CAN THE WORLD TRUST THE TALIBAN ? A LONG TERM VIEW
One of the first and major decisions of President Biden was the announcement of leaving Afghanistan. It was a bombshell from the skies. No one was prepared for this sudden departure , even the Taliban and the Afghan government. And within no time the Taliban government was formed with shocking news and images of the Afghan President running away, a 3- 5 lakh Afghan military disappearing and the image of a US plane being overloaded by people captured the minds of people the world over.
The Northern alliance, led by Ahmad Masoud (son of Ahmad Shah Masoud known as the Panjshir lion who prevented Taliban govt earlier) , and a small rebel group tried to fight the Taliban, but the Taliban were well prepared this time compared to last, as both the taliban fighters and ISI had taken their lessons well. The Pakistan air force was pushed into operation and the Northern alliance had rto run for cover in Tajikistan and elsewhere.
One of the glaring error of the US administration and strategy was to declare about their plan to leave Afghanistan beforehand. This was a big mistake and the Taliban knew it’s a matter of time before they could form the government. The latest heard is that the resistance to Taliban government is keeping pace from various groups but the Taliban are confident to handle all such issues and term them as minor hiccups. (https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/taliban-resistance-former-government-factions/31823881.html).
The Taliban and its future
Our post is neither about Afghanistan nor about the resistance groups it’s fighting with. We are concerned about India and the world at large , besides the hindus the most vulnerable ethnic group in the world.
The Talibans are one part of a rising Islamic resurgence that can be only compared to the mediaeval times and the spread of Islam the world over. However unlike the medieaval times, this time we have strong western forces that are able to withhold the Islamic extremist forces. An example of this was seen when Al Zawahari was killed by the US drone when he was identified staying in Afghanistan in the house of a Taliban.
These extreme forces consist of Al Qaeda, ISIS and of course the Taliban aided by ISI and other islamic groups and agencies the world over who all work to fulfill the goal of a Islamic State (IS) the world over ( https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/the-ideology-of-the-islamic-state.pdf). This last line is very important and critical to understand the challenges to India emanating from these forces and it is in this context that we have to see the Taliban government sitting next door in Afghanistan. At times we fail to understand the karmas of India that it has such enviable neighbourhoods on all sides.
Coming to the Taliban again, we have to look at the Taliban government in Afghanistan under a broader domain and not just one country versus another. It is important to understand here that the Taliban represents a unique group which has fought for more than 20 years with Russia as well as America and has been successful to place itself as a government in Afghanistan which is now accepted by the world. In other words it is a fully legitimate government whose members are hardened fighters for more than two decades. To show the world further its eligibility the Taliban has tried to do a image makeover which at best can be termed as cosmetic only. In particular its approach towards India has been positive especially after the grain shortage it witnessed. A detailed report of the Taliban can be read here – https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/taliban-afghanistan.
However most of the western nations remain doubtful of Talibans and its government (https://www.mei.edu/publications/afghanistan-adrift-one-year-after-taliban-takeover).
Coming back to the Islamic Forces
Had the Taliban been an isolated group like many others we would not have shown our anxiety and the need for this post. But as said above the Talibans represent an Islamic force that dreams about an Islamic State (IS) and has dreadful partners like Alqaida as well as ISIS. The combined might of all these forces can be too much for a soft nation like India where politicians and politicians are still not able to understand the seriousness of the issues that we are facing since medieaval times. A very excellent You tube video that we recommend readers to watch , where Alok Bansal a security and Afghan expert speaks about Taliban and its dangers to the nation (https://youtu.be/DfI1GvbvtWI). Alok Bansal here tells about the Taliban in no uncertain times that we have to be careful and also tells the Afghan government as an ideology based government which is more dangerous. The word here is ‘Ideology’ which is different from many other political parties who primarily fight for local power and administration. Here Taliban represents a larger design , an ideological dream to capture the world and have a Islamic state. This is what the world and India must not only be aware of but also must take into consideration over its long term strategic goals and tactics. It is good that we are seeing some cooperation between the two nations and our trucks loaded with Wheat are reaching Afghanistan via Pakistan but let us not expect big gains from them. They can be used for some short term tactical advantages or just humanitarian outreach. We must not fall into the trap of believing anyone, a primary weakness of Hindus.
Fortunately the islamic forces as of now are quite divided on various issues. But there is nothing bigger than the dream of IS that is a huge binding force. Such is the effect of this dream that we cannot say for sure who is sleeping with whom. It can be everyone or it can be atleast substantial group and people that we are unaware of who all dream of this fancy Islamic state. there is also a circulation of a prophecy that the extremist Islamic forces and many believe which is about the day of qayamat which will have a fight between the believers and nonbelievers in an area that will be close to present day Afghanistan. This is what constitutes another BIG danger.
In an article published in Newyork Times fee years back it was said and we quote “The cover of the most recent issue of Dabiq, the slick magazine that the Islamic State distributes online, shows an image of a jihadist fighter with the group’s notorious black flag behind him. He appears to be on the roof of a church, knocking over a cross. Below him, a headline reads, “Break the Cross.”It might seem at first that the Islamic State was just celebrating its brutal campaign to uproot the Christians of Iraq and Syria. But “break the cross” is not an arbitrary phrase. It refers to a prophecy that will supposedly be realized in the final era before the apocalypse.This prophecy comes from hadiths, or sayings, attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, a literature that is regarded as less definitive than the Quran, but is still influential in shaping Islamic doctrine. According to certain hadiths, the apocalypse will come in stages. First, the world will be filled with injustice, and Muslims will be oppressed. Then two saviors will arise: “the awaited one,” or Mahdi, a divinely guided caliph who will unite and empower Muslims, followed by a bygone prophet who will come back to earth to support the Mahdi and defeat evil. “.(https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/opinion/the-problem-with-the-islamic-apocalypse.html).
The meadow outside the small village of Dabiq, Syria is a strange setting for one of the final battles of the Islamic apocalypse. Although close to the Turkish border, “Dabiq is not important militarily” observed a leader in the Syria opposition. And yet the Islamic State fought ferociously to capture the village this summer because its members believe the great battle between infidels and Muslims will take place there as part of the final drama preceding the Day of Judgment.
In this prophecy attributed to the Prophet, predicts the Day of Judgment will come after the Muslims defeat Rome at al-`Amaq or Dabiq, two places close to the Syrian border with Turkey.(https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2014/10/03/isis-fantasies-of-an-apocalyptic-showdown-in-northern-syria/).
If one compares the global forces that are operating in the world today it seems India is not only HIGHLY Vulnerable but also highly FOOLISH and IGNORANT at times . We are not talking about the strategic plans or army but some of the politicians and the people. We live in dangerous situations and are surrounded by inimical forces. There are multiple and BIG conspiracies that are going around the world. Recently , i.e just last week, there were 5 anti Modi articles on the same day published by prominent international media including New York Times and the Guardian.
The only ray of hope under the situation comes from PM Modi, his government and the Sangh parivar. If any of these become weak the future of the nation will be compromised and we are not exaggerating.
It is with these expectations that we look over to POM Modi and his team. The future of the country rests over his shoulders. The Sangh Parivar as usual has to provide the much needed support to the government.
Dr Asheesh Shah