New government in Pakistan will create fresh challenge in Afghanistan
The electoral rules are being gagged to create favourable results. The media houses are being dictated and threatened. The human rights activists are put behind the bars.
Asuicide member of the banned Tehreek-iTaliban Pakistan (TTP) killed at least 20 people, including senior leader of Awami National Party (ANP) Barrister Haroon Bilour. The TTP claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Peshawar’s Yakatoot area, the first incident of terrorism since political parties started campaigning for the July 25 polls. ANP’s opposition to the Taliban has made it a repeated target of terrorists. The series of attacks have taken place since the date of election was declared in Pakistan. The political atmosphere looks vicious. The cohorts of Army and Jehadis are going to decide the results of Pakistan General election.
The most favourite party of Army is Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf.
The outreach of Pakistan Muslim Legaue-Nawaj (PML-N) is much larger. But the deliberate attempt by army to cut its size through multiple exercises. Nawaz Sharif along with his political heir, daughter, Marriam have debarred from contests. The Supreme Court found them guilty declared 10 years and 7 years sentences for Nawaz Sharif and his daughter respectively. Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed is also in electoral battle with the banner of Jehadi Munch. The son and son-in-law of Hafiz Saeed are contesting election under the banner of Allaho-Akbar Tehreek. The electoral rules are being gagged to create favourable results. The media houses are being dictated and threatened. The human
rights activists are put behind the bar. The judiciary is toeing the line of the army.
The consequences of the results would be fatal for the people of Pakistan. The machinations will hurt India and Afghanistan. The Army Chief new twist in foreign policy is to focus on Chinese supports and minimise US influence. The new doctrine of Bazwa will have far reaching consequences for India and Afghanistan. The terrorist’s attacks both in India and Afghanistan will increase. The space for peace will get a setback. The US pressure will not work in the current conditions. China is providing all logistical and international supports to Pakistan. A section of the Sikh community in Afghanistan was killed in suicide bomb attack in Jalalabad. The Sikh community now number fewer than 300 families in Afghanistan, which were home of more than 250,000 Sikhs and Hindus before 1990s. There is place in Jalalabad where it is believed that Guru Nanak visited in the 15th century.
This gruesome suicidal attack raised three fundamental questions.
Through the Media sources ISIS has claimed this attack. First, is Afghanistan turning the Third Home for ISIS after Syria and Iraq?
Second what is the categorical difference between Taliban and ISIS? Why did the great power sketch a different line on terror? Last but not the least what would be the best option available for India in the complex scenario?
The US reports says more than 700 hundred ISIS fighters are present in the terrain of Afghanistan. The Russian sources said more than ten thousands ISIS affiliates are there. Whatever the number, the strength of ISIS is ballooning in Afghanistan. The first bell rang in 2014 when the US was supposed to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Since then its presence and violent acts have increased many times. There is large number of dissatisfied Taliban’s are present in the new fold of ISIS. Their targets are civilians, mainly the nonMuslim community.
One of the popular video of ISIS in Afghanistan is very popular which proclaimed, “O You Muslims in every corner of the world, immigrate to Khorasan, if you are incapable of immigrating to Iraq and Syria, come to Khorasan.” The name of Khorasan refers to a historic region which includes parts of modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan and neighbouring countries. The ISIS fighters feeling battlefields in Syria and
Iraq are finding their way to Afghanistan, where the group has a potent presence.
There is convergence of interests between ISIS and Taliban to support Pakistan led Army venture against India. The media sources said the bombing was allegedly perpetrated by the Taliban under the patronage of Pakistan’s intelligence agency InterService Intelligence (ISI). A month ago, a prominent Sikh religious leader Charanjit Singh Sagar was shot dead in the Peshawar city of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.
Moreover ISIS which is operating from Afghanistan is independent and not controlled by Syrian or Iraqi group in acts they are independent. They embrace the label, and they swear allegiance to Baghdadi, but are not controlled by IS from Syria or Iraq. The Afghan IS groups are local and familiar with the difficult terrain of Afghanistan. Therefore, US forces fail to navigate their movement. The group is also aided by steady supply of the Pakistani Talibans as well as radicalised Afghan. The groups operate mostly in the Nanaghar province near the border of Pakistan. The group was using Afghanistan and Pakistan as a recruiting ground, trying to find fighters who would travel to Syria and Iraq.
The group has different ideologies and goals. The hostility that ISIS bears towards the Taliban stems from the fact that the Taliban draws its legitimacy not from a universal Islamic creed, but from a narrow ethnic and nationalistic breed. The ISIS tries to establish a Caliphate encompassing the entire Ummah (Muslim Community) the Taliban seeks to establish an Afghan state that they claim is ruled by Islamic law. The groups are also in competition for members and resources. Both rely on money from the heroin trade to fund then operations.
The US and Russia are divided lot on ISIS in Afghanistan. Russia believed that ISIS presence
is intensified in northern and eastern Afghanistan. Russian policy makers have emphasized the ISIS threat to unite anti-western nationalist in the world. Russian officials have argued that the US policymakers have become complacent about the Islamic State’s ability to threaten regional stability. Russia found ISIS as a major security challenge and claimed over 10,000 ISIS militants present in Afghanistan. Russia has focussed on the ISIS threat in Afghanistan to establish more mutually beneficial alliances with its Central Asian partners.
India is a major country in reshaping the economic and military structure of Afghanistan. More than 150 Indian engineers and technical experts are working in major infrastructural projects in Afghanistan. In 2017 India and Afghanistan inaugurated two aircorridors to boost connectivity and it has resulted in significance increase in trade volumes. As a part of the next generation “New Development Partnership” India is now implementing 116 new high impact development projects in 31 provinces of Afghanistan and is imparting training to Afghan security personnel. India is a major trading partner for Afghanistan. India is also the biggest donor to Afghanistan and 5th largest donor globally.
To counter the India’s initiative, Pakistan is doing everything to disrupt the apple cart. Pakistan is a major non-NATO ally borders Afghanistan and has been a key route for US supplies into the country. It has also according to US and Afghan officials been a major route for terrorist groups and funding, particularly the HAQQANI NETWORK. Pakistan foreign policy, its actions in Afghanistan is shaped by relations with its rivals India. Islamabad fears an Indian dominated or closely allied Afghanistan would leave it encircled and vulnerable in any potential conflict. Islamabad seeks a weak Kabul government dominated by a pliant, supportive Taliban so that Pakistan. Chinese foreign ministry said, “The international community should fully recognise Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts and appreciate its “important contributions to safeguarding regional and global peace and stability.” Beijing is also investing upwards of $ 46 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPECas part of its One Belt One Road trading initiative which China has called Afghanistan to be a major player.
The condition is precarious. India under leadership of Modi is creating a new wave in world politics. The Chinese attempts are to deter Indian influence in its surrounding areas. The recent attempts are being made by China to allure and hijack Nepal from India. China has pumped huge amounts of cash for Pakistan’s forthcoming elections. The China is trying to create an Asian Order where the space for India is synchronised. The other powers like the US and Russia are divided on many issues which concerned India. This is a defining moment for Indian foreign policy. The US pressure on India to debunk Iran is another challenge. There is no doubt the Indian leadership is not going to be directed or held hostage of any power, be it America.
ISIS, which is operating from Afghanistan is independent and not controlled by Syrian.
Sikh religiousleader Charanjit Singh Sagarwas shot dead in the Peshawarcity .
The US pressure on India to debunk Iran is a challenge.