. Afghanistan has been plunged into chaos after the Taliban took overin the wake of the pullout of American forcesfrom the country. It not only ensured a swift Taliban advance across Afghanistan but also a peaceful surrender of Kabul. Reports from the provinces point to gross human rights abuses by the Taliban. Ifthe newTaliban dispensation demonstrates a betterrecord in Kabul, it might encourage the world to respond positively.
Challenges For India
Issue of Indian Security: The restoration of Taliban rule in Afghanistan presents some very serious potential challenges for Indian security.The challenges range from securing its development infrastructuresto safely evacuating Indiansstranded in troubled Afghanistan.
Spread of International Terrorism: For India, a bigger challenge will be about the Taliban’s renewed support for international terrorism and Pakistan’s re-direction of jihadi groups that have allegedly fought with the Taliban towards India.
Religious Fundamentalism: Like all radical groups, the Taliban will have trouble balancing its religious ideology with the imperatives of state interests.
New Regional Geopolitical Developments: There can be new regional geopolitical alignments (such as China-Pakistan-Taliban) which may go against the interests of India.
Broader Diplomatic Engagement: India should consider appointing a special envoy dedicated to Afghanistan. The envoy can ensure that Indian views are expressed at every meeting, and broaden engagement with the Taliban.
Decoupling of Taliban-Pakistan: Although Pakistan’s leverage overthe Taliban isreal, itmay not be absolute. The Taliban is bound to seek ameasure of autonomy fromPakistan. India will have to wait a while before the current issues between India and the Taliban can be overcome.
Balancing the Opportunities in Afghanistan: Structuring the internal balance of power within Afghanistan has always been hard. A deeper Sino-Pak partnership in Afghanistan will inevitably produce countervailing trends.
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