Afghanistan, a small dot on the world map, with jagged cliffs, rugged hills and long stretches of sandy desert. The country seems to be at war with itself since its birth. An unending legacy of battle for supremacy of one ideology over others, drug trade, terrorism and a society which is held hostage to the diktat of barbarians.

The current predicament of the country had its genesis in the rebellion of Islamic guerrillas against the communist government in 1978. The war raged on between communist regime and Islamist forces. Soviets provided direct support to communist regime with its own soldiers and arms. Americans came in and with active support of Pakistan, raised an Islamic militia to repel the Soviet forces.

The government backed by Soviets was overthrown in 1992. Amidst hardcore Islamic rules gaining currency, the militias formed an outfit called Taliban. It assumed more and more theology-driven savage character with the advent of Mohammad Omar as its chief.

Then they became more belligerent and audacious, trying to show the reach and might of its Islamic rule. Al Qaida, an offshoot of Taliban and headed by Bin Laden, in an audacious attack ever in the world history, carried out 9/11 on American soil.

Americans invaded Afghanistan with allied forces in 2001. Till date the war on terror was on. But with sudden pullout of American forces and allied soldiers, Talibans are back with their devilish games. They have recaptured almost 80% of Afghanistan from the control of Afgan security forces. Tribal courts of instant justice and strict Sharia laws are being enforced on the hapless citizens. No country is there to save innocent girls, children and adults from persecution.

Pakistan, meanwhile, is salivating at the prospect of a Taliban government taking over sometime soon. Then they will use them to destabilise and attack India. Something sinister is cooking between Taliban and Pakistan. The situation is getting murkier with sudden display of interest by Chinese in the whole affair.

It’s most vital for India to play its aces cautiously. We cannot afford a blink when destructive forces are building up in our backyard.

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