New Delhi: what has happened in Afghanistan is disturbing, to say the least. It has caused worry for several reasons. First, Pakistan which was directly or indirectly helping Taliban since the 1990s will try to play a bigger role supported by China in the region. Terrorists will become more active and try to infiltrate into the country in large numbers, posing greater threat to Jammu and Kashmir and surrounding areas, disturbing peace.Drug trade which is the main source of income of Talibanis will get a boost , helping, to put it in a lighter vein, remake of Udta Punjab.
The country is yet to provide citizenship to those who have taken refuge here due to persecution. It has to now take care of many other refugees who are likely be cross over to escape Talibanis barbarism. This group of terrorists does not favour women freedom. At the same time it is opposed to music, smart phones and other modern gadgets. The number of refugees may grow to lakhs. The chaos at Kabul airport on Sunday supports this view. Evacuation of a large number of officials engaged in developmental activities, other women and children,is another worry caused to the Modi government.
In addition to discussion on these problems, there are many in this country and outside, who are wondering at the speed at which new events happened in that small country of four crore people. It took only nine days to the militants to take control of the capital city of Kabul. It was literally a bloodless coup which is astonishing.
Afghanistan had over three lakh forces with modern weapons made available by the US. The Taliban had only 55000 ( 70000 to some source) recruits with traditional weapons and some rocket launchers. But they advanced from area to area without resistance to reach Kabul on our Independence day. The weapons which have been surrendered may be provided to militants in other parts.
Why did it happen? Two reasons have been given by most of the analysts: one, the Ashraf Ghani government was neck deep in corruption and two, people in general were not happy with outside forces. Pakistanis and some others had ignited the regional fire. The corruption charge is backed by reports which said Ghani had fled with cars and a helicopter full with cash. Intelligence failure seems to be another reason.The American troop withdrawal was to be completed on September 11 next. The extremists began the operation much before total withdrawal for which neither many Afghanis , nor Indians and Americans were prepared.
Many countries and empires had eyes on Afghanistan. According to some historians, first Persians ( Iranians now— Alexander), then Magadh empire, followed by Russians and Americans tried to take the landlocked country under control. The first two failed . The Soviet forces withdrew in 1990 following fight with guerrillas or “mujahideens” , backed by Pakistan and American agencies. The Talibanis came to the fore in 1994 when they captured Kandahar. In 1996 they were in command in Kabul under Mullah Omar. Most of their members were Pashtuns, who constituted over 40 per cent of population.
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Whatever may be the reason, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which ruled between 1996 and 2001 is back in command after about 20 years. It has China, Pakistan and some other Muslim countries as friends. In this country too it has several apologists including some opposition members ( one of them compared our independence with them. Some others called it a freedom struggle). Clearly, Our cup of woes is not full yet. We have more worries at hand. We have to work harder to achieve the goal.