India’s close allies in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are concerned about the security ramifications of the emergence of a medieval theocratic Afghan state and the links of the global jihadist network to the Taliban regime.
By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 02:50 AM IST
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud is expected to visit India this weekend to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, even as Qatar has taken the initiative to diplomatically engage Kabul and legitimize the Taliban.
India’s close allies in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are concerned about the security ramifications of the emergence of a medieval theocratic Afghan state and the links of the global jihadist network to the Taliban regime. The two countries are also disturbed by the active role played by Qatar, Turkey and Pakistan in their engagement with the Sunni Islamist regime in Kabul, with Islamabad quickly sending its first commercial flight to Kabul. Qatar is handling the technical side of Kabul airport operations, while the Taliban are still considering handing over airport perimeter security to the Turkish military.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the situation in Afghanistan with UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on September 3 by telephone, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar welcomed Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the President of the United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates on August 30 and exchanged notes on Kabul. crisis.
It is in this context that the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs is expected to arrive in India on September 19. Prince Faisal is expected to meet with EAM Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and appeal to Prime Minister Modi. Jaishankar leaves for New York for the UNGA and the QUAD summit the next day.
Even though Qatar has been the main actor in the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan with Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani and Special Envoy Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani visiting Kabul last Sunday, the global community is far from legitimizing the ultra-conservative regime in Kabul. It is evident to the international community that the current Taliban regime enjoys the full military and political support of the Pakistani ISI, its leader playing the kingmaker role in the formation of the government in Kabul.
The international community is also concerned that 17 of the 33 ministers of the new Afghan cabinet are designated as global terrorists by the UN and sanctioned against them. Home Secretary Sirajuddin Haqqani actually has a $ 5 million bounty on his head from the US State Department. The head of the Haqqani network, the deadliest of the terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, is also the country’s new intelligence chief.
As countries like China, Pakistan, Turkey and Qatar attack the Taliban, the international community measures Sunni Islamists with Security Council resolution 2593 before launching a call to legitimize the male-dominated regime , who indicated that he had no space for women and minorities. This time, Afghanistan outside of the Indo-Pacific and the coronavirus will resonate at UNGA next week.