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India asserts its right on PoK

India asserts its right on PoK

In welcoming the US-Taliban deal, New Delhi has done well to underline the fact, by implication, that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is India’s part. Such assertions are important as they don’t let the world forget that Pakistan is an aggressor that has captured our territory.

Responding to the deal, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “As a contiguous neighbor, India will continue to extend all support to the government and people of Afghanistan in realizing their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future where the interest of all sections of Afghan society are protected.”

While all decent people in the world would pray for peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan, making it happen would be extremely difficult. For the Taliban have not been reformed; indeed they are beyond reformation, wedded as they are to the rigid, literalist interpretation of Islam. Evidently, such interpretations—Wahhabi, Salafist, etc.,—are quite popular; this is the reason that Talban numbers keep growing. With support from Pakistan.

Speaking at the White House, US President Donald Trump said US troops had been killing terrorists in Afghanistan “by the thousands.” But they kept coming back.

America has got tired, he seemed to be suggesting. Now it was “time for someone else to do that work and it will be the Taliban and it could be surrounding countries.”

Unwilling to waste US soldiers and resources to keep the world in order, he has all along favored isolationist policy. Over 2,400 US troops have been killed in the conflict in Afghanistan. As many as 12,000 soldiers are still in the country. While US and its allies will withdraw troops within 14 months according to the deal, the Taliban will not let al-Qaeda or other terror groups to operate in the areas under Taliban control.

In his typical style, Trump has warned, “If bad things happen, we’ll go back with a force like no-one’s ever seen.”

BBC reported Taliban leaders saying that they’ve changed since their harsh rule of the 1990s, but not many are convinced. Afghan women are especially fearful, given Taliban’s well-known misogyny. Others are keeping their fingers crossed.

It may be time for India, which is helping rebuild Afghanistan, to play a role in the future of its contiguous neighbor..