Home INDIA India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir : Report 16 Oct 2021

India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir : Report 16 Oct 2021

India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir
India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir

India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: When Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his Taliban concerns to world leaders this week, the military raided and fought militants from Kashmir, whom he fears will be boosted by Islamists’ victory in Afghanistan.

Firing of civilians and police in Kashmir, raids by security forces on terrorist hideouts by security forces, and insurgent infiltration across the India-Pakistan ceasefire line have all escalated in the Muslim-majority region since the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15.

Nearly 40 people have been killed in firing and clashes in the two months since India and Pakistan became independent in 1947 in the divided Himalayan region.

Militants have targeted minority Hindu and Sikh civilians, while gun battles have also killed soldiers and insurgents along the ceasefire line.

According to residents and security officials who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, India has not openly blamed the Taliban takeover for the escalation in violence, but it has intensified patrols near Pakistani Kashmir and some Military camps have been strengthened.

Modi had said at the G20 summit in Rome earlier this week that international efforts are needed to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for radicalization and terrorism.

He has also raised India’s concerns with US President Joe Biden.

In September, he told the United Nations General Assembly that no country should be allowed to use “Afghanistan as a tool for its own self-interest” – a comment widely seen as a reference to neighboring Pakistan. The main supporter of the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime.

This time Islamabad has stopped recognizing the new Taliban government.
Nevertheless, New Delhi accuses its arch rival in Islamabad of promoting Pakistan-based terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which are blamed for several attacks in Kashmir.

Pakistan denies this claim.

India was a supporter of the Soviet-puppet government in Kabul which was overthrown by Mujahideen forces in 1992.

It helped US-led forces topple the Taliban in 2001. And it was a huge donor to the government that radical Islamists crushed in August.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Afghan militants fought alongside fighters from Kashmir. According to a former Kashmiri fighter, about 20 Afghan “Guest Mujahideen” were killed and 10 were captured.

India worries that weapons and fighters may re-enter the area it has fought two wars against Pakistan.

The Army Chief of India, General M.M. Naravane.

“So there are reasons to believe that the same thing could happen once again.”

Protests in Kashmir are nearly impossible due to restrictions imposed by Delhi since the region’s semi-autonomous status was revoked in 2019.

But some in Kashmir have quietly welcomed the Taliban’s capture of Afghanistan as a victory against the odds they too might one day aspire to.

India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir
India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir

“If they can defeat the world’s greatest military power, we too can win our freedom,” a businessman from Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar said on condition of anonymity.

A former militant from Kashmir who trained in Afghanistan in the 1990s and fought with the Afghan Mujahideen in Kashmir said: “The Taliban’s victory has already supplied oxygen to our movement.”

Given India’s security shutdown on Kashmir, Naravane and other army chiefs are confident that Delhi can withstand any surge.

But a senior security official in Kashmir, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was “some panic” inside the security establishment.

Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Wilson Center in Washington, said Afghanistan’s new ruler could lead to “increasing unrest” in Kashmir.
Taliban officials have said they want to maintain trade and other ties with India, which means some sort of contact will have to be maintained.

“The Taliban themselves will not agitate for the unrest in Kashmir, but the people with whom it is in alliance will do so,” he said.

Musharraf Zaidi, a columnist and security analyst in Pakistan, said he sees no reason why the Taliban would want to “deliberately agitate Indian officials”.

He believes that his victory is more important for the signal being sent to “young Kashmiri boys and girls looking at pictures from Afghanistan”.

India fears fall of Taliban in Kashmir

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News East India staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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