By Haider Abbas
The developing situation in Afghanistan is getting palpable particularly for US which had to leave after its most disastrous war with Afghan Taliban (AT) as US was forced to sit across with the same AT to negotiate its withdrawal. The present Ashraf Ghani government in Afghanistan is into facing an imminent battle as almost more than 90% of Afghanistan is now under AT control. AT is right now knocking close to the capital Kabul as US which is slated to leave by September 11 might leave even earlier too-to mark an end of its endless-wars.
The downcast US wants Pakistan to provide military bases to pound on AT in future and also to monitor China-Pakistan Economic Corridor towards which Pakistan has as yet refused. Will US therefore lean on India as after all now BECA binds India with US. No wonder India has deployed 200 para-military companies in Kashmir and it has been officially said that the move is just a redeployment of forces after the election duties. Meanwhile, it learnt from Sputnik on June 10, that Pentagon wants a written authorization from US President Joseph Biden to air-strike against AT as Pentagon is quite antagonized to the possibility of AT gaining over Ashraf Ghani. The same newspaper has also confirmed that US has already begun ‘over-the-horizon’ operations amid Afghanistan withdrawal. Surely and certainly, if AT capitalizes on Afghanistan just by the time US withdraws or sometime later, it would be the greatest slap on US face as the super-power would just be nowhere after putting into trillions of dollars for about 20 years to obliterate AT but what resulted in fact is on contrary– an AT resurgence! The Chief of US CIA William Burns secret visit to Pakistan was perhaps the last ditch effort to make Pakistan yield to US having military bases which Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa did not oblige. Pakistan PM Imran Khan did not even meet Burns. This is enough to make US red-faced
India too has started to open up channels with Afghan-factions which are not close to Pakistan and Iran, reported Hindustan Times on June 9. This is interesting as India has also of late lost a potent friend in the region as India under US pressure abandoned Iran and refused to buy Iranian oil from May 2019, and thereafter, Iran went ahead to enter into a 400 billion USD ‘trade and military’ deal with China. This single initiative has altered the entire world polity as Middle-East, US, Israel and India have all got stunned by this new emerging scenario. The Indian engagement with Afghan factions is also one of the tactics deployed by US to pressurize Pakistan. Will Pakistan give-into is for the time to find out.
US real and ultimate scheme is not just Afghanistan or Pakistan but China with which it has been locked in South China Sea. US has formed QUAD in which India is also an active participant. China and India have been in the recent past got ‘locked-up’ due to Chinese provocations towards India. There has been a Galwan valley clash between the two and time-and-again it is found that China is making villages, roads and communication infrastructure near Indian borders in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh-which China calls as its South Tibet. The latest to come to light, informed New Indian Express on June 8, is that ‘around two dozen Chinese fighter-jets carry out exercise opposite Eastern Ladakh, India watches closely’. The report elaborated that though the Chinese jets which were “around 21-22 and (which) mainly included J-11s and a few J-16 fighters held an exercise opposite the Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh,” they were well inside their territory. To add further nemesis to India, China has now gone ahead with what is considered to be its most expensive project; to open up a new stretch of rail across Tibet, reported The Economist on June 5. The estimated cost of it is around 5.7 billion USD. The ‘track extends from the region’s capital Lhasa eastward to the city of Nyingchi’. The Chinese call as ‘Throne of the Sun’. ‘It is the region’s first electrified railway; its trains will be Tibet’s fastest’ to commemorate the 100th birthday of Communist Party of China which falls on July 1st.
The writer is a former State Information Commissioner, India and is a political analyst.