NO MATTER the propaganda it has launched to tell the world that it has changed for the better, nobody believes that there is something like a good Taliban. In the past some days since the infighting in Afghanistan worsened, the world at larger started realising that all the so-called ‘good’ side of Taliban is proving to be exactly otherwise. And that is the reason why every country around the world is in a tearing hurry to withdraw to safety all its citizens in Afghanistan for various reasons. For political reasons, some countries may have lent support to the Taliban all right, but they, too, are in a hurry to evacuate their citizens from the strike-torn Afghanistan for reasons of safety and security, throwing to the wind all the assurances of good behaviour by the terrorists now trying to capture power in the geographically rugged and politically traumatised country. It is obvious that many Taliban moves have bombed. Right as they started dominating the internal attrition, the Taliban declared that women and children would be safe in their regime, and that schools would be reopened at the earliest and that a liberal society would be the aim of the Taliban upsurge. The Taliban also declared amnesty to Afghanistan President Mr. Ashraf Ghani and his deputy -- both of whom have fled the country -- but the twosome is not willing to buy such promises of good conduct. And the reason for this global reluctance to accept the Taliban as something civilised is obvious -- Taliban’s own overall conduct. The world just cannot forget the images and stories of how the Taliban is whip-lashing women for not adhering to whatever dress code it certifies as okay, or the terrible killings of innocent persons in the streets of Kabul and other places in Afghanistan.
The world also has refused to ignore the gory details of the Talibanic oppression as recounted by thousands of evacuees from different countries. The world is also not willing to accept the possibility that the Taliban is imposing the Shariyat law in Afghanistan, by way of which raucous punishment even to small offences and crimes would be handed down to the people. This aspect has created a new problem for Pakistan whose political leadership is acting in full support of the Taliban. A question is being thrown up in Pakistan’s civil society if the Imran Khan Government, too, would implement Shariyat law and drag the country back into ages long past. That is the reason why the Northern Alliance forces are getting not just international but also internal support as they mount a stiff resistance to the Taliban particularly in the border areas adjoining the neighbouring countries. In the past one week or so, what seemed like a one-sided victory of Taliban now seeming to be turning into a nightmare for them. If this is the picture of international situation on the northern fringes of Afghanistan, India has stood tall and firm against any illegitimate terrorist organisation to have an upper hand in the internal conflict. It is against this background that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s virtual meeting with Russian supremo Mr. Vladimir Putin has to be viewed. Though the details of the discussion would never be known, there are reasons to believe that Mr. Modi communicated to Mr. Putin India’s unwavering commitment to its stand on the issue of Afghanistan.
Obviously, Russia cannot brush aside the Indian position simply because of its strategic, diplomatic and economic compulsions. India has a foot in the Russian door, no matter what stand Moscow takes. On the other hand, the United States has put its diplomatic machinery into an overdrive to ensure that everything goes well if it decides to extend its pull-out deadline beyond August 31 -- though the Taliban has started making dangerous noises against any such possibility. Let alone all that hollow threat, the US and the world has come to know by now that the Taliban is not at all as strong as it initially projected, the assistance from countries like Russia, China and Pakistan notwithstanding. And the realism in this international assessment cannot be ignored. For, even though it may have established an upper hand in the internal attrition, the Taliban has also exposed its weaknesses badly.