Geopolitics

Taliban’s Resurgence in Afghanistan: Pakistan’s Duplicity and Liberal World’s Dilemma
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 24 Oct , 2021

Helping the Afghan people without in any way recognizing or strengthening the Taliban’s new administration is a daunting challenge facing the world powers. The global powers are torn apart by the moral dilemma of wanting to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people while not recognizing the terrorist regime in Kabul. The democratic world can use economic aid as a lever against the Taliban in securing for the Afghan people some modicum of human rights, a somewhat representative government and most importantly some concessions for the participation of women in education and other activities of the society.

The only seemingly moderate face at the Doha talks, Abdul Ghani Biradar has been, after a factional feud purportedly orchestrated and then mediated by the ISI, consigned to the fringes in the form of deputy prime minister.

Though the lightening success of the Taliban terrorists in capturing large swathes of Afghan territory and the capitulation of the Afghan military and the government during the withdrawal of coalition forces can be attributed to the faulty Afghan policies of the US, the crucial role played by Pakistan ISI throughout this episode cannot be ignored. Many of the Taliban ministers are UN designated terrorists and carry cash rewards on their heads. Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani network — a designated global terrorist group, close to the Pakistani ISI is now the interior minister. Khairollah Sayyed Ali Khairkhwa- a close aid of the terrorist master mind Osama bin Laden, who has spent time in Guantanamo Bay—and was released in a hostage swap deal with the US, is now the information minister.

Maulawi Hidayatullah Badri—a king pin of various Afghan drug cartels and a UN designated terrorist is the finance minister. The only seemingly moderate face at the Doha talks, Abdul Ghani Biradar has been, after a factional feud purportedly orchestrated and then mediated by the ISI, consigned to the fringes in the form of deputy prime minister. There are no women ministers and there is no hope of any being included. The Government is predominantly Pashtun and the earlier pronouncements at Doha of forming an inclusive and truly representative government have proved to be a ruse to sway the international opinion in Taliban’s favour.

Murmurs, albeit muted at the moment, are already being heard about Taliban professing to support their brethren in Palestine, Kashmir and elsewhere. Islamist groups around the world are elated by the astounding victory of the believer Taliban against the crusader kafirs. Kashmir is already witnessing an increase in infiltration attempts and violent incidents in the valley since the second fortnight of September. The scourge of Islamist terror could soon be seen beingexported to the CAR, the Xingjian, North Africa and the West. The promise of not allowing Afghan territory to be used for terror against any country is also turning out to be as hollow as the commitment for an inclusive and representative government.

The two decade long Western presence in Afghanistan could have opened new vistas of peace, development and human progress but Afghanistan has come a full circle— to where it was in Sep 2001.

A bill titled ‘Afghanistan Counterterrorism, Oversight, and Accountability Act’ supported by 20 Republicans introduced in the US Senate aims to put the Taliban government and its sponsor Pakistan on notice. Though the bill is yet at an initial stage, there is growing bipartisan consensus in the US Congress on putting Pakistan on the mat for its double dealings. Pakistan has stayed on the grey list of the FATF for considerable time and has not been able to show improvements on a number of issues red flagged by the FATF. Imposing sanctions would be the appropriate next step to tackle the situation which, if not controlled, can have wider ramifications for the entire South Asia. The violence, repression and trampling of human rights unleashed by the Taliban under the tutelage of Pakistan has reversed the trends of peace, prosperity and progress in Afghanistan.

The two decade long Western presence in Afghanistan could have opened new vistas of peace, development and human progress but Afghanistan has come a full circle— to where it was in Sep 2001.

As a concluding remark one is reminded of the powerful yet ominous words of President George W Bush of 10 Nov 2001,”The attack took place on American soil, but it was an attack on the heart and soul of the civilized world. And the world has come together to fight a new and different war, the first, and we hope the only one, of the 21st century. A war against all those who seek to export terror, and a war against those governments that support or shelter them.”

Nobody can dispute the sentiments expressed by President Bush in this address except for the fact that the developments in Afghanistan belie the hope that this was the only war of 21st century against terror. Security analysts around the world have already begin to portend that the civilized world may soon have to wage another war against those who profess, support and export terror. It is not a question if there will be another war but only when, for the civilized world’s collective conscience cannot be at peace when fellow humans of another nation are supressed, brutalised and denied their basic rights that are taken for granted in other parts of the world.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Col Deepak Kumar

is an artillery officer. He has operated in counter insurgencies in Nagaland, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir and also in Line of control environment. He has vast command, staff and instructional experience in technical and tactical aspects of surveillance systems and long range vectors. He been the Chair of Excellence for Defence Services at Observer Research Foundation.

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8 thoughts on “Taliban’s Resurgence in Afghanistan: Pakistan’s Duplicity and Liberal World’s Dilemma

  1. The article covers historical perspective of Taliban in Afghanistan. In the conclusion the authour has mentioned that donor countries are circumspect about misuse of funds . There is a very clear trend by Extremist Regimes, they flaunt sub human conditions of common public to solicit maximum donations to live their life in comfort. This is Tear Jihad..

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