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Afghan issue re-surfaces

Afghan issue re-surfaces
Highlights

The US decision to pull its troops from Afghanistan came as a shock to several players in the Afghan theatre From Russia to India, from Syria to Pakistan to Taliban to Turkey and Iran there were mixed reactions to the announcement

The US decision to pull its troops from Afghanistan came as a shock to several players in the Afghan theatre. From Russia to India, from Syria to Pakistan to Taliban to Turkey and Iran there were mixed reactions to the announcement.

President Donald Trump was expected to do the unthinkable as it was one of his electoral promises. However, multiple players are involved and the situation could swing either way due to the indirect empowerment of the destructive forces like the Taliban and IS.

Whatever may be the concern of the world, let India not play the fool here rushing in to the places where angels fear to tread. Afghanistan is quicksand and it can destroy the mightiest in a jiffy.

Russians and Americans along with NATO allies have been fighting there on and off but to no avail. There has been pressure on Indians to step in and do their bit in the country of warlords. Yet, wisely, so far, India kept out of it despite its own interests in the devil's own country.

Pakistan would love India stepping in and join hands with the Taliban in attacking the Indian forces more forcefully. Sending troops to Afghanistan is neither heroics nor a military compulsion for us. Germany and France have already expressed reservations over the US decisions.

Can the Indian army be deployed to support the democratic government in Kabul? Reports that Trump, whose Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quit in a huff over the withdrawal of troops from Syria on Thursday, planned to pull out some 7,000 troops from Afghanistan were not confirmed by US officials.

The US troop withdrawal will certainly provoke Pakistan -Taliban nexus to attack the extensive Indian interests in the country. While Afghan officials expressed surprise, President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri took to social media to claim it would not affect the security of the country. An Indian official too said it did not necessarily mean the return of the Taliban.

The question before Afghanistan and the world is whether everyone is ready and prepared to watch silently the carnage in Afghanistan that could follow the American withdrawal of troops. Neither Afghan people nor its government want that to happen. Taliban is said to be controlling at least 67 per cent of the territory in various pockets of operations.

Taliban's return to power should be through giving up arms and through a democratic process that the country has adopted. Of course, Pakistan does not like it. It prefers to fire to keep glowing in the soil and divert Taliban's attention towards others. It fears the fierce tribes and the war lords like any. And its enmity with India is another factor for it to continue its hostile games in Afghanistan.

A question that continues to haunt India is what if the Taliban attempts to capture Kabul? How will India then respond to the situation? It may not be possible for the Taliban to capture Kabul as it has done once in the past through might. It is a catch-22 situation for India.

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