Yuva - India

The Expansion of Taliban in Afghanistan

Since 2001, Taliban- an extremist Islamic body, has burdened the country of Afghanistan with violence, bloodshed, etc. intending to become the ruling power of the country. With the recent turn of events, it seems that this dream of the Taliban to become a dictatorial government along with the hard-core Sharia being the only means of governance is transforming into a reality.

The ‘Long War Journal’ states- “the Taliban is cutting off the key revenue sources to the Afghan government by taking control of important border crossings that serve as dry ports for goods shipped overseas. The Taliban now controls three of Afghanistan’s eight dry ports, including two on the border with Iran.” The Journal that has extensively researched over the Taliban issue further says that “Afghanistan is at risk of a complete collapse after the Taliban has made dramatic gains in recent days, striking at the heart of the Afghan government’s base of power in the north while seizing control of large areas of the country – often unopposed by government forces.

The security situation has deteriorated rapidly. In the last six days alone, the Taliban has taken control of 38 of Afghanistan’s 407 districts – nearly 10 percent of the country – and most all of them in critical areas.

In all, the Taliban currently controls 195 districts and contests another 129 districts, according to the real time assessments by FDD’s Long War Journal.”

With the decision of the United States to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan the militant Islamic organization has been gaining the center stage in this tussle of power with the democratically elected government.

Pic Credit- dw.com

The US government is all set to evacuate the US forces from Afghanistan by 9th September, 2021- the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. Major steps for this were taken during Trump’s regime when the US and Taliban sealed the deal for Afghanistan. The Biden government has decided to move forward with this without getting much into the repercussions it could cause in the region.

Amidst this conflict of interests between the US, Afghan government and Taliban backed by Pakistan, India too could face new challenges. The period of 1996 to 2001 which is considered as the dark period in Afghanistan due to hard-core implementation of Sharia and violation of human rights by the Taliban also made India suffer. Various terrorist attacks along with the Kandahar plane hijack of IC 814 was witnessed by the nation. Thus, India too seems to change its stance on the Talibani regime.

For long India has remained committed to an ‘Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled’ government. However, in recent times both the Indian government and Taliban show inclination towards table-talks to decide their relations and roles in the region. Qatar recently also said that an Indian delegation met the Taliban head in Doha. Nevertheless, this still isn’t confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs. Experts think that this newfound interest of India is to diffuse the effect of Pakistan on the Taliban regime. Also, many large socio-economic projects have been taken up and invested upon by India in Afghanistan and this demands the situation to remain stable.

How much effect this acceptability of the world along with India for the Taliban would have, remains to be seen. The recent step of Taliban asking all Imams and Mullahs of Captured Areas to provide a list of Unmarried Girls above 15 years and Widows below 45 years in their areas doesn’t hold any positive start.

Common Afghan citizens have for long been denied human rights due to both internal and external forces. Meanwhile, the US is running away from reaping what it sowed during Operation Cyclone- where during 1979-89 the CIA financed and trained the Mujahideen who ultimately formed the organization called Taliban. This was also supported by Britain and Pakistan.

American President Ronal Reagan with the Mujahideen during Operation Cyclone (Pic Credit- commons.wikimedia.org)

The situation of Afghanistan well portrays how under-development, radicalization, sectorial conflicts and expansionism within a nation gives opportunity to the outside forces to completely destroy lives and the very concept of unity. Joe Biden’s stance to support a modus operandi between Taliban and the Afghan forces probably speaks about dividing the country in itself. Else, according to experts who know how Taliban functions, there isn’t any way a consensus could be reached on this matter. How the world and Afghanistan comes face- to-face with this new challenge remains to be seen. Meanwhile, India must ponder upon all the cards it would need to deal with the same.

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