US-Taliban peace agreement: Unease at New Delhi

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Dr Muhammad Khan
TO the displeasure of American Deep-state (establishment), the impulsive President Donald Trump has finally inked a peace agreement with Afghan Taliban on February 29, 2020. This was an exceptional occasion in the modern history of international relations, where a super power was forced to sit, negotiate and finally signed the peace agreement from the position of parity. It was great news for the people of Afghanistan, who had not seen peace in their country for the past four decades. The peace agreement was primarily based on the pulling-out of foreign forces from Afghanistan in a period of 14 months. Withdrawal of foreign troops was the basic demand of Afghan Taliban, who started their armed insurgency against the foreign invasion soon after Taliban Government ended in 2001. Besides, people of Afghanistan, the peace agreement has been hailed by all regional countries; China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian states. In fact, unstable Afghanistan has been a root cause of regional instability and economic dis-integration. Apart from regional states, the peace agreement has been appreciated by international community at large. Owing to foreign invasions, international power-play and domestic chaos, the people of Afghanistan has suffered a lot in last four decades. The civil war, insurgency and sufferance of the people in Afghanistan were globally felt as humanitarian catastrophe.
Unlike a world-wide appreciation of US-Taliban peace agreement, India is viewing it with lot of fury and frustration; criticizing even US and President Trump. Indeed, a peaceful, politically stable and economically affluent Afghanistan runs against the needs and narratives of New Delhi. India needs an Afghanistan which remains dependent on her for its all needs including its security and defence. An unending instability in Afghanistan would have provided India with an opportunity to stay there, use its soil and resources for its own national interests while further sliding Afghanistan towards dependency over New Delhi. Afghan peace and stability will leave no excuse for the New Delhi to stay in that country and exploit it any more. Quoting Zahoor Khan Marwat’s article of September 7, 2019, “Horizon of peace in Afghanistan makes India unhappy”. This is a reality that, any prospect for the peace and stability in Afghanistan would make India, a worrisome country. It wants to see Afghanistan in turmoil and involving it in an endless conflict. Astonishingly look at some Afghans who still view India as their saviour. As an observer and writer on Afghan affairs, I have been analysing all major events of terrorism taking place immediately, once there was any effort made for the return of peace or reconciliation between the warring factions and Kabul administration and efforts like Murree Peace talks between Afghan Government and Taliban in July 2015.It was first officially acknowledged peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and Kabul Regime, concluded an agreement to meet again.
In most of the cases, the peace efforts were sabotaged and dislodged at critical stages through well-planned terrorist attacks in and around Kabul resulting into massive casualties. Taliban and Pakistan were blamed for all these Indian sponsored terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. In fact there is a strong nexus between Indian spying network-Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghan spying network-National Directorate of Security (NDS). Since its establishment in 2002, NDS is being manipulated and run by RAW with dozens of its high level advisors, middle level officials and low level field operatives working at its Headquarters and various parts of Afghanistan. This unholy nexus of RAW and NDS is the real source of instability in Afghanistan. RAW-NDS nexus finds a bleak future following the US-Taliban peace agreement, thus started all out efforts for sabotaging it. A very recent terrorist attack (March 6, 2020) in Kabul killed over 32 people, who gathered to pay homage to Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari. This was first terrorist attack on a civilian gathering after US-Taliban peace agreement. Though Daish took the responsibility of this bloody attack, however, the real story is quite different. This terrorist attack was a major attempt to assassinate the political leadership like Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan planned and executed by RAW-NDS nexus.
Such a high level killing would have pushed Afghanistan towards another chaos and ethnic based civil war, sabotaging the peace agreement. The sources within Afghanistan believe that, this terrorist attack was a joint effort of RAW and NDS, aiming mainly to dislodge the peace agreement. Indeed, NDS is a hostage in the hands of powerful Indian spying network-RAW. NDS does what RAW directs it to do. It is widely believed that, Tajik and Hazaras have decided to support the US-Taliban peace plan and wanted to celebrate it. There is news that, Taliban are being joined by other ethnic groups of Afghanistan which attracted wraths of RAW-NDS unholy nexus. RAW is infuriating and inciting NDS that it will have limited or no role under Taliban led future set-up, thus wants sabotage it before it become a reality. In a way, RAW-NDS nexus is the real enemy of peace and stability in war-torn Afghanistan. This reality has to be known by the people and intelligentsia of Afghanistan, who have been misled since 2001. US-Taliban Peace Agreement has unnerved New Delhi. There is an unease and frustration among Indian leadership and its strategic planners. The strategic planners at New Delhi are of the opinion that, the huge investment India has made in Afghanistan is going to be wasted. US-Taliban agreement will restore peace; bring political stability and economic prosperity, making Afghans masters of their own destiny. This would leave no space for the external powers and those exploiting Afghan masses and Afghan soil for their vested interests. For the state and society of Afghanistan, it is a rare and indeed a golden opportunity for the restoration of peace and stability through intra-Afghan dialogue and reconciliation. Let New Delhi and abovementioned spying networks remain at unease while being away, since they are enemies of peace in Afghanistan and Afghan needs peace.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

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