Afghan peace deal being signed in Doha
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban's top political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar signing the peace agreement, Doha | ANI Photo
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Four days after the much-acclaimed US-Taliban peace deal, the US conducted air strikes against Taliban fighters carrying out attacks on the Afghan security forces in Helmand. The Taliban claimed its attacks at an ANDSF checkpoint were to free ‘their land’ from international occupation. So, no prizes for guessing the outcome of the peace agreement signed on 29 February in Doha to end the war in Afghanistan, which has been going on for nearly two decades.

The door through which the US would exit Afghanistan is the same one through which the Taliban will enter, and plunge the country into another long phase of chaos.

The door through which the US would exit Afghanistan is the same one through which the Taliban will enter, and plunge the country into another long phase of chaos. This spells trouble for India too, which has for long invested — both diplomatically and financially — in Afghanistan to keep the Pakistan-backed terror elements away from its shores. It is time for New Delhi to think fast because the strategy is all about looking for the silver lining among dark clouds.

The US successfully prevailed upon New Delhi to keep the India-Pakistan border free of conflicts so as to not necessitate movement of troops from Pakistan’s western border. Now that the US dependence on Islamabad and its real rulers – the Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – will be far reduced or almost over, New Delhi’s concern should be the fallout of this blatant sell-out to the Taliban.

With work on India’s Integrated Battle Groups (IBG), as part of the Cold Start doctrine, in progress, a strategy should be put in place to remain pro-active and initiate appropriate action at a suitable time to reclaim Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir so as to minimise the advancement of terrorist elements and non-state actors from across the border.


Also read: Taliban dropped India from its thank you list. Delhi should face new Afghanistan realities


No need of Pakistan

As the Taliban consolidates its position, the Tehrik-e-Taliban or Pakistan Taliban could be emboldened to embark on a more offensive path, forming part of a larger global terrorist network. This could, in turn, pose serious security challenges for New Delhi, especially in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which has seen immense political and social disruptions already.

With the Taliban at the helm and the foreign troops withdrawn, the US will not require the logistic support provided by Pakistan as was evident in all these 18 years and also during Operation Geronimo to eliminate Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan’s equation with the White House has already changed as a result of China pumping in largesse under the pretext of CPEC projects.

Incidentally, Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi, whose ‘fake vaccination scheme’ helped the CIA track Osama Bin Laden, is in Islamabad Jail since May 2012 and has now launched a hunger strike. Trump had promised to get Afridi out of jail but Pakistan’s then interior minister had called him “ignorant”, declaring that Trump won’t get to “decide the release of a Pakistani prisoner”, while Imran Khan had suggested a prisoner swap – Afridi for Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist sentenced to 89 years in US prison “for attacking an American soldier in Afghanistan”.


Also read: Afghanistan is not Vietnam. US should know that walking away won’t be that easy


Best time for US but not for Afghanistan

The ‘Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan’ is the perfect euphemism for the US’ admission of total defeat in Afghanistan. After the Vietnam War, which involved five US presidents, the Afghan War is the second-longest conflict, involving at least three presidents, to have inflicted a serious blow to the American leadership, war strategy and, above all, the country’s status as an invincible superpower.

Therefore, this is probably the best time for President Donald Trump to exit Afghanistan but the worst possible time for Kabul.

A week before what is being applauded as a great peace deal by the White House and from the secret hideout of the Taliban, the results of the September 2019 election to Afghan Parliament, Shura-e-Milli, was announced. It declared 71-year-old sitting president Ashraf Ghani the winner, polling just about a million of the 10 million votes cast. His immediate rival, former president Abdulla Abdulla, protested and formed a parallel government. The two have since declared a temporary truce, which anyway is not likely to last long – just like the elected government, fledgling democracy, and peace and tranquillity in strife-torn Afghanistan.


Also read: US-Afghan peace deal relies on old flaws, dated assumptions. Taliban of 2020 has changed


At war with peace

Besides wanting the restoration of Islamic emirate in Afghanistan, the Taliban’s wish list consisted of total and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan. The Trump administration has signed on the dotted lines as dictated by the Taliban in the Doha meeting facilitated by Pakistan, which is host to international terror groups, including the dreaded Taliban.

The tottering government in Kabul will soon be unceremoniously bundled out by the gun-toting Taliban, thanks to the US’ short-sightedness. A duly elected government that has ensured peace and rule of law and is committed to rebuilding the devastated Islamic Republic of Afghanistan brick by brick will be replaced by the Taliban, the proponents of an Islamic system that is centuries-old, archaic, anti-women, and completely anathematic to modern democracy.

The elected government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was not part of the over 18-month negotiations to end the 18-year war but the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban is known, was. The US did not create Afghanistan; it existed long before America was populated. The Frankenstein monster called the Taliban was created by the US and that should explain the logic, albeit a flawed one, of the US quitting Afghanistan in a hurry and handing the country back to the ogre it created. For the Taliban and the US, it will be war at peace this time around.

The author is a member of the National Executive Committee of the BJP and former editor of Organiser. Views are personal.

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25 Comments Share Your Views

25 COMMENTS

  1. The prognosis is correct but has the current government shown any ability to execute the same? The chiefs of the army staff were carrying pieces of debris that they claimed to belong to a F-16 and were asking for US sanctions on Pakistan. Why has the PM’s friend, Trump, not responded to the same? Does it mean Trump is not a true friend or the claim was a jumla? Given the crashes of aircraft and deaths due to “friendly fire” I do not think the BJP government has empowered the armed forces to conduct such an operation. And PoK has Chinese assets running through it. Does the government have the courage to mess with China?

  2. US withdrawing from Afghanistan and alarm bells ringing elsewhere… I’m enjoying this… btw Azad Kashmir Ka socha b tou ssa mein itna Barra danda denge na, pedaayish bhool jaoge… Kher manao beta… Uncle Sam is no more…,,😜

  3. This article by RSS respected top tier strategist..proves that rss..bjp lacks talent, the article also proves that in matters regarding Islam or muslims….the hindutva guys get overwhelmed by passion and emotion…and forget rational thinking ..whatever little they possess….

  4. One of the worse write ups I have ever read. The Taliban is a risk but in general this development is a positive sign that even an orthodox group can seek a higher ground.

  5. Dear Indians,
    I am writing to provide some breaking news for you. Pakistan possesses 160 operational nukes. 100s of ballistic missiles of which many are sub sonic. You do not possess the ability to defend yourselves from these sub sonic missiles. Nukes obliterate cities. You think that if your try and capture territory of Pakistan these won’t be fired straight away. Or you in the arrogant state of mind that Pakistani missiles don’t explode. Millions of Pakistanis would invade your land, military and unofficial military and that would spell your end within months. Your right wing fascist nazi state is bound to start a war in arrogance. Let’s see what happens then. Good luck

    • Just remember what happened to your pak army during kargil war. Your whole northern light division was exterminated by india army. So low was pak army morale that it was forced to leave there dead soldiers bodies on their villages outskirts fearing for people fury.

    • Dear Pakistani u are living in fool’s paradise kargil war was a example to occupy Indian Kashmir,but failed…we are 135 crore so dont worry of number ,we more ballsitic missiles than u, we have stratgies about your nukes,..

  6. We need to take steps to take over PoK and not actually take it over! We have to ensure that initiative rests with us and not with Pakistan and it is Pakistan which goes on defensive rather being free to terrorize us. In fact, we can offer the original Art 370 for state of Kashmir (covering both the Kashmirs and GB) under one nation, two systems formulation, with currency, communications, defense and internal security remaining with Government of India. This will set cat among the pigeons. At the same time, we need to openly espouse the cause of independence for Baluch and Sindh to put Pakistan on back foot. At the same time, we can support USA by offering support of our Army under UN flag for a fixed number of years to get its support for our POK project.

    Today, China is our real adversary covering us from east to west on our northern side with Pakistan playing a totally subservient role. We need to cut physical contact between Pakistan and China through PoK. We need USA to be on our side for this project.

    About Afghanistan, we need not bother. It will take care of itself so long as we have proper vigil on our borders supported by all the required hi tech weaponry and electronics.

    • You sure have a lot of dreams, but sadly most of them will die as soon as you will wake up… till then keep dreaming..

    • Q – we have already bifurcated Ladakh. Why not bifurcate Jammu as well and offer a plebiscite between Pakistan occupied Kashmir and the valley. Why to spend so much of resources just to keep a conflict alive?

  7. The lament of the hindu nationalist tastes of sweet schadenfreude to me. May you never stop the lamenting, sir.

    “the proponents of an Islamic system that is centuries-old, archaic, anti-women, and completely anathematic to modern democracy.”
    Going by what hindu nationalists claim about gau mutra and poo helping with coronavirus, etc., nuclear weapons during mahabarata, etc., do you think the hindu rastra will be any better. Rofl! And, modern democracy, like India?!… Rofl!

  8. Wow!! Just what we need – a war. History says that every fascist government needs one.

    Forget the economy.. forget educating.. forget providing jobs.. forget feeding the hungry! Yes, war will definitely help people forget the all these failures of the BJP!

    But most importantly, why heap the same misery that the people of Kashmir have been suffering for the past few years on PoK too?! Lockdowns.. Police brutality.. no internet.. economic catastrophe!! Why?! In fact, seeing the excessive aggression of the BJP ruled states on peaceful antiCAA protesters, one wonders what kind of torture the Kashmiris have suffered, with the press not allowed to function at all!!

    Kindly solve the problems we face, before creating a new one!!

    And thank you for pointing out Afghanistan – yet another failure in foreign policy, which appears to be run directly by the PM himself!

  9. U R a dreamer, it will cost 500 million lives in the subcontinent. All three countries are nuclear powers. Keep these stupid ideas into your ssa….

  10. The author is a member of the National Executive Committee of the BJP and former editor of Organiser. …….. maybe he wants millions of dead people

  11. The said Author of this article being from the BJP, exactly fears what is sensed after the Taliban’s get free from wars as a daily routine and after a brief lull focuses on India as a nation threatening its Muslim minority. This dimension is false narrative drawn and still we need a strong Pakistan to counter the Taliban’s seeking an entry into India via the PAK route. Ridiculous that since abolishing article 370 and stationing more than 7 lac troops in Jammu and Kashmir , The BJP is haunting to claim POK. 7 long months are taken to restore broadband, POK hence remains an out of question matter and the BJP should stop this utterance in public to mobilize the peoples support for its acts in J&K. The Author’s perceptions remains one sided and overlooks the facts that we are in the worst shape of economy after Independence with no route of escape. Already pumped 1.5lacs Crores from RBI surplus into the economy doesn’t mend the rise of markets and hence a war on changing the demography will have devastating effects in Indian market. Moreover Trump cannot be made a reliable card to play with as a 3 day visit to India costed the exchequer many 100 crores and 3 Billion $ worth committed Defense orders to the US for appeasement. The friendship with the U.S. has already costed us Billions and a looming war to take over POK will further require more Billions. We need to look on the other side by taking the Taliban’s into confidence for a Balance against Pakistan. Else we may loose Crores which has been pumped into Afghanistan. It is very clear that the Govt. of Afghanistan cannot hold for a long against the tyrant Taliban’s once the U.S. leave totally. India should have to engage the Taliban’s for maintaining a balanced approach along with a respite in its hate towards its Muslim minorities. Else the definition of Good, Bad and Ugly will have to be redefined with the ever changing scenario of South Asia.

  12. The sheer messiness of Afghanistan, as explained by the author is enough of a reason to stay away from it once USA pulls out of the region. India doesn’t have either military or financial capacity to act on it’s own in the region.

    Coming to reoccupation of POK, i don’t think its possible and it doesn’t take much to arrive at this conclusion. Neither Pakistan nor China with their nuclear and financial capabilities respectively will let it happen. We now know the importance of POK for CPEC and there by to china. Attempting to take back POK will be such a messy thing to try that it’s not even worth it.
    International community remained largely quiet about abrogation of 370 because they accept current borders as final and considered what india did as internal matter. Its wrong to think as their support India for whatever it does and wont remain quiet if we start messing with POK.
    I think it’s the nostalgia of the previous generations to get back POK. As a millennial I can’t see the point of even thinking about it. If people of POK want to join us, yes we can consider, but it will never be the case, at least any time soon. I think political class are pragmatic on this, but afraid to be seen as such to public.

  13. Another example of Hindutav ” delusional thinking.It is not as simple as starting communal rioting ,in which the group seems to excel.

  14. Have we carried out any survey / assessment of what the people of PoK and GB desire ? Do they have any overwhelming desire to become part of what remains a secular state but which many believe should become a Hindu Rashtra ?

    • You Pakistanis should worry about what the people of PoK & G-B desire for that is where they would be sent once we’ve taken back our territories.

  15. This “project” of taking back PoK can be done if –
    1. Trump gets re-elected
    2. Indian economy is willing to suffer the pains that war will inevitably result in.

    • Taking back PoK is not a short-term objective but very long term and strategic. Creating disaffection, instability in the said regions is necessary before moving on it. We don’t need Trump to continue for that since any future US Govt would be wary of CPEC and our PoK project should be aligned in such a manner that we get the support of the US Deep state.

      • Haha.. forget PoK, the government is not able to deal with the disaffection and instability they themselves have created in India! US will not support a war, and India cannot defeat Pakistan and China ever with their support!! Stop dreaming!

      • “Creating disaffection, instability”
        But, India is already doing it… oh wait, that is in India’s side of Kashmir and not PoK.
        The idiots who are doing it seem to confuse between the two. You should be advising them.

      • Haha!! The government is unable to manage the disaffection and instability it has itself created in India! ISI these days is chilling out, because the BJP is doing its job of creating divisions among the people for free!!

        Stop dreaming.. the US going back with its tail between its legs is enough proof that we mustn’t get into misadventures like war with Pakistan and China!!

  16. Seriously? There must be a limit to stupidity.

    The government is unable to control what’s inside the borders. And once you start tinkering with PoK, you think China will not tinker with Arunachal.

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