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'Taliban will ignore India'

By ARCHANA MASIH
August 19, 2021 16:25 IST
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'It will remain hostile to Indian interests owing to its close proximity to China.'

IMAGE: Talibanis outside the interior ministry in Kabul, August 16, 2021. Photograph: Reuters

The second coming of the Taliban poses very little security risk in Kashmir because there is no land border between India and Afghanistan, says Amalendu Misra, professor in the department of politics, philosophy and religion at the University of Lancaster, UK.

"Pakistan will also deal with the Taliban cautiously owing to its porous Pashtun frontiers," Professor Misra tells Rediff.com's Archana Masih in an e-mail interview.

 

How is the second coming of the Taliban different from the first?

They are better organised. More in tune with the realities of international politics. Guided by clear intentions to govern this feuding anarchic country.

How will it impact 20 years of Indian investment in Afghanistan?

The Taliban will enjoy the fruits of Indian investment. They care little about who invested what.

Compared to $2 trillion invested by the Americans which comes to some $50,000 for each Afghan in the last twenty years, India's investment is miniscule.

How will the Taliban takeover change the geo-politics of the region?

The Chinese, the Iranians and the Pakistanis will have a greater say in the region's geo-strategic decision-making process.

India has had hostile relations with the Taliban in the past and not dealt directly with them. What difficulties lie ahead?

The Taliban will ignore India. It will remain hostile to Indian interests owing to its close proximity to China.

IMAGE: A Talibani runs towards the crowd outside Kabul airport, August 16, 2021. Photograph: Video grab/Reuters TV/Reuters

With Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran expected to play a crucial role in the country, will India have to start from scratch with the Taliban?

It has very little actual stake in the country in the current circumstances.

The current government (if it is recognised by the international community) can do without India.

India needs a foothold in Afghanistan. The Taliban does not need India.

What impact will the Taliban's relationship with Pakistan and China going to have on India?

India will be perceived as a spoiler State.

Given the strategic depth that Pakistan is going to gain with the Taliban, what security risks does it pose in Kashmir?

Very little. There is no land border between India and Afghanistan. Pakistan will also deal with the Taliban cautiously owing to its porous Pashtun frontiers.

IMAGE: An Afghan national reacts at a gathering in New Delhi to urge the international community to help Afghan refugees, August 18, 2021. Photograph: Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters

Why did America fail so spectacularly?

America was taken over by intervention fatigue. It was a thankless task -- propping up a corrupt regime and insensitive populace.

They got smart under Biden's leadership and left the godforsaken country to their equally anarchic people.

What will happen in Afghanistan in the next few weeks?

The Taliban will consolidate its rule. The international community will slowly but surely accept the reality of their presence as legitimate rulers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com

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