by K.S. Tomar
It was a big diplomatic win for India when it persuaded Russia and
China to abstain and not to veto UNSC resolution condemning the violence in Afghanistan and committing to restoration of peace there, besides demanding that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter
or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist acts.
India also identified terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) — and the importance of combating terrorism
in Afghanistan thereby emphasizing the obligatory commitments of the
Taliban in this scenario.
Key nations like France and the UK have already warned that the
Taliban government will be judged by the implementation of the resolution. For Russia, it was a moment of sadistic pleasure to see the US pullout from Kabul as the sole superpower’s defeat whereas China took a neutral stand in view of its ambition to become a superpower.
Diplomatic experts believe that Russia and China could never project
themselves as naked supporters of terrorism in Afghanistan and had
abstained during UNSC voting though they sought to portray themselves as champions of Taliban to take revenge against the US.
New Taliban regime in Kabul also recognizes the initial and consistent
stand taken by Russia and China, which is facing the wrath of America
and its allies thereby making it most difficult to convince world
community about their credibility and intentions to desist from
denigrating women, preserving human rights of people and indulgence in
While openly expressing gratitude to China, the Taliban have made it
clear that they support China’s One Belt, One Road initiative that
seeks to link China with Africa, Asia and Europe through an enormous
network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks.
Taliban consider China as their most important partner that represents
a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity because it is ready
to invest and rebuild Afghanistan. The exploitation of rich copper
mines in the country can be put back into operation and modernized and
in addition, China can be a window of a new government to markets
all over the world.
On the other hand, Russia has again shown its sincerity of old trusted
ties of friendship by standing with India which was evident from clear
observations of Russian ambassador to India, Nikolay Kudashev who
felt that recognition of Taliban as the new
government of Afghanistan is “too early to say”. He asked, ‘is there any government or any governing structure officially
available in Kabul now?’ Not yet. Moscow’s position is “very close” to that of New Delhi — wanting an Afghan-owned government.
In view of the unexpected stand of Russia and China in
UNSC, Pakistan’s celebrations might have been dampened as it is known for harboring terrorists even those sanctioned by the UN.
India is aware that the Taliban have formed the new
government in Afghanistan hence every nation will have to deal with
them, so New Delhi opened a back channel diplomatic effort last month.
America is also not against having engagement with the new regime, which will unfold with the passage of time.
China, which while focusing on its expansionist policy and containment of US and India in South Asia, has preempted all nations and announced $31 million
aid to Taliban regime in Kabul, which is yet to face its biggest
challenge of getting international recognition, essential for long term survival.
Meanwhile, the whole world is aghast over the formation of 33 member cabinet by Taliban, not having even a single woman, and majority of
them are hardliners, religious fanatics, anti-women and favor strict
implementation of ‘Sharia Law’ with force etc.
The writer is a national columnist and political analyst based in New Delhi.