Stage is set for regional powers to vie for influence in Afghanistan. By Latheef Farook

Here in Sri Lanka so called terrorism experts insist not to recognize Taliban

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Taliban has denied any responsibility for the bomb attacks on the Kabul airport on Thursday 26 August which killed around 170 people.

Hours before the attacks western media, citing top US and UK military sources, started claiming that a bombing was imminent. Hours after the bombings US killed the bomber who was identified as one Abdul Rahman al-Logari. He belonged to an Afghan offshoot of the organization “Islamic State,” known as ISIS-Khorasan, which claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Thus the world knew ‘in advance’ the Kabul blasts were coming and the US also knew the culprit.The question is why were blasts not averted? Pointing the finger at America columnists are asking whether it was the work of US.
Despite the bombing there has been worldwide repercussions to Talban’s pledged to work with governments worldwide. Number of countries are gearing themselves to establish closer ties with Afghanistan.
For example the United Nations Security Council has dropped a reference to it from a paragraph in its statement that called on Afghan groups not to support terrorists “operating on the territory of any other country”. This is the first clear signal by the international community that the Taliban may no longer be a global outcaste.

WE and European countries also pledged to work with Taliban government.

However, as expected, there is alarm among the pro-western secular despots throughout the Middle East though there is widespread support to Taliban from the masses all over Middle Est.

Worst among them were Saudi and other Gulf despots who have gone too far from Islam and Muslims and became active partners in the US-European-Israeli wars against Arab countries. They are, oppressive tyrants hated by their people, mortally scared as they solely depend on America for their survival. Their fear is that America could drop them in the same way America dropped Afghan government known for widespread corruption.
Tehran which for the past decade or so extended sanctuary and support to the Taliban, hosted a shura in Mashhad and provided military advice. Iran has kept its embassy in Kabul open, pointing to possible diplomatic recognition, and there are many reasons, for the two sides to cooperate.

Afghanistan’s neighbor Pakistan’s relations remains warm. After the Taliban took over Kabul, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan declared that the Taliban were “breaking the chains of slavery.”
However highlighting India’s limited options in Afghanistan columnist Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty stated that Delhi cannot shun a Taliban-dominated government and it will have to fine tune its diplomacy, engage China, Russia,

Turkey and the US.

Chakravary added that the desperation to clutch at any straw stems out of the complete breakdown of India’s Afghan policy. The flawed Indian policy toward Afghanistan is missing the woods for the trees. Modi government’s zero-sum mindset is obsessed with rolling back the influence of China and Pakistan, its archetypal enemies, in Afghanistan. Whereas, all serious regional states are approaching the Afghan situation with a fulsome agenda of geo-economics, especially Russia.

According to analysts “The Taliban’s return to power has caused a major diplomatic setback for India, now one of the region’s “most disadvantaged” players. India was among the nations that closed their missions in Afghanistan and brought back their staff and citizens.

“India has gone from being Kabul’s closest regional partner to one of the region’s most disadvantaged players in an Afghanistan context,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia programme at the US-based Wilson Center.

New Delhi invested $3bn in development projects, offered scholarships to Afghan students, and helped construct the parliament building at a cost of $90m, earning huge goodwill in the country of 38 million. Last year, during the 2020 Afghanistan Conference, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said no part of Afghanistan was “untouched” by the “400-plus projects” that India had undertaken in all 34 provinces of the country.

“ However there is still hope for India as , according to Indian Express “the deputy head of Taliban’s office in Doha has said that India is “very important for this subcontinent” and that his group wants to continue Afghanistan’s “cultural”, “economic”, “political” and “trade ties” with India “like in the past”. This was followed by another report stating that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that its Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met with the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, on Tuesday.
Interestingly, Putin had a call with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the Afghan situation only a day after his conversation with Modi. The Russian readout shows a high degree of convergence between Moscow and

Islamabad on the way forward in Afghanistan.

The readout says both leaders “stressed the importance of maintaining peace and security” in Afghanistan, “preventing violence and establishing an inter-Afghan dialogue that would facilitate the formation of an inclusive government that takes into account the interests of all segments of the population.”

Putin and Imran Khan “agreed to coordinate approaches to the Afghan issue both in bilateral and multilateral formats” and to “use the capabilities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in ensuring regional stability and the fight against terrorism and the drug threat.”

Moscow sees the Taliban as an authentic Afghan entity with a legitimate role to play in that country’s mainstream politics. Thus, engagement with the Taliban is a centerpiece of Russia’s Afghan policy today.

The Russian readout concluded by underscoring that “Russian-Pakistani contacts at various levels will be intensified.” Clearly, the Kremlin attaches high importance to cooperation with Pakistan in the period ahead. Conceivably, Afghan reconstruction and the CPEC will open up huge opportunities for Russian business and industry.

Recent Chinese commentaries have flagged that “China’s close coordination and shared interests with Russia will also play a major role in potential rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan… In the Afghanistan situation, China and Russia have maintained close communication and have shared interests in peace and development in Afghanistan, which makes the two countries the main players and partners in Afghanistan’s rebuilding efforts, in stark contrast to the US’ intention to sow chaos in the country…”

It was under such circumstance that self-declared experts on terrorism who see the world through American eyes, insist that Sri Lankan should not recognize Taliban government?

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Disclaimer: Stage is set for regional powers to vie for influence in Afghanistan. By Latheef Farook

Here in Sri Lanka so called terrorism experts insist not to recognize Taliban - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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