New Delhi [India]: The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, historically called the “heart of Asia” for its central location, has far-reaching implications for regional security, potentially including Kashmir.
Moyuru Baba, in an article in Nikkei Asia, said that Taliban resurgence is a chance for Pakistan to expand its influence in Kashmir. This has raised alarm in India that terrorist groups could rise up to threaten Kashmir.
After the fall of the previous Taliban regime in 2001, India worked with Afghanistan’s democratic government to build infrastructure.
Pakistan, which supported the Taliban in its rise to power in 1994, is believed to have continued aiding the group behind the scenes since then, as a security counterweight to its foe India, reported Nikkei Asia.
Pakistan has welcomed the Taliban’s replacement of a government that had kept Islamabad at arm’s length with one expected to allow greater Pakistani influence in Afghanistan. Some observers speculate that Pakistan will cooperate with China to extend its reach in Central Asia, said Baba.
The scenario New Delhi is apprehensive of is the Taliban’s victory emboldening terrorist organizations in neighbouring Pakistan, endangering Kashmir. Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has raised this concern repeatedly in talks with neighbouring countries such as Qatar since the US began withdrawing troops in April, Baba added.
A June report to the United Nations Security Council noted a deepening relationship between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The terrorist group’s membership spans Pakistan, India, Myanmar and Middle Eastern nations, according to the document. (ANI)