Taliban fighters poured into Kabul on Sunday amid scenes of panic and chaos. Their takeover brought a swift, shocking end to the Afghan government and the 20-year American era in the country. This brought imminent setbacks to many outdoor actors who wanted their due share in Afghanistan imbroglio.
Today, the strategic environment surrounding Afghanistan is very different from the 1990s and 2001. The Taliban are likely to take over with full recognition from major powers, including the US, China, Russia and the European Union. On ground Taliban are not just a military power but a political reality. The way they have swept Afghanistan in a matter of days, the chances of an imminent civil war are limited. The way the Afghan National Forces have crumbled along with negotiated deals with local leadership, the country has avoided major destruction so far.
In the coming years India will find itself in a relatively disadvantageous position in Afghanistan. it will also curtail joint Indo. US interest in Afghanistan and the region as a whole. The new security and economic architecture in Afghanistan is going to be different form the one followed by Kabul in the last 20 years. The new influencers, viz. China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran, will be happy to see that the US influence reduces further. China and Pakistan will also try to minimize Indian engagement.
Pakistan’s and India strategic ambitions are vividly clear that Afghanistan is equally important for both regional heavyweights. Now it’s a matter of choice for India either to run with likeminded country like Pakistan, China, Russia, or to beat old version American Pianos.
Primarily Afghanistan avoided a major political disaster, giving an opportunity to all stock holder’s including regional actors and Major Powers to rescue Afghanistan from chaos and political disparities. This time we have to deal with Afghanistan mess with more pragmatist and prudential way.
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