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Afghanistan turns into safe haven of terrorists, rapists and drug traffickers

Middle East, Taliban, US ambassador, Afghanistan, George W. Bush, Daesh, Islamic State, Al Qaeda

Oped

Afghanistan turns into safe haven of terrorists, rapists and drug traffickers

Taliban has invaded Afghanistan and already declared rebranding the country as Islamic Emirate, which will be ruled by a Caliph, meaning, the country is now going to become another Islamic State following Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi’s flopped attempt of doing the same in Iraq and beyond. The most alarming fact here is, Taliban commander Muhammed Arif Mustafa in his statement said: “It’s our belief that one day, mujahedin will have victory, and Islamic law will come not to just Afghanistan, but all over the world. We are not in a hurry. We believe it will come one day. Jihad will not end until the last day”.

What does that mean? Taliban will onwards provide shelter to Islamic State (Daesh), Al Qaeda as well as other radical Islamic militancy outfits in growing strength and target most of the nations in the Middle East, Asia and beyond, while intensify terrorist attacks in the West. It may be mentioned here that, the Taliban have gained a reputation for brutality and enforcement of a harsh brand of Islamic justice in the five years they ruled until being toppled by invading US-led forces in 2001.

The Taliban of the past were infamous for denying education to women, carrying out public executions of their opponents, persecuting minorities, such as the Shiite Hazaras, and destroying priceless ancient giant stone Buddhas at Bamiyan.

According to Afghan affairs experts there is no reason to believe that a new Taliban regime would not be another humanitarian eyesore.

So far, in the areas of the country where they have regained control, the Taliban “have been executing people summarily, they have been lashing girls and women, they have been shutting down schools. They have been blowing up hospitals and infrastructure. Taliban fighters hunting Afghan homes in search of young girls and unmarried women with the nefarious agenda of using them as sex slaves. According to reports, hundreds of girls and women had already fallen victims of rape immediately following the August 15 Taliban invasion of Afghanistan.

Ronald Neumann, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan during President George W. Bush’s administration said, “thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of Afghans who believed in the US are suddenly finding themselves the subject of Taliban reprisals”.

It may be mentioned here that, Taliban has been considering those Afghans who cooperated with the US for the past twenty years as “enemies of Islam”. There will be summary execution of hundreds or thousands of people, while female members of these families will become victims of gang-rape.

Commenting on the Taliban, former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said: “The Taliban are terrorists, and they’re going to support terrorists”.

He said “If they take control of Afghanistan [now Afghanistan is under Taliban control], there is no question in my mind that they will provide a safe haven for al-Qaida, for ISIS and for terrorism in general. And that constitutes, frankly, a national security threat to the United States”.

Ghulam Isaczai, Afghanistan’s representative to the United Nations gave similar warning saying that in “deliberate acts of barbarism, the Taliban are assisted by transnational terrorist networks”.

Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI — has helped foster the Taliban prior to the religious movement’s 1996 takeover in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s military, in particular, has long viewed an ideologically and religiously like-minded Afghanistan as a necessary bulwark against its traditional rival, India.

The Taliban in Afghanistan helped inspire the deadly Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, more commonly known simply as the Pakistani Taliban. The leaders of the two groups are reportedly at odds and don’t share common goals. Even so, “if there is a Taliban government in Afghanistan, certainly that’s going to embolden the [Pakistani Taliban].

The last time the Taliban were in power, they turned Afghanistan into a virtual pariah state — isolated from the rest of the world, save for Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — the only governments willing to recognize them. But in recent weeks, top Taliban leaders have been on a whirlwind international tour, visiting Iran, Russia and China.

China has reportedly promised big investments in energy and infrastructure projects, including the building of a road network in Afghanistan and is also eyeing the country’s vast, untapped, rare-earth mineral deposits. And Beijing was already reportedly preparing to formally recognize the Taliban before the group seized control of the country.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Taliban see China as a source of international legitimacy, a potential economic supporter and a means of influence over Pakistan, a Chinese ally that has aided the group.

Taliban’s invasion of Afghanistan is going to ultimately turn the country into safe haven of radical Islamic militancy groups including Al Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh), while the Taliban leaders will join hands with transnational drug trafficking rackets.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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