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Taliban known for its zealotry, unreliability could make space for new terrorist bases in Afghanistan: Expert

News Agencies | Updated on: 19 August 2021, 19:55 IST
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Taliban known for its zealotry and unreliability have once again returned to power in Afghanistan raising the prospect that the ungovernable country will again become a hotbed of Islamic extremism.

Hirofumi Matsuo, writing in Nikkei Asia said that the chaotic governance and zealotry of the Taliban could make space for new terrorist bases in Afghanistan.

With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, most countries are racing to evacuate their citizens from Kabul's airport and shutting their embassies temporarily.

The question is why did the US -- which more than any country on Earth should have seen this possibility -- push ahead with its speedy drawdown of troops after a 20-year military adventure?

The problem with the withdrawal terms is US dependence on the sincerity and capability of the Taliban. The US got the peace talks wrong by negotiating directly with the Taliban without the Afghan government present, said Hirofumi.

In return for the withdrawal of US troops, the Taliban promised to engage in dialogue with the Afghan government -- and not to allow terrorist organizations to use Afghanistan as a base for attacks on foreign countries.

Some observers do believe that the Taliban has become more moderate since being ousted by the US. Taliban leaders presented themselves as the only ones to talk to, but they have already reneged on their promise to negotiate with the Afghan government for a peaceful transfer of power. Kabul is already in their hands, reported Nikkei Asia.

There is no guarantee that the Taliban will keep its promise and ensure that Afghanistan will not be used as an operating base by international terrorists.

Moreover going by its history, during the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, brutal floggings, amputations and public executions were commonplace.

Women were largely confined to their homes and the death penalty was in place for offences including female adultery, homosexuality and the rejection of Islam.

Indeed, if Afghanistan falls again into chaos under Taliban rule, terrorist organizations will find its ungoverned pockets a natural breeding ground.

Also while Al-Qaida might have been weakened, its radical ideology has nurtured other groups. Islamic State, a still-active terrorist group that visited multiple inhumanities in Iraq and Syria, is a "mutant" derivative of Al-Qaida, reported Nikkei Asia.

The fate of Afghanistan may come back to haunt the US Depending on what happens with the Taliban -- known equally for its zealotry and unreliability -- the world's most powerful military might yet be dragged back into something more incendiary.

Moreover, the suggestion of US President Joe Biden that US troops could stay past the withdrawal deadline to evacuate all Americans is a case in point.


Also Read: US intelligence predicted Afghan military collapse, despite Biden's assurances

First published: 19 August 2021, 19:54 IST