Taliban

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  • US-Taliban Talks for Afghan Peace: Complexities Galore

    The ongoing dialogue between the US and the Taliban has generated lot of interest among strategic analysts in the region and beyond. There are indications that the Taliban are hardening their position as the US appears to be in a haste to pull off an agreement.

    March 2019

    US-Taliban Peace Talks and the Disquiet

    Trump seems to have reconciled himself to the fact that Afghanistan may become an ‘Islamic Emirate of Taliban’ with Sharia Law being imposed with or without the consent of the people.

    January 01, 2019

    Russia’s Engagement with the Taliban

    In December 2015, the Russian Foreign Ministry revealed that Russia was engaging in intelligence sharing with the Taliban to counter the growing presence of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

    June 21, 2017

    Russia’s Policy Shift towards Taliban and Pakistan

    Russia’s efforts to differentiate between the Islamic State and Taliban are a mistake given that both groups share a similar ideology, albeit with slight variations.

    March 01, 2017

    The Centre of Gravity of militancy shifts to Afghanistan

    The Centre of Gravity of militancy shifts to Afghanistan

    Stakeholder regional countries threatened by Islamic militancy need to get together under the umbrella of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and fight a joint war to end the menace.

    May 27, 2015

    Implications of the Taliban’s 2015 Spring Offensive

    Implications of the Taliban’s 2015 Spring Offensive

    Shifting the centre of gravity of fighting from their traditional strongholds in the South to the northern parts of Afghanistan in this operation is indicative of the Taliban’s shift in focus to other regions that are also in the al Qaeda’s radar.

    May 06, 2015

    Facing the Taliban: Experiences of a UN Woman Aid Worker in Taliban Controlled Afghanistan by Anoja Wijeyesekera

    This book is based on the four years that Anoja Wijeyesekera, the author, spent in Afghanistan as a UNICEF official (November 1997–September 12, 2001) before she and other UNICEF staff were evacuated from Kabul after the 9/11 terror attacks. The book describes not only the experiences of a ‘UN female aid worker’ in Afghanistan in particular, but also the conditions for women under the Taliban in general.

    May 2014

    Neha asked : How did Taliban rise in Pakistan? Is Pakistan Government's endeavour to hold peace talks a right step to end the violence?

    Ashok Kumar Behuria replies: I presume the question pertains to the rise of the Pakistani Taliban.

    The Pakistani Taliban's rise is both due to acts of omission and commission on the part of the government in Pakistan. When the US launched its war on terror, Pakistan willingly joined it as a partner and pledged to sever its links with the Afghan Taliban. However, in reality it provided these elements sanctuary in both Quetta (Balochistan) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The Afghan Taliban had sympathisers among the local population, some of whom had even fought along with them during their rise as a political force in Afghanistan. As Pakistan hobnobbed with these forces even after joining the war on terror in Afghanistan against them, the Pakistani sympathisers of the Afghan Taliban in the tribal areas slowly metamorphosed into a coalition of radical Islamist forces calling itself Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, better known in its acronymic form as TTP.

    While the groups consisting of TTP grew in stature and influence, the Pakistani state ignored them. Initially it sought to handle them either through talks or half hearted and episodic military thrusts that lacked both strategy and conviction. Pakistan's policy of treating the Afghan Taliban as a strategic asset forced it to turn a blind eye to the umbilical cord that brought the two groups together. When finally it decided to take on the TTP, the Afghan Taliban chose to remain neutral. However, even then, Pakistani security forces have found it difficult to deal with such an ideological group, which seeks to impose Sharia and reverse the entire process of democratic state formation in Pakistan.

    Talks, that are being attempted now to reconcile the TTP with the state of Pakistan, are a legitimate option which any government worth the name would like to exercise to bring peace to its population. However, in the case of Pakistan and the TTP, such efforts may not succeed. This is mainly because of the irreconcilable positions from which they are approaching the whole issue of reconciliation. Moreover, Pakistan state has had several talks with the TTP since 2004 (the agreements of Shakai, Sararogha, Swat, etc.), which have ended in failure earlier. The talks are not going to work unless one of the parties sheds its ideological orientation and succumbs to the position of the other. Even if the strategy may look right, any desperate attempt to placate the TTP to have a positive outcome from the talks will be disastrous for Pakistan. Remember the old saying: the road to hell is paved with good intentions!!

    Posted on April 4, 2014

    Why Pakistan cannot defeat the Taliban

    The simple truth that has eluded Pakistan is that fighting the Taliban is like fighting a shadow. The Taliban are but a symptom, the real problem is of religious extremism which is manifesting itself in radical Islamism and has struck deep roots in state and society.

    March 10, 2014

    Talks with Taliban: war by other means

    The situation in Pakistan today is very fragile. Despite the progress on the democratic front, there is a sense of helplessness on how to tackle the menace of terrorism. Unlike in the past, Islamabad appears quite weak vis-à-vis Taliban while it keeps chanting its commitment to talks with TTP, despite the provocation and retaliation from the army.

    March 03, 2014

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