India

new challenge of afghan terror

After the flourishing of terrorism in Afghanistan, the land here has been threatening not only China, but from South Asia to Russia.

brahmdeep alune

After the flourishing of terrorism in Afghanistan, the land here has been threatening not only China, but from South Asia to Russia. The major reason for this is also the terrorist centers of Pakistan where many terrorist organizations including Taliban have been receiving training.

Afghanistan, which connects Europe and Southeast Asia by land, has always been recorded in history because of its geographical passes. But now the apprehensions are deepening that these passes should not become a curse for the security of the whole world including South Asia. After the rise of the Taliban in the nineties, these passes became a refuge for terrorists, through whose inaccessible paths trained terrorists created a furore in many countries. After two decades of silence, the Taliban is now again in power in Afghanistan and this has again deepened the fears of terrorist violence.

The diversity and geographical conditions of the different ethnic groups living in Afghanistan are conducive to the promotion of terror. Majority of the population is Pathans. This is followed by twenty-five to thirty percent Tajiks, about ten percent Uzbeks, five percent Hazaras and ten to fifteen percent other ethnic groups. The tribal culture of Afghanistan is also liked by the many ethnic groups that have settled in Central Asia. The cultural syncretism of tribes such as the Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks and Hazaras is visible from the Pamir plateau to the Xinjiang province of China, and this has been a problem for communist China.

China’s own security concerns are the main reason for China’s warmth towards the Taliban. When a Taliban delegation arrived in China last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has clearly told the delegation that it will have to break ties with the “anti-China” terrorist organization East Turkistan Islamic Movement. In fact, China sees the rise of the Taliban as dangerous for the troubled region of its northwest, Xinjiang province. The Uighur Muslims living here are running a separatist movement against China. The aim of the ‘East Turkistan Islamic Movement’ is to break away from China.

This separatist movement seeks to restore the status quo in 1949 and accepts independent East Turkestan. East Turkestan is China-administered Xinjiang. It borders Tibet and India to the south, Mongolia to the east, Russia to the north, and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the west. China’s biggest crisis is the western border of Xinjiang which meets Muslim countries and this is the reason why China also wants to build a military base in Afghanistan.

The rise of Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan for some time has threatened to worsen internal unrest in China’s troubled Xinjiang. There are extremists sympathizing with IS operating in Central Asian countries in the region. In total, thousands of fighters from various countries in the region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Zbekistan and Xinjiang, have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight in support of IS. In such a situation, IS continues to establish its foothold in northern Afghanistan so that it can forge alliances with Central Asia, Chechen and Chinese Vigor militants. Now with the Taliban taking power in Afghanistan, many angry ethnic groups may join the Islamic State and this could increase the security crisis for the entire region.

After the flourishing of terrorism in Afghanistan, the land here has been threatening not only China, but from South Asia to Russia. The major reason for this is also the terrorist centers of Pakistan where many terrorist organizations including Taliban have been receiving training. In wars and conflicts in many regions, including the Middle East, Kashmir, Azerbaijan and Armenia, hostile countries have used mercenaries to spread instability.

These soldiers, ready to fight in any part of the world for money, come from poor and civil war stricken countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan and Nigeria. These also include terrorists whose training is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Institutions like Syed Maududi International Institute and Jamayat-ul-Uloom-Iljhra Islamia are very notorious in Pakistan. There are several terrorist training centers in Muzaffarabad, Aliabad, Kahoota, Hazira, Mirpur, Rawalkot, Rawalpindi and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The job of these institutions is to provide training and financial assistance to Islamic extremists. The Uighurs of Sinkiang, including Uzbeks and Turks, have also been training here. Most of the Taliban fighters, including Mullah Omar and the extremists fighting the Russian army in Chechnya, have emerged from here.

Myanmar also cannot remain without being affected by the Taliban coming to power. Amidst the conflict between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, jihadist organizations have unitedly announced to teach Myanmar a lesson. This includes Yemen’s Al Qaeda group and Pakistan’s Lashkar-Ezrataiba. Rohingya follow Sunni Islam. In 1991-92, about 2.5 lakh Rohingya fled to Bangladesh due to military repression in Myanmar. During that time, about forty thousand Rohingyas entered from the border of West Bengal and North Eastern states and settled in different places of India. Now with the strength of the Taliban, Buddhist religious sites in India can be targeted.

Not only this, Bangladesh’s extremist organization Huji has deep links with many radical organizations in the northeastern states of India and they work at the behest of ISI. In the eighties, when the Soviet-Afghan war was going on, the radical forces of Bangladesh established the infamous terrorist organization Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam. Bangladeshi Mujahideen also took part in this war. Now this terrorist organization is banned by the United Nations. Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam is known for supporting the Rohingya insurgency in western Myanmar.

In India’s another neighbor Sri Lanka, the strings of terrorist attacks have also been confirmed to be linked to Afghanistan. The Sri Lankan government banned the local jihadist group National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) and two other organizations after the Easter suicide attack in 2019. It is believed that the NTJ was planning to blow up some Buddhist monuments in the country. According to the investigating agencies, in 2016, a group of some extremists from Kerala had gone to Negombo in Sri Lanka. In 2019, explosions occurred in several cities of Sri Lanka, including Negombo, on the occasion of Easter, in which hundreds of people were killed. It is believed that these people later went to Afghanistan and joined IS. Liberal or secular people in countries like Maldives and Bangladesh are in awe of the radical ideology trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Obviously, there are many terrorist organizations operating in South Asia and the Middle East under the influence of the Taliban. Afghanistan can once again become a safe haven for terrorist organizations of the world. To deal with this problem, the world, including the Indian subcontinent, will have to take policy steps immediately. It is very important to control Pakistan in this.

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Shivam Bangwal

Shivam Bangwal is a young entrepreneur who hails from Uttarakhand. Shivam is a professional full time Digital Marketing and PR expert with a post graduation degree of Master's of Computer Applications. He is a founder of Youthistaan, People News Chronicle, Branding Panther and Digital Leader.

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