• Recently, the Taliban has seized Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, raising questions over the US and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) trained Afghan Forces.
  • The Taliban have proclaimed that there will be no witch hunt, that it will respect a transitional process, and that it will work for a future Islamic system that is acceptable to all.


  • The Taliban, or students in the Pashto language, emerged in the early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.
  • It is an Islamic fundamentalist political and military organisation operating in Afghanistan. They have dominated Afghan polity for quite some time and feature regularly in international affairs.
  • The Taliban have been fighting against the U.S.-backed government in Kabul for around 20 years. They seek to reimpose their strict version of Islam in Afghanistan.

Important points:

  • On 11th September 2001, terrorist attacks in America killed nearly 3,000 people.
  • So, a month after 9/11, the US launched airstrikes against Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).
  • After the attacks, the NATO coalition troops declared war on Afghanistan. The US dislodged the Taliban regime and established a transitional government in Afghanistan.
  • The US had reached the conclusion long ago that the war was unwinnable and approached for peace talks.

Implications for India:

  • The first concern is for Indian diplomats, personnel and citizens based in Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban’s control will also mean a bigger hand for the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies to influence outcomes for the country, which will mandate a much smaller role for Indian development and infrastructure work that has won it goodwill over the past 20 years.
  • There is the threat of growing radicalisation and space for pan-Islamic terror groups in India’s neighbourhood.

Way Forward

  • First option for India is to stick to its principle of backing only a democratically-elected government in Kabul, and providing political and humanitarian support while that lasts.
  • Also, India can learn from US-Taliban talks where two opposing parties came to the negotiating table for talks on Afghanistan’s future.


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