Millions across the world are shocked by the scenes of desperation coming out of Afghanistan, as the Taliban took control again. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country with suitcases full of cash. Rich or poor, people are rushing to the airport to leave the country. Although different countries are having different reactions to this Taliban takeover, as they have different perceptions about this issue. Due to Afghanistan’s geographical location, many neighbouring countries are having an interest in the country. Read the article below to find out the countries responsible for the Afghanistan-Taliban tragedy.
The U.S invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to root out Al-Qaida, the terror group which planned the 9/11 attack. After they caught Osama Bin-Laden, they stayed there for a long time until President Joe Biden decided to pull out completely. The U.S troops helped by investing, training, and equipping the Afghan forces for the past 20 years. The Afghan troops had lacked ammunition, resources, supplies, and even food. This is the reason why Afghan troops weren’t capable enough to fight against the Taliban. As the U.S. shifted their focus to Iraq, the Taliban gradually took over Afghan’s countryside until fully occupying the country. Also, the U.S. once supported the Taliban, to fight against the Soviet Union. Therefore the Nato countries and Pakistan teamed up and they were the actual major creators of the Taliban. After being successful in kicking out the Soviet Union and catching Osama Bin Laden, the U.S didn’t leave and stayed there for two decades. In 2020, then-President Donald Trump announced a plan to withdraw and signed a deal with the Taliban that limited the U.S. military to take action against them. But President Joe Biden then announced that the last troops would leave by the end of August 2021. As U.S. troops left by their planes, some Afghan citizens risked their lives by clinging to the aircraft and tried to leave the country too.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has helped financially and supported the Taliban logistically from the very beginning. The ISI also has strong relations with the Pakistan-based Haqqani network, a militant group that works closely with the Taliban. Sirajuddin Haqqani is the leader of this Haqqani network and has also been a deputy leader of the Taliban since 2015. The Taliban own real estate in Pakistan from which they receive large amounts of money from private individuals. When the Taliban took over Kabul, Pakistani PM Imran Khan said that the Taliban were “breaking the chains of slavery.” Pakistanis are doing peace talks with them and even calling them ‘Guardians’. Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government had good relations with India, but things may change now under the Taliban’s rule. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan may have anti-India Jihadi groups from now on.
Many countries have invested and funded in Afghanistan, and China being a large stakeholder in the country is now actively showing a response to protect its multi-billion-dollar investments. Especially the Belt and Road initiative by China that seeks to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and water to improve regional integration, increase trade and stimulate economic growth. The reason why China has invested so much is because Afghanistan has mineral deposits in its lands that are worth $3 trillion. Also, the country is home to the world’s largest reserves for Lithium, the key ingredient which is used in batteries for electric vehicles and the renewable energy industry. Although for the past two decades, China has been observing very closely and maintained a low profile. When America left the country after 20 years, China got the opportunity to step in their shoes. Even Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, a man who once came to India from Afghanistan and took training in IMA, but eventually became a leader of the terror organization- Taliban, has also travelled to China for talks with Chinese Officials. This proves the alliance between the two countries.
In the late 70s, the Soviet Union chose to invade Afghanistan, due to the fear that the U.S. might establish a rule there after losing to Iran. But due to the rise of their enemy Taliban and 15000 deaths of their soldiers, they eventually left the country in 1989. But now after the Taliban took over in 2021, Russia is interested in making ties with the same terror group who was their enemy at one time. When the USA, European, and Indian governments rushed to rescue their citizens and Afghan colleagues out of Kabul, Russia was one of the very few countries which was not visibly alarmed by the Taliban takeover. Also, a month before the Taliban captured Kabul in 2021, their delegation visited Moscow to assure that they wouldn’t threaten or interfere with Russia’s interests. It’s a sign that even the Taliban consider these ties as a priority.
Lastly, Afghanistan itself is responsible and failed to stand up against the Taliban. Despite the investment, training, and funds provided by other countries, the Afghan government led to a failure. The U.S spent millions of dollars by giving fighter jets to Pakistan to fight terrorism, but they didn’t do the same with Afghanistan. This is one of the major reasons Afghanistan failed. Afghanistan’s former Vice-President and caretaker current President Amrullah Saleh with Afghanistan soldiers giving tough fight against Taliban and showing resistance in Panjshir Valley.