China & Taliban: Two Fronts India Can’t Afford
Recently, there have been reports of secret back-channel talks between Pakistan and India aiming at easing tensions between the two nuclear rivals.
So why suddenly India is reaching out to the Taliban, the Extremist Sunni Muslim insurgent group? To those who are familiar with the history between India and the Taliban assess India’s reach to the Taliban as a desperate move. Who can forget the humiliation the Taliban subjected India to back in Dec/1999 when a hijacked Indian plane IC 814 was taken to Kandahar? The Taliban was guarding that plane. And it was the Taliban who brokered a deal for the exchange of terrorists for Indian passengers. And that was a great humiliation for India.
Similarly, the Taliban controls about 85% of territory in Afghanistan. The insurgent group is emboldened not only by a weak central government in Kabul, but also the withdrawal of defeated US forces. Interestingly, the Taliban has captured an important district in Herat province, home to tens of thousands of minority Shi’ite Hazaras.
Against this backdrop, India is noticing how the Taliban are winning once again, as the US exits from Afghanistan making the same mistake it made in Iraq: lack of understanding of society, culture, and traditions.
Equally important, India has far greater concerns and danger when it comes to China given the latter’s military power. And it is no secret that if a military clash, which I do not foresee, between China and India erupts, we all know that India will be defeated.
One thing is sure: With all these political shifts, India looks lost in the geopolitical wilderness.
David Oualaalou is a Geopolitical Consultant, Award Winning Educator, Veteran, Author, and former International Security analyst in Washington, D.C.