The world was surprised by the swift offensive of the Taliban by which it took over Kabul within weeks. The Taliban took control over Kabul on 15th August, 2021. Before this, the Taliban was an insurgent group fighting insurgency against a mighty US led coalition of NATO and has now started transforming itself into an acceptable political face.
Initially, Taliban’s past violent history has developed its major image with suspicion in the world, and thus no country recognised the new Islamic political uprising at Kabul which further resulted in the legitimate successor of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is the most strategically located,as it is a gateway to the Central Asian countries and is also in proximity to the oil rich Middle East. This is the reason it has been a battleground for many powerful nations for decades because of its richness in non-fuel minerals like rubies and emeralds.
Taliban has a notorious history of extending safe havens lead by militant islamic leaders who provide operational support to transnational terror groups, which includes the extremist islamic groups or say terror goups like Tehreek-e-Taliban, Al-Qaeda, the Turkistan Islamic Patrty, Lashkar-e Taiba,Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
Afghanistan’s invasion is being seen as a success story by many fundamental islamic groups interpreting the takeover as a common victory over the previous Islamist ruling groups. This would encourage many transnational terrorist groups to use Afghanistan as breeding ground to carry out hostile activities which will be a threat globally.
Security Challenges For India
When Afghanistan was under the regimes of Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, India and Afghanistan had cordial relations .
India’s security concerns regarding Afghan based terrorist orgnisations have been adressed quite efficiently effective in the past.
Whereas, Post Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 , this was the time when Taliban was supporting the Kashmir insurgents and also provided safe havens to Kashmiris who needed to re-form before returning to the insurgents’ ranks. The fundamental denomination of the terror gorups was so strong at the time that the re-established Taliban in Afghanistan could spark tensions in Kashmir.
Indian Security forces have recovered weapons used by the US troops in Afghanistan from militants killed along the LoC in North Kashmir. These include high-tech weapons and night-vision gadgets .
Several Afghan-speaking men are reported to have reached PoK and hundreds of Afghan SIM cards were also found active in areas close to the LOC.
The terrorist group like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed have foundational traces to the Afghan conflict of 1980s. The senior members of these organisations were all trained in Afghanistan and all these groups have conducted attacks in India at some other point. These organisations could get an operational base in Afghanistan to launch attacks in India.
India cannot afford complete disengagement with the Taliban as this will forbid India to address its issues with Taliban. India has started informal talks with the Afghan Taliban to address its security concerns.
In June 2022, India sent an official delegation to Afghanistan, led by J.P. Singh, joint secretary in charge of (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran Division) at the Ministry of External Affair, this was the first engagement of India after the Taliban’s invasion in Afghanistan .
Security Challenges for Pakistan
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan which is also known as Pakistani Taliban has shown a quick resurgence in erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area and Balochistan regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan since the NATO withdrawal of 2021.
Pakistan had been Taliban’s main state funding during the insurgency against the United States military and the deposed Afghan government. Taliban is providing a safe haven to TTP in Afghanistan which is constantly attacking Pakistan in its tribal areas killing civilians and security personnels.
TTP seeks to establish a Taliban-style, Shariah-compliant state in Pakistan declaring their constitution as un-Islamic. TTP fighters were the first to be released by Taliban from Afghan jails who were captured by the US backed Ghani government in Anti-Insurgency operations .
Taliban have also challenged the status of the Afghan-Pak border. The skirmishes between Taliban and Pak Army have increased in the recent past.
On 16 April 2022, the Pakistani military conducted predawn airstrikes on multiple targets suspected to be TTP locations in Afghanistan’s Khost and Kunar provinces. These strikes resulted in the killing of many innocent civilians.
Afghan officials gave the data that this attack killed at least 47 civilians and injured 23 others, mostly women and children. The attack drew sharp criticism from the Afghan Taliban which threatened this retaliation.
The increasing attack of TTP inside Pakistan and the tussle between Afghanistan and Pakistan is a cause of concern which is destabilising the relations of the countries.