The exit of America from Afghanistan without ensuring adequate power-sharing arrangements within the different stakeholders of the country has allowed a cruel play of power politics of the foreign forces as well as huge shortage of food grains in the war-ravaged country
With the almost occupation of the Panjshir Valley, the last citadel of the resistance forces led by the former vice-president of the war-torn Afghanistan, Amrulla Saleh, and the son of legendary Afghan fighter, Ahmad Shah Massoud, Ahmad Massud, the great-game appears to be finally tilted in favour of the China-Pakistan axis. The exit of America without ensuring adequate power-sharing arrangements within the different stakeholders of the country has allowed a cruel play of power politics of the foreign forces as well as huge shortage of food grains. It appears to be the final outcome that the Taliban would shortly subjugate Panjshir Valley.
The earlier reports indicate that the formidable Sino-Paki alliance had got an upper hand with the state-of the art communication technology offered by the Chinese giant conglomerate, Huawei, and the muscle-power of the Taliban forces getting a boost with a large presence of the regular Pakistani army during the past three-week operations in the ongoing battle. The final occupation of the Panjshir Valley would have a Domino effect on the region, where the pro-democratic forces would finally succumb to the totalitarian regimes from Myanmar to Pakistan.
During the past two years, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for the Chinese military ware and communication hardware and software suddenly picked up world-wide. The Huawei revenue had shot up to USD 130 billion with a net profit of USD 9.70 billion.
In 2019, an Indian fighter plane, MIG-21 was reportedly downed by a Pakistan’s fighter plane, JF-17, a replica of the American iconic plane, F-16 obtained from China. It is reported that with the help of the Huawei software, the Pakistani pilot had made the Indian fighter “dysfunctional” before being downed. Its pilot, Abhinanadan, was arrested live and later handed over to India. It cannot be ruled out that Abhinanadan might have been released and handed over to India on the “Chinese advice”. Back home, the pilot, though a war-prisoner, was accorded the welcome generally given to a war hero. It is also widely believed that with this success of the Huawei software, its worldwide market boomed. It could even penetrate the rural telecom operators in America. With the collapse of the resistance forces, US president Joe Biden’s claim that the government of President Ashraf Ghani’s forces did not fight has just collapsed. While erstwhile US President Donald Trump wanted to retreat on the American terms, the octogenarian Biden’s surrender reminds the kneeling down of the Mughal rulers before the Nadir Shah in Delhi. With this surrender, the decks were finally cleared for the Indian occupation of an English trading company, East India Company.
How Panjshir will pan out?
The failure of the American strategists was clear, when the American negotiators decided to hand over power in Kabul without any resistance on August 15. Ghani being a Pashtun was “unacceptable” to Pakistan and had to be helped to escape. His commanders were told not to resist and just surrender. Many of them were executed. The Americans just condemned these cowardly acts, but hoped that a “friendly regime” would finally be established in Afghanistan. The Pakistan-China nexus asserts, and thus America’s humiliating retreat takes place.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has succeeded in manipulating the new Afghan regime with the Haqqani network finally asserted in the formation of the new government in the country. The Haqqani network already controls the capital, Kabul, and it has succeeded in getting al-Qaeda and IS-K terrorists released from the jails.
Pakistan plugs for Haqqani network
The killing of two senior members of the resistance forces, General Wudood Zara, and its spokesman, Fahim Dashty, reportedly killed through Drone attacks has caused dismay in the resistance movement. The resistance forces lack the necessary electronic gadgets to match the high-tech electronic equipment having Chinese support giving cover to the Taliban or Haqqani forces having a large presence of regular Pakistani army.
Meanwhile, there are reports of Russian mediation between the Resistance Forces and Taliban. However, within the ruling Taliban, Pakistan has reportedly ensured that it should have effective control on the country through the Haqqani network. There are reports that during the past three weeks, the goons of the network had even physically assaulted senior elders like Mullah Abdul Ghani Biradar and a few others. Abdullah Abdullah, who had been seeking a share in power too, has been kept under detention.
It is also possible that such attacks have enraged the Taliban leadership. Its spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, who has asserted that it will not allow any country, including Pakistan, to interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs. His statement is considered quite significant because it was made during the visit of general Hamid, chief of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. He reportedly had sought a bigger role for the Haqqani network in the new power structure.
Amidst the claim of engaging the Taliban forces in the Panjshir Valley, the spokesman of the Resistance Forces has claimed that thousands of the invading soldiers have been surrounded at the Khawak Pass, northwest of the valley. Therefore, it is necessary to engage Islamic scholars and other seniors for an effective ceasefire, and for this the Taliban must cease its military operations at Panjshir, Andarab, Parwan and Kapisa.
Gen Hamid Gul saw it coming
General Hamid Gul, a former ISI chief, who had predicted the rise of Taliban and the ultimate collapse and defeat of the USA, is being remembered for his political and strategic insight. He had also stated that it was the ISI, which had led to the final destruction of the USSR in Afghanistan and later its fragmentation. A similar fate would await America in the terrains of Afghanistan, rightly stated as ‘the graveyard of empires’. He had also boasted that his intelligence outfit, ISI would be remembered for making the two superpowers, USSR and USA, suffer humiliation and thus losing their respective superpower status in their unsuccessful bid to subjugate the irrepressible people living in the difficult hilly terrain of Afghanistan.
Within Pakistan too, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the contemporary head of the ISI have succeeded in obtaining USA support in getting huge financial support from the World Bank. In lieu of this, they have allowed hundreds of American soldiers returning from Afghanistan to stay in the five-star facilities in various hotels of Islamabad and Lahore. They have also ensured security without the knowledge of the Prime Minister Imran Khan. The army establishment is working overtime to get its proxies occupy key positions in the new government in Kabul.
G-20 looks at ways to tackle crisis
The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, who currently heads the G-20 group of countries, is making hectic calls to other members for finding a way out from the current Afghanistan situation. He is in touch with the French President, Emmanuel Macron and the Chinese President Xi Jinping. Amidst the reports that Austria already having more than 40,000 refugees has refused to induct any more displaced persons. He stated, “Nobody can claim to have a clear strategy to tackle this humanitarian crisis.” He, however, hopes that an ad hoc meeting of the G-20 countries may meet even before the end of the current UN General Assembly session on September 30. The European Central Bank is also engaged in raising funds to provide some financial help for the starving people of the war-ravaged country.
Russia drops Taliban like a hot brick
The Russian love for the Taliban proved to be short-lived. It could not survive even three weeks. It had allowed the use of Pakistani bombers and drones to hit the Resistance Forces’s citadel in the Panjshir Valley from the Russian facilities in Kazakhstan. The Chinese, though having trust in the “cunning” diplomacy of their President XI Jinping, too appear to have realised that they have to invest billions of their hard-earned dollars to meet the never-ending demands of the Pakistani Generals.
Also, they have to feed the starving Muslim population of two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, to keep their radicalized population from entering the Chinese territories. Earlier, during 45-minute discussions between Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Russian indecision prevented India from offering any substantial support to the fighters of the Panjshir.
With the announcement of the Taliban cabinet, Russia has now belated realised that the Muslim terrorists under different banners have begun collecting in Afghanistan.
The ISI has already succeeded in installing it’s proxies in the new Afghanistan Government. The postponement of the inauguration of the Taliban Government was, perhaps, done on the advice of the GHQ in Pakistan. Earlier, a former ISI chief Assad Durrani had ‘disapproved’ of the role of the present ISI chief in the formation of the government.
Now Xi Jinping too must have realised that that there are reports that a large number of Islamic radicals from 21 Muslim countries would soon be reaching Kabul. The Taliban and ISI would not resist the influx, who would be reinvigorating IS-Khorasan and Tahrareik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to keep both Russia and China engaged with them to cough-up more financial help for sustaining the Pakistani army in the lead role. During the past three weeks since the fall of Kabul, ISI has also allowed the TTP terrorists released from the Afghan jails, to indulge in widespread violence.
It appears that the Pakistani army is rescheduling it’s strategy to get new funds from China and Russia and keep India facing a new influx of Jihadis in her territories.