The only thing constant in this world is change. Change for better or for worse. For Afghanistan -the graveyard of empires, this change has been absolute as well as nimble. Good or bad, only the time will judge. The visuals of petty afghans clinging to an aircraft wheel and then coming crushing down has not been lost to anyone. The dreadful Taliban on ground is certainly more wicked and more dangerous than an athletic death off the wheels of an Airbus or a Boeing. Certainly there is a fear among the Afghans of the Taliban takeover, but which Afghans to be precise? The speed at which the well oiled military of Afghanistan capitulated under the Taliban duress presents a completely different picture. Perhaps the antagonism for Taliban in Afghanistan is overstated. The manner in which taliban has reinforced its rule after two decades of hibernation paints a picture which portrays deep inclination of the native afghans for the taliban rule. Statements like “breaking the shackles of bondage” further strengthen this argument.
Afghans aside, what Taliban means for the world has deeper repurcussions for humanity as a whole. What Taliban represents in its entirety is a deep hostility and enimity for whatever rationality stands for. In essence the word ”taliban” is an antonym for the word ”humanity”. The Taliban normal is abnormal. Women having no autonomy, Children forced pedagogically to accept extremism, censorship on press, speech and freedom as well as a damocles’ sword of fear hanging overhead every afghan can never be normal. What it certainly represents is a nightmare, a trial and an ordeal. What the Afghans are going to go through for us, the humanity as a whole, will be the biggest debt we will ever owe for our freedoms and cherished liberty. And even that sacrifice cannot ascertain if we willl ever keep our freedoms and liberties intact. The World was already going through a turmoil, the rise of Taliban is perhaps a major climax. What is certain, for sure, is that the countdown for doomsday has begun.
The last time Taliban was in power, the world paid the price, and mind you, it wasnt cheap. Lives can never be cheap. An extremeist force like Taliban in power is a risk for everyone. Consider this dreadful power even having access to latest military hardware of the ultimate weapon manufacturer the United states of America. Things cannot go further south. Alas, they still can. A conspiring, colluding, conniving and collaborating Pakistan can always decorate its evil creation with nuclear ammunitions. Consider a nuclear powered Taliban. Mad child with a loaded gun? Perhaps, madness overloaded in Armageddon. The world is no longer safe. The nuclear wringling on behalf of Taliban can bring many sovereigns on their knees. But, no one can control such a venomous creation, not even its creator. Taliban is frankelstien’s monster on steroids. Beware Pakistan!
The United States of America has never faced such humiliation, as it is facing now with its ill thought off Afghan pull back. Perhaps, america now wants to leave aside its pointless policing of the world and focus wholeheartedly towards the containment of China. Perhaps, the United States has missed the woods for the trees. A rouge force like Taliban with access to the weapons of mass destruction is any day a bigger threat than a one-party dictatorship trying to establish a new world order. It is obviously hard tro choose between the rule of Taliban and Commmunists of China, but we must give it to the Chinese, at least they potray some semblence of rationalism and reason. The Taliban on the other hand, has no such compulsions. God willing or God forbid, if taliban decides to bite the Dragon, it would be cobsidered an American Masterstoke. The Taliban is unpredictible, and for the same reason an apple of eyes for all the kingdoms eyeing the graveyard.
India, stands today on the crossroads of achieving some sembelance of regional autonomy, specially after it has got hold of the Pakistani Nuclear bluff. However, Taliban is altogether a different ball game. All theories predicting rational behaviour fail, when it comes to predicting something as random as the taliban. The Taliban, mind you, is not a monolith. It is a confederacy of different tribes having some convergence of values. What is up for grabs for every intersted party in the afghan town is how to manipulate different contrastying aspirations of different factions of Taliban.
Afghanistan has for long been the theatre of major grand games played between the nations of the world. The rebirth of Taliban is just a bad face dealt in this long round of strategic games. The only hope perhaps is that this hand is equally bad for all the players engaged in this draw. The time for manipulations and schenanigans has begun, the game of international relations has got a new lease of life. The world is in a state of flux, and only taliban could perhaps, overshadow the wreckage brought about by the corona virus. The great games will be played again, the Afghan conundrum will continue to amaze all the observers. But one thing which is granted in this game, from the past experience is that there will be no winners. It is the game where everyone loses.
God bless us.