by M A Hossain 8 May 2020
World media is still shy to lament the United State’s debacle in Afghanistan. The epidemic Covid-19 becomes pandemic, whereas the Taliban regaining power in Afghanistan will become catalytic endemic in south Asian regional politics. On 29 February 2020. the US-Taliban agreement inked, which started last one year in Doha. From this agreement, the US just ensured the guarantee of preventing any further attacks on the US and its allies by terrorists enjoying Haven or support in Afghanistan. Since 18 years of war, the US has suffered 2400 military fatalities. It also spent $ 137 billion in various forms of reconstruction aid in Afghanistan. As per the agreement, the US-led international force will leave Afghanistan within 14 months.
On the other hand, the Taliban gets its mission accomplished by its approx 60,000 fulltime fighters. It also substantiated by US President Donald Trump’s briefing, termed Taliban as “Great fighter ” and “possibly take over the power. ” needles to write, Taliban rewrites the courageous victory against another superpower after Britain and Russia (former the Soviet Union ) under the present leadership of Haibatullah Akhandzada. And very soon, Afghanistan will have emerged as Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Russia, China, and Iran were very much supportive of logistics to Afghanistan during a decades-long engagement with the US-led coalition forces. After leaving US presence, the vacuum will be filled by these countries with nation-building investment as well as new actors will be scrambled to grab a share of the new market. As per the United States Geographical Servey(USGS), Afghanistan has an enormous amount of natural mineral resources which yet to explore. And it is geographically vital to facilitate the gateway to central Asia, Persia, and East.
Despite the US-Taliban treaty, Al Qaeda(AQ) need not use Afghan territory as a launching pad. AQ has a stronghold in Somalia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, Niger, Kenya, and they have established a strong foothold in Kashmir.
The emergence of new Afghanistan will change the regional geopolitical scenario. Afghanistan has 1600 miles common border with Pakistan. Pakistan created a tactical relation with the Taliban for its internal stability. Taliban is 46% Pashtun of Afghan 35 million, where the same tribes are 15% of Pakistani 215 million, and the Taliban has an offshoot Teherik e Taliban Pakistan(TTP) in Pakistan. Talibani signator in the US-Taliban agreement, Molla Abdul Ghani Baradar, was released by the Pakistan government in October 2018, who was arrested by a joint US-Taliban operation in 2010. It is believed that Pakistan will be a very close ally to the Taliban.
In my opinion, India’s steps are far behind to face the upcoming security threat. National Registration of Citizens(NRC) and the Citizens Amendment Act(CAA) should be launched once Mr. Trump announced his intention to pull out US troops from Afghanistan. More so, India must have a backdoor negotiation with the Taliban, but India kept its efforts restless to foil the intra-Afghan peace process with the help of Israel. India has a diplomatic and commercial presence in Afghanistan. They also invested billions of dollars in nation-building projects to assist the Ghani government, which is underrated by Trump’s administration.
Complete lockdown of Kashmir and abrogation of article 370(a) had ignited Kashmiri people who paved the way for AQ activities. AQ needs a supportive base in this region to free the Taliban for Islamic emirates. No doubt Pakistan is waiting for this situation to unrest it’s arch-foe. And Pakistan will play the same tactics as a buffer zone for Kashmiri jihadists, persecuted Muslims inside India, other armed groups, and independence aspirants in India. Notwithstanding India’s, all these steps are very late. They have executed their suppression theory and trying to establish bigoted ‘Hindutva’ ideology on such a moment when the near Muslim jihadists are in a winning situation. That definitely will be an opportunity for the religious extremist groups.
Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country, so the impact of the Taliban’s victory is very much expected. More so, the anti-Indian sentiment may turn into anti-Hindutva for the persecution of Muslims by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Bangladeshi people are well aware of India-Israel tie up to suppress Muslim fundamentalist, which also is Israel’s great concern. Bangladesh is already bearing millions of Rohingya’s burden. After that, it will be a wild dream, if not daydream about taking the influx of Muslim refugees from India.
Srilanka had seen the rise of Islamic fundamentalism after the atrocities committed by the Buddhist. The same thing happened in Myanmar, and the emergence of ARSA as aspirants of the independence of Arakan is nothing but an armed group of Muslim fundamentalists. All these major religious groups will get aspirations and moral boost up by the Taliban’s success.
So, the very complex and entangled situation is ahead in this regional politics, which will be dictated by the religious fundamentalism. No doubt high valued words democracy, right to freedom, etc., etc. are to be shelved in the museum.
M A Hossain, a political and defense analyst, writes on diversified topics in Bangladeshi and foreign newspapers. He can be contacted at [email protected]