‘Challenge for us’, says defence minister Rajnath Singh on Taliban takeover in Afghanistan
Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that the situation in Afghanistan has emerged as a challenge for India, with the Taliban set to take charge after the complete drawdown of the US troops. Singh also said that the changes have led to the rethinking of strategy.
“The changing equation in Afghanistan is a challenge for us. These situations have forced our country to rethink its strategy. We are changing our strategy and the formation of QUAD underlines this strategy,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying. The minister made the remarks while delivering his keynote address at the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington, Tamil Nadu. He also interacted with the officers of the armed forces there.
Further, Singh said that the ministry of defence is seriously considering the formation of Integrated Battle Groups. “These 'Integrated Battle Groups' will be new groups to fight against the enemies. Under this, extremely lethal, brigade-sized agile and self-reliant fighter formations will be made,” he said. “Quick decision-making is an important factor during wars. These groups will not only facilitate faster decision-making but also increase the number of integrated fighting units,” he added.
Earlier on Saturday, Singh had made a similar comment, however, not in direct reference to the situation in Afghanistan. “Changes happening around the world often become a matter of concern for us,” he said, adding, “We, as a nation, must keep our guards high during these times of uncertainties and upheavals around the world,” without elaborating further.
Meanwhile, the UK, one of the key allies of the US’ war in Afghanistan, has completed the evacuation of its troops from Afghanistan. Further, the US is also scheduled to completely withdraw its troops from the country by August 31 following its presence for over two decades. The Taliban had already taken control of some parts of the Kabul airports, according to news reports earlier on Saturday.
Union minister of external affairs S Jaishankar on Saturday spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding the situation in Afghanistan. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had said that the country would stand by its citizens during times of crisis. So far, more than 550 people have been airlifted by India out of Kabul, according to the last update.