Afghanistan is in a flux. The ongoing departure of American troops from the country has weakened the country’s fight against the Taliban. The radical Islamist group has suddenly regrouped and in a series of spectacular military victories, seized 12 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals. In addition, the group has seized control of vital roads linking strategic locations within the country that are crucial for the Afghanistan military, choking supply lines and isolating regiments engaged in fighting them.
Afghans, who had lived in relative peace for the past 15-odd years suddenly find themselves at the crossroads again. After decades of conflict and untold brutalities on the vulnerable populations like women, children, and ethnic minorities, and just when the country was looking ahead towards a better future, the descent into violence and chaos has been quick and violent and once again, Afghanistan’s future looks bleak and uncertain.
Military experts have concluded that such a swift takeover could not have been possible for the Taliban without support from their most trusted allies, the Pakistani military and ISI. Chasing strategic depth, Pakistan has always found a way to keep Afghanistan mired in internecine warfare for its own ends.
Ever since the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan 30 years, the Pakistan-created monster Taliban has wreaked havoc in the country and almost taken it back to the stone age.
While the weakened Afghan military bravely fights on to prevent their country from falling into the hands of the barbarians, the outrage of the ordinary peace-loving Afghan quickly found voice on social media, with the hashtag #SanctionPakistan trending on Twitter, joined in by voices from across the world. Such an organic and spontaneous support for Afghans has barely been seen before. This support probably stems from the fact that people are outraged at the American withdrawal without a roadmap for Afghanistan’s future as they are at the Taliban’s takeover and their brutalities in their held areas, such as the execution of prisoners and their diktat that girls as young as 12 be handed over to them to be married off to their fighters.
The world has a responsibility towards Afghanistan. Afghans have a right to live in peace and dignity, without being the playthings of regional or global powers making it a playground for their competing interests. Let’s hope India plays its rightful role in helping Afghanistan reclaim its rightful place in the world.