- What was most feared by the global community is fast unraveling in Afghanistan as the dreaded jihadist groups are hell-bent on fomenting terror as the alliance forces make a hasty retreat from the war-ravaged country. As the teeming foreign nationals, officials, military personnel, and locals with valid documents make desperate efforts to reach the Kabul airport to board the evacuating aircraft, the Taliban forces are leaving no stone unturned in creating further blockades making it even more excruciating sojourn for the already battered people. There was a lurking fear amid heightened terror alerts sounded out by the US intelligence and others tracking the development closely as thousands kept pouring into the Kabul airport for evacuation.
- Unfortunately, those fears came true as the recent suicide bombings at the Kabul airport killed at least 110 people, including 13 US soldiers, showing how complicated the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan plays out much to the consternation of all concerned nations. The terror attack was claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, the local branch of the Islamic State terror group. The Kabul airport manned by the US military has resumed airlifting operations after clearing the arena. However, potential trouble will be expected insofar as adhering to evacuation operations is concerned as the 31st of August deadline appears increasingly difficult to observe even as thousands of evacuees still wait for their turn.
- It’s a no-brainer to foresee the prospects of a hostage situation emerging where Taliban or other militant outfits could detain the remaining foreigners after military personnel leave for good. The Taliban leadership has warned in no uncertain terms that there is no way they are extending the departure deadline despite the US President veering towards such an action plan given the waiting thousands. On the flip side, it is increasingly becoming clear that the US administration has royally messed up the entire evacuation process. It is inexplicable how the US military could pull troops out before completing the civilian evacuation process. So is the case of prematurely leaving the Bagram airbase which the Taliban easily took over releasing 5000 prisoners housed there.
PC: TOM BOWMAN
- It is bound to send a chill down the spine of an alarmed lot to note that many of those prisoners were Al Qaeda and ISIS supporters. This portends dangerous conditions in Afghanistan leading to a more than a potential launchpad for international terror groups to emerge. With a large cache of arms and ammunition falling into the Taliban and other local warlords, Afghanistan descending into another civil war cannot be ruled out either. It is bound to place India in a piquant and tight spot. The spillover effects of the Taliban-Pakistan axis diverting their resources to aggravate troubles in J & K is a definite possibility. Therefore, New Delhi must devote attention and resources to strengthen the security apparatus at the J & K border forthwith. Any laxity and complacency from now on would result in paying a heavy price. Hopefully, we should be able to address the concerns.