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India

Updated on: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 06:39 PM IST

As Taliban takes over Afghanistan, India adopts wait-and-watch strategy: Report

Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance gate outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul on August 17, 2021.  | (Photo by Javed Tanveer / AFP)

Taliban fighters stand guard at an entrance gate outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul on August 17, 2021. | (Photo by Javed Tanveer / AFP)

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Even as countries like Pakistan, China, Russia, United Kingdom, etc. have taken a stand regarding the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, India has adopted a wait-and-watch strategy.

"India to wait-and-watch that how inclusive will be the government formation (in Afghanistan) and how will the Taliban conduct," news agency ANI quoted sources as saying. "India will also watch how other democracies react to the Taliban regime," the sources added.

Sources told ANI that security measures in Kashmir will be increased. However, Taliban's focus on Kashmir is unlikely, it added.

"There will be increased security vigil in Kashmir but things are in control and Pakistan based groups in Afghanistan have little capacity to use the situation," said sources. "Taliban has clarified its position on Kashmir. It regards it as a bilateral, internal issue; their focus is unlikely on Kashmir," they added.

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"There are security concerns that Afghanistan might become the first epicenter of Islamic terrorism which has a state, they have access to all the weapons which Americans have supplied and also the weapons of 3 lakh plus Afghan National Army personnel," the sources said.

The sources further told ANI that the neighbouring Pakistan's ISI, their premier intelligence agency, will try and influence the Taliban. "However, it will have very limited effect as Taliban has acquired power in a position of strength. ISI can only influence weak Taliban but it looks unlikely in the present situation," sources added. In the past, there were camps of Pakistani outfits in Afghanistan. So we have to be careful in Jammu & Kashmir," they added.

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Meanwhile, the Taliban declared an "amnesty" across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government on Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee their rule.

Following a blitz across Afghanistan that saw many cities fall to the insurgents without a fight, the Taliban have sought to portray themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a brutal rule in the late 1990s. But many Afghans remain skeptical.

While there were no major reports of abuses or fighting in the capital of Kabul as the Taliban now patrol its streets, many residents have stayed home and remain fearful after the insurgents' takeover saw prisons emptied and armories looted.

The promises of amnesty from Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission, were the first comments on how the Taliban might govern on a national level. His remarks remained vague, however, as the Taliban are still negotiating with political leaders of the country's fallen government and no formal handover deal has been announced.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with full dignity and honesty has announced a complete amnesty for all Afghanistan, especially those who were with the opposition or supported the occupiers for years and recently," he said.

Other Taliban leaders have said they won't seek revenge on those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign countries. But some in Kabul allege Taliban fighters have lists of people who cooperated with the government and are seeking them out.

Samangani also described women as "the main victims of the more than 40 years of crisis in Afghanistan." "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan doesn't want the women to be the victims anymore," he said.

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"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values."

This would be a marked departure from the last time the Taliban were in power, when women were largely confined to their homes. However, Samangani didn't describe exactly what he meant by Islamic law, implying people already knew the rules. He added that "all sides should join" the government.

(With AP inputs)

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Published on: Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 06:39 PM IST
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