- The global community was left aghast when the US-led peacekeeping forces left the landlocked country by handing over the reins to the Taliban. The fundamentalists since then have left no stone unturned in forcefully implementing medieval, misogynistic, and patriarchal practices primarily aimed at suffocating women. All promises made before the assumption of power have simply disappeared as more and more restrictions are imposed on the hapless citizens. Unfortunately, the suffering of the region seems perpetual even as efforts from the global community fail to yield desired results. Going by the look of things, Afghanistani is heading backward as despicable terrorist-related activities are on the upswing.
PC: Faran Jeffery
- As reported extensively, the incidents of the last few weeks have shown terrorist activities increased significantly in Afghanistan. This is a worrying sign for regional and global security. This was the focus of the recent India-Central Asia NSA-level meeting here in New Delhi, where it was noted that Afghanistan is again being used to fund, plan, and organize terrorist activities. Worryingly, a year since the Taliban returned to power in Kabul, it is clear that the Islamist regime is either incapable of or unwilling to crack down on multiple terror groups operating from Afghan soil. As you are aware, this is occurring despite the Taliban specifically promising to not allow any group to use Afghan territory to attack other countries.
- Even the immediate neighbour Pakistan is feeling the heat. Remember, Islamabad had cheered the return of the Taliban, hoping to regain the strategic depth it previously enjoyed in that country. But despite the presence of pro-Islamabad elements like Sirajuddin Haqqani within the Afghan Taliban regime, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has continued to strike Pakistani targets from its bases across the Durand Line. Indeed, last month TTP called off an uneasy ceasefire with Islamabad and conducted a suicide attack in Balochistan that killed three people. Meanwhile, on December 2 the Pakistani embassy in Kabul came under attack with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility this time.
- Add to this the ongoing political turmoil in Pakistan with a defiant ex-PM Imran Khan taking on the military-backed establishment. Should the political standoff continue, it will distract from Pakistan’s capacity to deal with terrorism on its soil. The scenario once again presents a serious Af-Pak problem for the world. The situation will only further exacerbate the already boiling geopolitical scenario around. The international community has been too distracted with the Ukraine war to notice. Unless there is renewed focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, nasty surprises may hit the world again. People in the know would wring their hands in frustration for going round and round by landing up in the same treacherous but familiar situations.