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Prem asked: What could be the security implications of the US departure from Afghanistan for India, particularly in J&K?

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  • Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: The US departure from Afghanistan will certainly embolden the radical elements in the Pak-Af region. Some of these groups have already started celebrating their victory over two super powers within three decades— first the Soviet Union and now the USA. Particularly worrying for India is their growing hold over the Pakistani society and polity. In recent years, some of these groups, especially the ones allied to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have started targeting the Pakistani military establishment and have made their intentions clear that they would like to impose Sharia in Pakistan at all costs.

    Unable to judge the gravity of the situation, the Pakistani military refuses to recognise the deep inter-connections among all radical groups and continues to make the distinction between good and bad jihadis. Strategists within the military establishment continue to endorse the military's romance with the jihadis with the intention of using them as instruments against India. As the time of withdrawal of the US forces comes closer, commentators in the Pakistani vernacular media, known for their links with the military, have started harping on the need to refocus Pakistan's attention on Kashmir by diverting the jihadis towards India. That explains the spurt in infiltration and the tension along the LoC since last year. India will have to keep its ears to the ground and constantly monitor the Pakistani behaviour in this regard.