After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, a big game has started in India, China and Pakistan. Who is in how much water in this game? In the 19th century, the Russian and British Empires were fighting each other for Afghanistan. In the 20th century, a similar conflict took place between the US and the Soviet Union. Now that the Taliban has once again taken control of Afghanistan, a new conflict has started in which Pakistan’s control is currently the strongest and its ally China is increasing its hold. Pakistan’s relations with the Taliban are very strong. He was also accused of aiding the Taliban against the US-backed government. However, Pakistan denies these allegations as false. When the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the Afghans had broken “the shackles of slavery”. Three candidates Now that the Taliban is discussing the formation of a new government, it is being said that Pakistani leaders are involved in this discussion. A spokesman for its foreign ministry told Islamabad that Pakistan wants a political settlement in Afghanistan that includes all parties and ensures peace and stability. Although he also added that there are Afghans in the lead roles. So far China has had no role in Afghanistan. But its strong alliance with Pakistan has put it in an advantageous position.
China is now also thinking about the security of its way into Pakistan through the Karakoram Pass towards the mineral-rich Afghanistan. And then there is India. Pakistan’s old rival, which has a border dispute with China. India gave full support to the democratic government of Kabul and also invested heavily there. But with China and Pakistan coming in the lead roles, concern can be felt in India. Opportunities for China China, however, says that its main objective of talks with the Taliban is to protect its western province of Xinjiang from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which may find help in Afghanistan. Professor Zhang Li, who teaches affairs related to South Asia at Sichuan University, says, “Pakistan may want to use Afghanistan against India, but it is not necessary in the case of China. China’s main concern at this time is that The Taliban should form an inclusive liberal government so that terrorism does not flourish in Xinjiang and other areas. Apart from this, if there is any math, it is yet to come out.” WATCH: 10 Best Films on Afghanistan: China has two temptations to the Taliban, diplomatic recognition and funding, says Professor Brahma Chelani, who teaches at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. The opportunity will be used to penetrate into mineral-rich Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia. Confused India India’s experiences with the previous Taliban regime have been very bitter.
Between 1996 and 2001, it was ruled by the Taliban. In 1999, the Indian Airlines plane of India was hijacked by terrorists and they took it to Afghanistan. To free its people, India had to release three Pakistani terrorists. What effect will that experience have on today’s decisions? “Today we want to reconcile with the current reality. We have a long game to play in Afghanistan. We don’t have borders with it but our interests are affected,” says Jayant Prasad, former Ambassador of India to Kabul. People in diplomatic circles in India say that when the US started the Doha talks with the Taliban, India had also opened the way for talks. According to a source, “We are talking with all the stakeholders there.” The Government of India has been criticized in domestic circles for linking all its interests with the Ashraf Ghani government, not outside Delhi. And it is said that India delayed in contacting the Taliban. Still, some believe that India is a major economic powerhouse that could play a key role for the Taliban, which may not want to be entirely dependent on China. In the last twenty years, India has invested heavily in Afghanistan.
Its small or big projects are going on in all 34 states of the country. This includes the new parliament building in Kabul, which was captured by the Taliban last week. Former Reuters journalist Myra McDonald, who has written three books on South Asia, says the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan may have been a setback for India, but New Delhi cannot be considered out of the game right now. She says, “This is not a repetition of history. This time everyone will be very careful not to establish a militancy in Afghanistan like last time. And then, India is a much bigger economic power than Pakistan.” The Taliban understand this, too. A senior member of the Taliban, who has access to the Taliban’s central organization, told Reuters news agency, would need help from Iran, the US and Russia as well as South Asian countries, says Wahidullah Hashmi. “We expect their help. Especially in the health, business and mining sectors. Our job is to convince them to accept us.” VK/AA (Reuters).