The Russian influence in Afghanistan is not intrigued in backing Taliban, supplying weapons through Afghan and Tajikistan border and financing as well are among known ways. The Putin regime has stated that it was supporting Taliban against Islamic State but Afghan government has clear stance that weapons which Russia provides to Taliban are being used against their armed forces. According to the Guardian News Reports, Afghan army Brigadier-General, Muhammad Nasar Hedayat, told the locals that the Taliban were using Russian modern night vision sniper scopes against their forces in Farah province during their clashes with Taliban.
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, claimed that the United States was supporting Islamic State in Northern areas of Afghanistan. Muhammad Zahir Wahdat, a former warlord and governor of Afghanistan northern Sar-e-Pol province, stated that the unmarked military helicopter was seen at militant stronghold areas but neither United States nor Afghan government denied that news. On the other hand, Russian pretended that the United States armed forces released Uzbek terrorist Azizullah from its detention center at Bagram airbase in 2016.
Still the United States rejected these plots but it remains a question then who supports Islamic states in northern areas of Afghanistan? The former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, stated that no stranger could trick the US intelligence, and bluntly declared just last month that Islamic state could not possibly have expanded into Afghanistan without foreign support.
On Monday, Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself to target the Sikh minorities in Jalalabad when they were meeting the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani. In this suicide attack, at least 19 people were killed and many wounded. Among these people, only Sikh candidate named Avtar Singh Khalsa, who was running for the parliamentary election in Afghanistan in October and Rawail Singh, an active civil society activist in Kabul, were killed in that attack. Morever, on Saturday the Islamic State targeted a school in Khogyani district and beheaded three workers and a school was set on fire.
In this proxy game of imperialist states in Afghanistan, the Tehran role is not negligible and its relationships with Taliban to ensure its eastern border from ISIS is another factor behind that. The ties among Afghan government and Iran became cynical when the former supported Saudi Arab’s operation in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the latter started supporting Taliban and welcomed them to open offices in Mahshad and also provides training and weapons to them. However, it will enhance Iran’s relations with the Northern Alliance if they continuously maintain them because Northern Alliance are the adored allies of Iran in Afghanistan. One thing is clear that when interests change ultimately, the allies do change as well in the form of new ferocious warlords and then the quadrilateral coordination would become vague for the people of Afghanistan.
On November 4, 2017, Ismail Khan, the former Afghan warlord having close business ties with Iran, stated while giving interview to Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, that the American troops must leave Afghanistan but on the other hand, he declared that the complete pullout of the foreign troops would create dilemma in Afghanistan and admitted that the former Mujahidin filled that vacuum when foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan. It seems that Afghanistan is not a buffer zone but it is war zone for different imperialist states which are fighting for their geopolitical interests and using their proxies in the contour of new and former warlords to defend their shares but certain vicious proxy warlords are damaging and leading Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic groups towards escalation of such conflict and already there are around 1000 members-only left in the Sikh community and others migrated to India.
Remote areas, where most Pashtuns are living, are under the control of Taliban groups and the government tries to make peace in these areas. On the other side, the United States sent 3000 more troops to Afghanistan under the supervision of National Security Advisor, H.R Mc Master. He was one of the architects of President George W. Bush troops that surged in Iraq and depreciated in religious and ethnic war. However, the tension between warlords leads it towards ethnic tension which is apparently unstoppable for the Afghan government. Notably, the Northern Alliance is not in the favor of the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan because they consider it a menace to their domination and the arrival of Gulbadin Hekmatyar intensifies the conditions because Hekmatyar and Dostum are rivals of each other and once close opponents. Once Dostum and Atta Muhammad Noor had aligned against Hekmatyar and it also disturbed the United States and weakened the Afghan government to tackle that warlords-conflict. This will exacerbate the circumstances in Afghanistan and the consequences would be in the contour of ethnic war.
The Writer belongs to Quetta and studies Sociology at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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