What the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan means for India

Delhi had invested heavily in supporting the Afghan government and will now struggle to compensate for the loss of influence in the region with the Taliban in power in Kabul, as Maroosha Muzaffar reports

Wednesday 01 September 2021 17:46
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<p>In this 22 August 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters search a vehicle at a checkpoint on the road in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan</p>

In this 22 August 2021 file photo, Taliban fighters search a vehicle at a checkpoint on the road in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan

With the collapse of the Afghan government and the military takeover of the Taliban, the geopolitics of the region has been forever altered — with few relationships in South Asia transformed as “dramatically” as that of Afghanistan and India, experts say.

All neighbouring countries will be concerned by the spillover effects of a Taliban-led Afghanistan – even those with better ties to the Islamist group and who, like Pakistan, celebrated the events of last month. From heightened refugee flows and a scaled-up drug trade to the rise of known and emerging terror groups, all will be worried by the unstable situation.

But India has been one of Kabul’s closed regional partners for nearly 20 years since the US-led coalition last ousted a Taliban government, and has now been “dealt a really bad deal” by events to the north.

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