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Terrorism and Afghanistan

  • IASbaba
  • March 27, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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INTERNATIONAL

Topic: General Studies 2:

  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
  • India and its neighbourhood- relations.

Terrorism and Afghanistan

Context: The terrorist attack on a gurudwara in Kabul, claimed by Islamic State (IS), has killed 25 people, mostly members of Afghanistan’s persecuted Sikh minority.

Afghanistan is notorious for violence against its minority communities. 

  • The Hazara Shias were brutally attacked during the Taliban regime in 1996-2001. 
  • Most Hindus and Sikhs, once spread across the country in hundreds of thousands, have fled the country in past three decades

Do You Know?

  • Post 9/11 attacks, US invaded Afghanistan with the aim to destroy Al-Qaeda terrorist group.
  • For past two decades, there is a Civil War going on in Afghanistan between Taliban (Fundamentalist group supported by Pakistan) and the Afghan government (supported by USA).
  • US and Taliban signed a peace deal in March 2020
  • One of the provisions of peace deal was that the Taliban had committed themselves to eliminating the Islamic State from Afghanistan

Why Islamic State (IS) has attacked now?

  • To send a message to its rivals that it continues to be a potent force
  • Increasing influence of Taliban (reflected through peace deal with US) is clashing with IS’s own interest to control vast territory & spread its own ideology
  • Hence, it wants to revive its own importance vis-à-vis Taliban
  • IS wants to exploit the clashes between Taliban and Afghan government – unable to finalize on the prisoner swap part of the peace deal – to increase its own influence
  • Division in Afghan Political leadership –Afghanistan now has two Presidents – meaning weak coordinated response on the perpetuators of attack

What are the consequences of the attack?

  • Less focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Afghanistan – Iran (epicentre of the pandemic) borders the country => dangers of Afghanistan becoming a new epicentre.
  • Abandonment of minorities in the country may lead to refugee crisis
  • Derails the peace deal signed between Taliban and USA
  • Increased instability in the region

What is the Impact on India?

  • Internationalization of Kashmir Issue: IS has stated that it had carried out the attack in revenge for Kashmir.
  • Doubts over Pakistan’s involvement in this attack shows that there is increased security threat to Indians (workers & Officials) in Afghanistan
  • Increased terrorism in the region is not in the Economic & Strategic interest of India

Conclusion

  • Afghanistan faces two contagions, new and old — COVID-19 and the relentless violence. 
  • A united effort has to be made for the ceasefire of violence so as to enable humanitarian assistance to deal with the pandemic

Connecting the dots:

  • Who were all the part of coalition forces which defeated Islamic State in Iraq & Syria (ISIS)?
  • Who is the Haqqani group and how is it related to Taliban?

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