India, Russia on the same page on Taliban-ruled Kabul

India has forcefully put forward its assessment and concerns over Islamist Taliban ruled Afghanistan to visiting US, UK intelligence chiefs and will convey the same today to visiting Russian security czar. The Taliban 2.0 is no different from its previous avatar.
As a follow-up of PM Modi’s warm conversation with President Putin over telephone on August 24, Gen Patrushev flew down to India last night.
As a follow-up of PM Modi’s warm conversation with President Putin over telephone on August 24, Gen Patrushev flew down to India last night.
Published on Sep 08, 2021 08:52 AM IST
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By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

There is convergence in long term strategic concerns of India and Russia over Taliban-ruled Afghanistan as it will not only destabilise Central Asia but also become a source of terror, opiate drugs, and a major proliferator of conventional weapons.

While India has exchanged notes on Taliban-ruled Afghanistan with visiting security chiefs from the US and UK, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting General Nikolay Patrushev, right hand man of Russian President Vladimir Putin and secretary of Russian Security Council, today to understand Moscow’s position on Kabul. As a follow-up of PM Modi’s warm conversation with President Putin over telephone on August 24, Gen Patrushev flew down to India last night at the invitation of Cabinet ranked National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. Patrushev will also meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

India has also put across its point of view on the impact of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to earlier visiting UK MI-6 chief Richard Moore and to CIA Chief William Burns this week. It intends to do the same with Patrushev, while trying to understand their point of view.

The political situation in Afghanistan has taken a turn for the worse with US designated terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani in charge of interior ministry and intelligence, while Mullah Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, the defence minister. Throwing all the global concerns out of the window as expected, there is no space for women or minority in the Afghan Taliban cabinet with rabid hardliners ruling the roost. “The best of shaped IED makers are in the Afghan cabinet,” said a Kabul watcher referring to Haqqani, Yaqoob and Baradar.

While Russia was understandably happy at the humiliating exit of US forces from Afghanistan, delight was short-lived as the reality of a terror force ruling Afghanistan at the behest of Pakistan dawned in. Even though Russia still maintains an embassy in Kabul, Moscow, like India, is very seriously concerned about the long-term security impact of the Islamist Sunni Pashtun regime in Afghanistan.

It is quite evident now that even though Taliban projects itself as a flag-bearer of Sunni Pashtun nationalism, it is really a medieval force based on 1000 year old Islamic theocracy and has an agenda of global jihad with massive stockpile of US arms at its disposal. Already, the top cadres of Taliban’s ideological brother Jaish-e-Mohammed are carrying US made M-4 assault rifles and night vision devices.

After the group has refused to severe ties with Al Qaeda and other jihadi group present in Pakistan, there is clear and present danger of increased Islamic radicalization in the region. Russia is now worried about it, soon will be China.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021