Videos and photographs of chaos in Kabul are going viral on social media. A painful video of a couple of locals remaining clung to a flying airplane but falling off from it mid-air is enough to underline the desperation in the common Afghans to escape the Taliban rule. Contrary to it, several nations are taking positions that are at variance with respect to ‘Taliban 1.0’.
Even while terming Taliban a ‘militant group’, the EU Foreign Affairs & Security Policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles said, “Taliban has won the war, so we will have to talk to them.” The EU fears another migrant crisis, and at least it appears that they intend to stem at its root. Hence, dialogue with Taliban seems necessary to them.
During Cold War, Taliban and Russia were up against each other. Also, Russia recently took several military steps at the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border to warn Taliban of any misadventure. However, even while keeping Taliban on its list of terrorist organisations, Russia has praised Taliban for making Kabul safer compared to the Ghani government.
Iran and Taliban have had sectarian differences all along. Iran backed the Northern Alliance against Taliban during the 1990s. In fact, in 1998, Taliban had stormed the Iranian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing several diplomats and a journalist. The incident had brought the two almost close to a war. However, Iran has recently said that it favours Taliban’s plan to restore theocratic rule. Also, many Iranian leaders have praised Taliban and welcomed its emergence.
China had not recognised ‘Taliban 1.0’. However, it is more than ready to recognise the Taliban regime now as it will now control the $1 trillion-plus mineral wealth on which Afghanistan sits. Moreover, the strategic position of Afghanistan makes Taliban ideal to China for expanding its ‘Belt & Road Initiative’.
US plan to withdraw from Afghanistan was long-anticipated. However, even as Taliban grabbed Afghanistan, the US always had the diplomatic power, intelligence network, weapons and troops to stop the invasion. But its overlook raises doubts whether the takeover had the tacit support of the Biden administration.
With all this, it appears that the fall of Afghanistan has disturbed only ordinary Afghans while ‘Taliban 2.0’ is moving closer to global recognition. It leaves commoners with the question of whether something more is happening behind the scenes than what meets the eye!