Afghanistan Politics: Russia and Iran now support Taliban

Swadesh Roy
Published : 11:04, Dec 09, 2019 | Updated : 11:08, Dec 09, 2019

Swadesh RoyDepending on Geo-politics and Military strategy, Afghanistan is always important to East and West- and especially to its neighbours Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China and India. Afghanistan is geographically a fort-like country. It has always been being tough to control Afghanistan centrally.
We get seventy thousand years of history of civilization about Afghanistan. The first homo-sapiens came to Afghanistan from Africa. They spread central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. We get a close connection regarding the civilization of Afghanistan and the Indian sub-continent. This old civilized country, Afghanistan, produced a modern middle class in the early 20th century. Their capital Kabul was one of the modern cities in the world. But people in many hill areas and some tribes were in a primitive then. This is the contrast of this country. Its geography is so complicated that it is incapable of rapid economic development. Rather, its tribal areas have a gulf of difference with Kabul city. Its hills and valleys make many areas a natural fort. So, from medieval times, it is known to be a militarily strategic area. In the mid-20th century, Afghanistan became important to the then Soviet Union, Iran, and China and moreover the United States of America.

India from the era of Jawaharlal Nehru has maintained very close relations with Afghanistan. From Indira Gandhi to  Modi, India is following the same strategy with Afghanistan. Before the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, India used to maintain good relations with President Daud Khan. But after the power shifting in Afghanistan to the Soviet-backed government, India also maintained good relation with them. Some Afghanistan politicians and the diplomats said that India had a link with the Taliban. However, India is enjoying a very good relation with the America backed Afghan government after 2001. India gave refuelling facilities to the US military during the war between us and the Taliban led government in Afghanistan. Though, Pakistan is a close ally to the US. But in the US-Taliban war, India was more close to America and later US-backed Afghan government. In the war against the Taliban, the US did not trust Pakistan much.

In this context, America and India are closer to the present Afghan government. The Afghanistan situation has changed diplomatic relations in this area. China is a close ally of Pakistan but it was never a close ally of the Taliban Afghan government like Pakistan. Rather, Iran and Pakistan were more close to the Taliban of Afghan.

India got an upper hand to the relation with America. Their Afghan policies helped India to tie-up with Indo-Pacific Ocean Strategy with America. No doubt, India is not getting opportunity only diplomatically, they are also gaining economically; India is doing huge infrastructure works and business in Afghanistan.

Afghan security forces are seen at the site of a second blast in Kabul, Afghanistan April 30, 2018. (Photo Reuters).China also is doing many infrastructural works in Afghanistan. Many of the Afghan policymakers of the present government want more financial involvement of China. China is also trying to spread their market in Afghanistan using the ports of Pakistan. Conversely, America and China do not believe Pakistan 100% in the case of Afghanistan, because it is still maintaining good relations with the Taliban of Afghanistan. China is very worried about the Islamic terrorism problem in Uyghurs. Many case studies said lots of terrorist of Uyghurs get training in Pakistan and on Afghan territory by the Taliban trainer. Even Uyghur terrorists also get training by the Taliban in Iran which is close to Uyghur province.

Talking to some Afghan politician and the policymakers, it became clear that the Taliban is still present in many areas of Afghanistan. It will take time for the Afghan government to establish its authority all over the country. It was said earlier that Afghanistan is a natural fort. That’s why, after seizing the power, the Taliban shifted their capital from Kabul to Kandahar. They lost the battle but still are in there fighting. Now, a big question is from where are they getting support and sustaining themselves in the present situation? In a private discussion with the Afghan politicians and the policymakers, they said things are totally reversed recently. Once the Soviet Union fought against the Taliban and America backed the Taliban. But now, Russia is helping the Taliban. Besides Russia, the Taliban are getting more help from Iran. Similarly, some other Middle East countries and business groups of the Middle East are also helping them. Saudi Arabia is by the side of America with its full support. They are not helping the Taliban of Afghanistan at all.

In conclusion, it may be said that the Taliban of Afghanistan linger their fight up to near future and the present government of Afghanistan has to face hassles to establish their authority all over their country.

Swadesh Roy, Senior Journalist, Dhaka, Bangladesh.  He is a highest state award-winning journalist and can be reached at [email protected]

***The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions and views of Bangla Tribune.