Osama Bin Laden during the war) that the logistics, tactics and power of these mujahideen forces reached to a point where they could establish an emirate that spanned most of Afghanistan.
The return of Taliban will not only usher a new era of repression for the Afghans – especially women, children and the now diminished minorities, but also to the neighbouring nations of India, Iran and Central Asia – where the rise of Taliban may lead to new found difficulties in security and trade. The radical Islamists founded the Indian mujahideen as a cause to create a similar situation in India a couple of decades ago. The specific case of India is being raised here because it has strong cultural and economic interests in Afghanistan. The Chabahar port in Iran is India’s strongest option against China’s CPEC and the Gwadar port. Other than this, with an unfortunate history of militancy and extra state actors in North Western India, to have a neighbour ruled by groups of similar ideologies is dangerous for it. India should find ways to support Kabul militarily, for the statements made by Pakistan Prime Minister where he expressed his inadequacy in pressuring Taliban for a ceasefire leaves no neighbour but India to hold the hands of a now weaker government at Kabul. However, India has so far refused to be involved militarily, let alone be involved now, when it could end being the only player in the game.
Afghanistan looks grim. So does its future. The case is unlike ISIS. Common people had supported the Taliban insurgency. And the opium rich state an fund the group for years once it comes to power. Afghanistan looks like a lost cause, with no friends to support it in the problem that should have the highest priority to be solved – the problem of insurgency.
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