Columnist, scholar of international relations and freelance journalist
Taliban members patrol after they take over Panjshir Valley, the only province the group had not seized during its sweep last month in Afghanistan. [Sayed Khoda
After Kabul Falls
The recent upheaval and uprising and final conquest of Afganjstan by talibs have made the two other major players in the region helpless and bewildered and frustrated, namely USA and India. The 15th August win and settlement of Taliban in Kabul thus played a very major symbolic role in not only middle east and Indian subcontinent but also in the whole world. The USA retreated from Afganistan after its continuous loss of man and money and to save its face, they declared the end of war after virtually loosing their longest battle. But does the war really ends with their so called smart declaration?
It is true that they have previously lost in Vietnam but Vietnam has never had a war in USA neither it has killed twin towers. On the other hand, the previous Talib -1 rule of 1996-2001 show the USA and the allied forces, the most violent and foul massacre of people in their own soil, the destruction of twin tower and now they sealed a deal with the butchers and going to sleep with the conviction that no smoke and rubble from Afgan soil will ever cover America's sky? Is it so? Will that be so? Will America and all democracies sleep with that hopeful promise?
Let's turn to India. Kabul falls on 15th August. Ironically enough, it is the independence day of India, the world's largest democracy. More importantly, it is known to all from various intelligence agencies to common people that the talibs were and are nurtured and harbored by its neighbor. Even in the panjshir battle, their role is very very important and perhaps without their army's tacit support, it would not be possible for the talibs to so fast conquer the Masud's Panjshir citadel in such a short time.
What is diplomacy? It is a fiction. A fiction has two parts; plot and story. Right is very vulnerable word in the dictionary of diplomacy. Right decision and right moment are the twin babies of diplomacy. Decision making must occur at the most appropriate time, then only it can be a fiction well plotted otherwise diplomacy will stand as nothing but fiction (friction), told by an idiot. On 15th August Kabul fall, on September 5, the panjshir falls and the question points out to future.
Pakistan from the last one or two year has maneuvered itself to a major power player in especially middle east region. In Azerbaijan- Armenia conflict, there is steady and believable report of pak army's involvement and despite Russia's implicit support, Armenia lost the war. Nikol Pashinyan, the then Armenian prime minister, in an exclusive conversation with WION, published on 24 October, 2020, said, "We have information that armed fighters from Pakistan are participating in the war raging in the Karabakh region. We can see that Turkey is also involved in the war -- mercenaries are being brought to the conflict zone by Ankara. It is a chaotic, confusing situation that we are seeing in Karabakh." There is also other countries like Saudis, Turkey and Pakistan of subcontinent, who had their moral and even explicit support for the Azerbaijanis. In Yemen also, Pakistan is playing a major role against the Iran supported Houthis. Thus they are trying to and possibly more or less have been able to create a touchable hold in the region's politics. In the case of Afganistan, they have been able to create a second home and third front in respect of India. The position of third home and second front is already occupied by China. We have also seen a great diplomatic win for talibs and their supporters that some other regional powers who were averse to talibs in their first rule, have gathered to support them.
A man has to learn from history and if one rejects to learn from the past, the past will engulf him and diplomacy is all about the difference between plot and story and right juggling of the word "right". Every indecision can be great decision if appropriated with right time. And as plot is the mother of story, let's see how and when USA and its allies' hopeful story fall before perhaps the biggest plot of this century. Let's count the days. Let's count the ways.
It is now to see the fate of those who have burnt their boats and missed the train that departs at the right time.
© 2021 Ilina Jones