Is Afghanistan Slipping Out?


Looking at the worsening situation in Afghanistan, India has shut down its consulates at Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Herat. At the same time India said its embassy in Kabul will be operational. Taliban has taken full control over the Afghanistan and its President Ashraf Ghani has left the country to unknown place. In his Facebook post he said that to avoid any violence in the city he has left the country. It is million dollar question that why the Afghanistan Army has not fought with full spirit and strength against Taliban?. 

There are no pictures or videos that show so much fight or violence is taking place between Taliban and Afghanistan forces. Taliban just have kept on declaring that they have taken one after another city. The US- Taliban peace deal seems that it is neither inclusive nor comprehensive. It does not include you because it does not include the Afghan government which is the very integral part of Afghan society. It is not an exaggeration if the deal is called between the US and the non-state actors. Further, it is not a comprehensive because this deal has again not taken into account its immediate neighbours, distant neighbours as well as those countries that are really doing constructive work and helping the Afghan government and the Afghan society. For instance, India has played a very vital role in the development of Afghanistan. India is more popular among the Afghan people than any other country. It’s only because of India’s sincere efforts, but India is neither part of the deal nor consultant on what will be the future of India’s development projects and activities which are in the progress. There is news that Taliban have released their 5000 prisoners which was one of the conditions of Taliban when they were making a peace agreement with the USA.  The Afghan government did not agree to this condition. So, the blame will neither go on Ashraf Ghani government nor on the USA for the release of the Taliban prisoners. No expected resistance is seen on the part of Afghan forces. It seems that both, the Afghanistan government and the US have indirectly accepted the condition. Sohail Shaheen, an official spokesperson of the Taliban, in his TV interview said that Afghan armed forces have voluntarily joined the Taliban forces and there is no situation like war between Afghan forces and Taliban.

When he was asked about the killing of awarding wining photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, Sohail Shaheen said he was killed in cross firing and for that Taliban should not be held responsible. Further, he also said that Taliban agree to some civilian rights like right to work for women, right to education for women and access to the public health along with other fundamental rights. But, Afghanistan will be an Islamic country and Sharia law will be implemented in the country. This gives room to the security question of the minority communities in Afghanistan. This is a very tough time for India to deal with the upcoming Taliban government in Afghanistan. It is high time for India to change its earlier policy of not recognizing and not talking with Taliban. Now picture is clear that either the Taliban will be sharing power or on its own it will form the government. 

Other countries like USA, Russia, and China are talking with Taliban individually to protect their interest in Afghanistan but India is in touch with these countries to know the intention of the Taliban towards India. Rather India should not hesitate to talk with Taliban and express its concerns regarding security of the Indians in Afghanistan, security of on-going development projects, security of minority communities belonging to India and political relations in future. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) called emergency meeting to discuss the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. This is the second meeting under India’s presidency and India has to handle the situation diplomatically. In the UNSC meeting if question comes, whether India recognizes the Taliban or not. For this, India has to be clear on this taking into account further implications and initiative for talks with the Taliban. The UNSC should make it clear that whether the same government will continue or there will be a new government. In what way Taliban will share power with the existing government or there should be fresh elections for Afghan parliament as well as for President too.

Elections in Afghanistan for parliament and President took place in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Election is a legitimate method to get recognition from its own people as well as from the world community. But, is it right to have elections again before their tenure is over in the given situation. India should be more worried by the closed ties of Pakistan with Taliban, and if we keep distance at this juncture Pakistan try to widen gap between India and Taliban. There is high possibility that the Pakistan will try to destabilize democratically elected government in Afghanistan. There are historical evidences where Pakistan had supported anti-government forces in Afghanistan. Zulfiqar Ali Bhuto’s government had supported anti Daud resistance movement in Afghanistan in early 1973, by providing weapons and guerrilla training. During the military regime of Zia ul Haq, Pakistan continued with hostile strategy towards Afghanistan. Therefore, it is in the interest of India to have close cooperation with those Taliban people who are part of this process. This will help to understand the nexus between Taliban, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. This would be an opportunity for India to neutralize the nexus so that terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir may come down.  India should use this peace deal to fight terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir form the soil of Afghanistan.

Dr. Rohidas Mundhe
Dr. Rohidas Mundhe
Dr. Rohidas Mundhe is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civics and Politics, University since 2013. He has also done his M.Phil and Ph.D. form South Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has published two books, one sole author titled,” Political Governance and Soci-Economic Status of Minorities in Bangladesh”, and second is edited, that is “India’s Foreign Policy: Non Alignment 2.0, Geopolitics and National Security”. He has also published many articles in various reputed newspapers, journals and magazines. He is also Coordinator of Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights since 2014 to till date and guided 13 students of P.G. Diploma in Human Rights.


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