Taliban revisited their own ideologies and adopted them in accordance with the changing times in matters of governance, technology, and most importantly, in the realm of public services. Their strategy was wide and clear to supersede the Government in Kabul, which became their underlying motto and can be seen as a winning stride in their evolution from 2010 onwards.
The turbulent emergence of Revolutionary Iran coincided with the conquest of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union some four decades ago. Iran is an ambitious regional player with a strong view of its complex world and a deliberate attempt to map a path through it. The rotten relationships of both countries are because of the fluctuating pattern of its interactions with the relevant stakeholders.
United States secret service officials have said that Russia is providing the money and bounties to the Taliban for targeting the US-led forces, which is brokered by local Afghan businessmen who resides in Kunduz, the northern part of Afghanistan. The intelligence officials have reported several Taliban Commanders and local businessmen and politicians as well, travelling back and forth to Tajikistan, the Russian intelligence stronghold. Most of the Afghan politicians have their homes and contacts in Moscow. Furthermore, Russia has Soviet-trained military generals in Afghanistan who host their missions and provide accommodation and also provide intelligence services. Russia wants to see a friendly government in Afghanistan, which would help advance its interests in the region.
India has very limited options. With this peace deal, it has become clear that the Taliban are bound to come into power sooner or later. So, India needs to prepare accordingly. In a recent visit to New Delhi, US Chief Negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad urged New Delhi to start a political dialogue with the Taliban and directly discuss their terrorism-related concerns. He said, “India is an important force in Afghanistan, and it would be appropriate for that [India-Taliban] engagement to take place.”
There is a shift in the Taliban’s old mindset; they are more advanced and going parallel to the world. The Afghan government must also realize to keep flexibilities in their stances to give an attractive political solution for the Afghan conflict and ensure peace a chance. In the meantime, Pakistan has played an important role in bringing both parties to Doha’s negotiating table. It’s a better time for Islamabad to get their positive influence over Kabul and strengthen their friendship.
The atrocities committed in this report are not a rare occurrence or a cherry-picked event from the Afghan War, rather a normal for the forces there. These normalized acts of violence by the West enables rite of passages such as “blooding” and turns civilians into collateral damage. The report mentions these crimes were not committed in “the heat of the battle”; these are indeed war crimes.
In the past Taliban have inclined towards Pakistan, with Pakistan playing an essential role in the peace deal between the US and the Taliban, however, the recent turn of events is showcasing a different stance taken by the Taliban. With the changing dynamic, the relation has been strained from both sides. Taliban on its front want to appease them and gain the support of the general public which is wary of Pakistan while at the same time they want to establish ties with other nation-states and build their own relationship with them that is independent of Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan is not seeking to support a full Taliban led government as it might have religious repercussions for the Pakistani state.
New Delhi is no more hesitant to form a relationship with the Taliban, though they had been declaring them as a proxy of the establishment of Pakistan’s military. The manifestation of this relationship is contingent to multiple geographical factors, such as US elections, Pakistan – Taliban relations, Taliban’s relations with Al Qaeda and China’s elevating interest in Afghanistan.
The decades-long rocky and thorny relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has finally started to burn down to ashes as Pakistan hosts the Afghan-Taliban peace talks in Qatar. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan have shown strong aspirations for a fresh episode of bilateral relationships between them, which will be directed towards a prosperous future for both with no indications of the perturbed past.