by Aug 18, 2021Defence & Foreign Policy0 comments

On 15th August 2021, when India was celebrating her long awaited & cherished 75th anniversary of liberation or freedom from the British rule, coincidently and unfortunately in neighbouring Afghanistan, it was a different kind of liberation that was in the offing. Latter was sooner than expected, so much so that the cleavage between US intelligence and the White House had become prominent.

President Ashraf Ghani lost no time in fleeing away with helicopters and four cars stuffed with cash. He seems to have taken refuse in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan or Oman. Element of hurry became apparent when a large chunk of cash was left lying on the tarmac.

While shrewd, sophisticated and westernised Abdulla Abdulla, the former Foreign Minister and outgoing CEO has declared that God will decide fate of now former President, a statement from Hamid Karjai, the predecessor of Ghani and the first President during the start of new era, is very much awaited.

Is Afghanistan in doldrums Again ? What will happen to this beautifully cold, dry fruit and vast opium producing mountainous country, now that “non peaceful transfer” of power apparently has become an Imminent Reality, a Foregone Conclusion.

The bitter and yet again painful reality was more than assured, the day self proclaimed Supreme super duper power of the world had decided to withdraw allied forces, soon after similar act of desertion if not departure from Iraq.

Though 31st August was the ‘D’ date for ultimate pull out by U.S.A., U.K, France and Germany, Taliban or Talb-e-ilam (literal meaning Seekers of Knowledge) were closely watching and following the developments from their strongholds in some pockets of Afghanistan and provided bases in a handful of friendly or supportive countries.

It also looked as if support & guidance was NOT going to come directly only from Russia, the former ally-cum tormenter of Afghanistan, two decades ago but also from a new interest group headed by China & a few latent if not passive forces. China, in the meanwhile has made her desire clear to have friendly ties with the new regime.

Pakistan for obvious reasons, was kept subdued or she herself decided to maintain a low profile.Nobody can infer so fast.

Facade of Doha talks was created without losing time by purposely sidelining India.

India’s late participation in “apology to talks”, at relatively low level of a Joint Secretary, goes on to prove that our “Vasudhev Kutumbakam” philosophy was going to receive a candid setback.Same is happening despite our active two decades of involvement in re-development forays in this *Allah Ko Pyaara*” country, full of drugs, latest arms & armaments and Ever ready urge or Inclination to Fight for the cause of Islam.

Was India’s slow reaction mechanism so far, purposeful or was it due to her helplessness in the given rapidly changing scenario ? India will have to be more proactive given the large presence of Afghans in India and vice versa.
Only time will tell, more so, in view of silence thus far from the entire Islamic world but a sudden “bold act” of recognition of the new regime by Pakistan, the longest staunch enemy of India.

Coming back to the modus operandi of withdrawal by US led forces, attempts are being made by diplomatic watchers to equate this development with, or draw parallels with similar surrender process, not very long ago from Saigon in Vietnam.

It is honestly felt that for want of full details yet to emerge, it may not be apt to jump to any conclusion at this fluid situation stage.

One thing is certain – having announced its fresh intentions a few months ago, by seeking active assistance of Navies of both France and India to begin exercises aimed at reviving if not strengthening QUAD, the USA has made it crystal clear that it is not going to forget or forgive China for the catastrophe of Corona virus and that latter’s encirclement both in South China Sea region as also in Pacific region, presumably with Japan’s help will be SURE & CERTAIN.

Having been so much involved in Afghan affairs over the years, India could have walked a step forward by attempting to have secret or open parleys with some of the moderates among Talibans.Reducing her present distance with Russia was also very much desirable.

Now Talibans not only are changing their strategy a bit, they are also deploying English speaking spokesmen to put forward their intentions, if not evil designs coated with past gory misdeeds.


in the new emerging scenario, a big buffer state will be going out of India’s hands and her surveillance over Iran and the Gulf may not be as easy as it was thought to be.

Iran may react ,however, upon a good lapse of time ,in view of the recent change of guard in Tehran.

Stand of Israel, in view of rapid developments in Muslim world, will be also worth watching due to her solid achievement of diplomatic ties first with the UAE, followed by Morocco, both incidentally brokered by none other than the USA.

Having become more than friendly with India despite knowing her Arab world weakness, the duo of USA and Israel may be getting ready to have ultimate decisive say over the murky waters of World affairs.

(The author is a retired Chief Secretary, Sikkim)

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