Taliban, ISKP and Afghanistan

M. Saleem

THE Islamic state in Khorasan Province (ISKP) Afghanistan was launched first to dilute the power of Taliban in Afghanistan and to be used as a spoiler after the exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

In two months since the Taliban came to power, there have been reports of Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), attacks and activity in the cities of Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif.

ISKP represents Islamic State in Afghanistan and has been applying a multi-faceted strategy to discredit the Taliban.

By carrying out violent attacks, the militant group wants to distinguish its brand from the Taliban’s and challenge the new ruler’s ability to govern the country.

ISKP was supported by former Afghan intelligence Agency NDS on behest of India agency R&AW.

However, Taliban have conducted special operations against the organization, arresting many culprits live, destroying their base and killing many.

Islamic States and Taliban’s stance on Islamic State:-
ISPK emerged in 2015 after ISIS declared its caliphate in Iraq and Syria. From 2016 to 2020, ISPK’s overall capacity for violence, political cohesion and territorial influence in Afghanistan was weakened by sustained targeting from three sides: the United States military, the Former Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban.

Since May 2020, current ISPK leader Shahab al-Muhajir has focused on rebuilding the group’s capabilities by forgoing territorial battles and targeting key urban areas, especially Kabul IS-K has stated a new campaign of violence against both the Afghan Taliban and international presence in Afghanistan in 2020.

India is supporting the terrorist organizations in Afghanistan that international forces have been trying to defeat.

United Nations Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team stated in 2020 that individuals from India are part of ISIS in Afghanistan.

International forces killed the leader of Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS) in 2019 who was an Indian citizen.

There are precisely the reasons of Indian support to ISPK:-
India is not being given a seat at international forums that are trying to bring stability in Afghanistan.

The meeting of “Extended Troika” on 11 August 2021 includes Untied States, Russia, China and Pakistan.

Countries with major states in Afghanistan peace have formed a news Quad group. These include United States, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan excluding India.

Indian stakes in Afghanistan have dealt a huge blow after Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan because it wanted to prolong United State allied forces.

With the Untied States withdrawal and surrender of Afghan forces, ISK appears to be positioning itself for an ambitious violent campaign against the Afghan Taliban as a state actor.

Since the Taliban came to power, there have been reports of IS-K attacks and activity in the cities of Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif with the support of HIA’s.

India has gone from being Kabul’s closest regional partner to one of the region’s most disadvantaged players in Afghanistan and involved in backing the IS-k for terrorist activities against Taliban. The following attacks carried out by IS-K in Afghanistan since 15 August 2021.

On the evening of August 26, just 11 days after the Taliban takeover, ISKP claimed responsibility for a bombing at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport that killed more than 180 people and injured hundreds of others.

The IS-K has also claimed responsibility for the attacks against the Taliban in the Afghan city of Jalalabad in which 35 Taliban in which 35 Taliban were killed.

Undefined gunman attack Taliban vehicle in Eastern Afghanistan killing 2x Taliban fighters and three civilians.

The blast at the Eidgah mosque killed and wounded several civilians on 3 October 2021, carried out by the ISKP.

ISKP has claimed the responsibility suicide attack at mosque in Afghanistan’s Kunduz in which at least 55people were killed on 8th October 2021.

The Taliban’s crackdown on ISIS-K and its supporters in eastern Afghan provinces indicate hat Taliban consider ISKP as serious threat for the peace.

The Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan has brought pressure for IS-K and it allied Hostile intelligence agencies like RAW.

Peace in Afghanistan is possible only through supporting a structure in Afghanistan that can govern and hold the country together. Present force in rule should be supported.

The spoiler’s dream of destabilizing the region for their vested interest has failed due to crackdown on ISKP.

IS-K attacks on various parts of Afghanistan indicate that they want to create the mistrust and role of spoiler for the Taliban government in the masses.

Taliban are actually only organized force which can ensure safety and security of Afghanistan.

However international community should get engaged with the Taliban in securing Afghanistan because of failure of Taliban in Afghanistan will pose unprecedented threat to peace in entire region and the world.

Pakistan wants peace in the region and positively engaging Afghans through humanitarian assistance Role of Pakistan has been negatively portrayed by the spoilers and enemies of peace.

Pakistan feels that by isolating Taliban international community will repeat the mistakes of past. It is only through engagement that the Taliban can be softened to address international concerns about Afghanistan.

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