FINGERS CROSSED
Kashmir Life|August 22, 2021
Almost everybody in academia and politics that Khalid Bashir Gura spoke to, the response over Kabul happens was simple – wait and watch
Khalid Bashir Gura

What would be the fallout of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on Kashmir? This question gained a quick currency after the Taliban took over the desert country. But as of now, few are ready to stick their neck out and predict how the situation might evolve in the weeks and months to come. The common refrain is to wait and watch

“It is much too early to say how it will impact the security of Jammu and Kashmir. There is much speculation in India about how the Taliban will be edged into Kashmir, speculation that assumes that this Taliban is the same as the one twenty years ago,” said Prof Siddiq Wahid, a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and former VC Islamic University of Science and Technology. “But the Taliban have not stood still in history and many informed analysts are pointing out that they have changed, albeit not without internal disagreement between “extremists” and “moderates”. Besides, the world has also changed dramatically as has Pakistan. These factors must be considered.”

According to Wahid, New Delhi has long defined its interest in Afghanistan as one of opposing Pakistan’s influence there.“It is an unrealistic position and that seems to be continuing, with no change,” he said. “The impact will be minimal on Jammu and Kashmir, and the most we can do is watch and wait.”

Prof Noor Ahmad Baba, former head of the political science department at the University of Kashmir, who did a wonderful book on the evolution of OIC, believes the Kabul situation will impact indirectly the security and politics of Kashmir.

“Pakistan has been relieved from that front and it can now focus on this front (Kashmir). It is a strategic advantage for Pakistan which India has lost,” Bab said. Baba expects that the Taliban will not come to Kashmir as they are pragmatic enough to focus on their own issues and problems in their country. “However, people who had out of solidarity joined Taliban from other parts may trickle down to Kashmir.”

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