Fall of Kabul, 2021

While the US prepared their exit by 9th September 2021, the Taliban rose to become the dominant political and military power in Afghanistan. After capturing Herat in the extreme west, the Taliban proceeded rapidly towards the east, where the bigger cities like Kabul and Kandahar are located.

This is not the first time the Taliban has risen to power following an unstable Government in power in Kabul. In 1995, a civil war started in Afghanistan, following which the Taliban rose to power. After a failed attempt, the Taliban established their base at Herat on the western part of the country, and again launched an offensive to Kabul. Kabul fell in 1996 and Afghanistan passed into the hands of the Taliban. The siege was only for 5 years, but it resulted in Afghanistan’s economy rolling back at least 25 years.

Mass destruction, killing and raping of women, and blowing up of archaeological monuments are features of the Taliban regime. US troops gradually repealed the Taliban from 2001 onwards and took up Kabul. However, they could not completely wipe out Taliban leadership and ideology and it soon gained momentum in remote parts of the country. Though the Taliban were a nightmare for the women, Taliban support still built up on a large scale across the remote regions. The US alleged that Pakistan sponsored the Taliban providing them shelter in Quetta.

Several countries like India, Afghanistan Government, the US, Russia alleged that Pakistan is a safe haven for terrorist organizations. The allegations were proved right when Osama-bin-Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 US bombardment attacks was found and killed in Pakistan. For a brief period, the progress of Al-Qaeda and Taliban were overshadowed by the rapid progress of ISIS in Syria, Iraq, and their suicidal attacks in other parts of the world. Heavy bombardment by the US, Russia and other world superpowers ensured that ISIS didn’t last long. While the world helped Syria and Iraq wipe out ISIS, the US was making peace talks with the Taliban to ensure peace in Afghanistan. After the fall of ISIS, the Taliban still held their ground with military and finance aid from neighbouring countries that allegedly include Pakistan.

Things took a decisive turn as US President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by 11th September, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The US made a peace deal with the Taliban, where mutual peace and unity between Afghanistan Government controlled areas and Taliban controlled areas were signed. However, as soon as the withdrawal of US troops started, the Taliban started capturing one city after another in bitter street fighting. Within 3-4 weeks, the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, the southern city of Kandahar, the western city of Herat was captured by Taliban forces.

The Afghan military provided almost zero resistance to the Taliban attacks, most of them switched sides taking the opportunity of lack of nationalism and leadership from the Government. Despite Joe Biden assuring that Afghanistan is self-sufficient in military power to combat any Taliban uprising, the reality shows a completely different picture. Covering almost the entire Afghanistan, the Taliban now attacked Kabul from all sides. The Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul on the night of siege and took refuge in either Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. Street fighting started in Kabul but there was hardly anyone loyal to the Afghanistan Government and most has switched sides. Kabul passed into the hands of the Taliban, who now proclaimed their country as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The fall of Kabul in August 2021, marked the beginning of a new era of Taliban rule over Afghanistan. Parts of the city, around the airport, where most of the foreign residents living in the country are escaping were spared from damage. As soon as all foreign countries finish their evacuation of citizens, entire Afghanistan will pass into the hands of the Taliban. Many Afghans want to leave the country to find shelter in other developed countries but are unprepared given how quickly the Taliban captured one city after another. While Taliban rule is a nightmare for women and minorities, they have no option other than hope that the new rule of Taliban will not be doing mass raping or ethnic cleansing and treat everyone with respect and give importance to education and growth of the economy of the war-torn country.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Taliban Rising in Afghanistan after US Withdrawal

The word ‘Taliban’ means students in the Pashto language. The ideology of the Taliban has its roots in northern Pakistan in the 1990s when the Soviet Union troops were withdrawing from Afghanistan. Taliban is a militant organization, formed based on Islamic extremism. The Taliban proclaimed the territory they occupied as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. At one point of time in 1998, the Taliban controlled more than 90% of Afghanistan land. Since then, they were pushed back to the verge of extinction by the US forces who sided with the current Afghanistan government in Kabul.

Peace talks resumed between the US and Taliban in 2018, when both parties signed a peace deal, allowing the safe withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan. In 2020, another peace deal was struck between the two parties, as President Donald Trump initiated the withdrawal of US forces from the territory of Afghanistan. After his landslide victory at the 2020 elections, US President Joe Biden has proclaimed that the withdrawal of US forces is going to be completed on 11 September 2021, marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the US. This proclamation had some effect on the current rise of the Taliban.

Taliban captured mostly the rural and inhospitable lands of Afghanistan. Major cities like Kabul and Kandahar are still in the hands of the Afghanistan Government. However, in the past 3 months, the Taliban has made great advances to big cities and has almost reached the outer fringes of both Kandahar and Kabul. Taliban leadership, however, has stopped progressing since then and focussed more on gaining strongholds in regions they have captured.

India chose not to support the Afghanistan Government, neither it is supporting the Taliban. The Afghan Vice-President openly declared that the Pakistani Air Force is giving full aid to the Taliban in their attacks, a claim that Pakistan denies. India air-lifted 50 officials and security personnel from Kandahar city as the fighting grew among the Taliban and Afghan forces at the outskirts of the city. Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in India has clarified that the Kandahar consulate has not shut down and will be operated by the locals. Two foreign missions in the northern town of Mazar-e-Sharif have also closed their operations due to violence in the area.

The rise of the Taliban is certainly a threat to the restoration of local culture and tradition. The 2001 destruction of Bamiyan Buddha in Taliban controlled provinces of Afghanistan, strict punishments, and mass killings have only made the Taliban worse in the early 2000s. However, many say that Afghan forces are not strong enough to combat the powerful Taliban, and may collapse if US forces withdraw anytime soon. In this view, the US needs to stay longer, and India should also try to foster dialogue between all parties concerned to bring peace and harmony in the region.

Written by – Himadri Paul

SINO-INDIA WAR OF 1962

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

THE MOUNTAIN BLUNDER OF 1962

The world has tremendously changed since 1962, 1965 and 1971. Now, the world has become better and worst. With the Azerbaijan-Armenia war going on people have accepted the fact that war is the ultimate solution for the problems.

We, in India are crying for war. On social media, the so called Social media warriors cried out loud for war with China and Pakistan. People living in the comforts of their home are looking to launch a war.

On the other hand, Pakistanis are calling out names to Indians and telling them that, China will beat Indians to its core. Indians are inciting Pakistanis by telling them that this Winter, we will take back Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Some are providing theories about the strategy Indian Government is going to follow.

The Two-Front war is an option for the Indian government.

Let’s see what we are betting on and the mistakes of the Past Indian Governments

We have the highest number of volunteers in the world who are willing to join the Indian Armed forces without any compulsion on their part. There are no need to serve the Army under any compulsory provisions unlike- Israel, China and South Korea. We have a Tibetan origin citizens inducted in the armed forces and serving the country and are very good along the Mountain Terrains fighting along side.

We have come a long way since 1962, a blunder by then Prime Minister Mr. JawaharLal Nehru who was blind to not see the Chinese invasion as a threat, country who has just engulfed an entire nation ‘TIBET’. And asked the Generals of the army to keep an eye on Pakistan instead of China.The man who ran to the UN asking for peace refused to use Indian Air Force against China, sometimes it feels like Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru was under the influence of a foreign power who forced him to take these decisions on China that resulted in “THE MOUNTAIN BLUNDER OF 1962”.

Later, the Government of India recognised ‘TIBET’ as the part of China putting an end to the ‘TIBET Freedom Struggle’. Our own Defence minister told the Parliament during the UPA government tenure that, We didn’t make roads along the China Border to counter China from the threat of Invasion.

So as per him, the government policy was not to develop roads so that, if China invaded, they couldn’t get their heavy war machines inside India. But, we couldn’t understand one thing, how the Indian Armed Forces will get reinforcements and their heavy machinery along the border if we don’t have road in case of war.

All these years we have thought of the ‘MOUNTAIN BLUNDER’ and had a ‘RED RIBBON’ on our eyes when we talk about war. We are the major importer of substandard Chinese products and have a huge trade deficit with China.

The world has changed a lot
How come we never talk about Aksai chin glacier? Why do we only talk about POK?

Aksai chin is under the control of the Chinese PLA. But, in the Map of India, our schools taught about POK but never about the parts that Chinese PLA has illegally occupied and have captured many parts along Indian Border overtime during the last 70 years.

WHAT WAS THE COMPULSION OR CONSTRAINT?

They refrained themselves from using the Indian Air Force. What was the compulsion on the Indian Government that forced them to accept the annexation of Tibet into China even though Dalai Lama was given asylum in India. Why these government in the Past have bowed down to every whims and desires of the Chinese government without taking a stand against the Chinese aggression.

These so called Padma Shree awardees are a disgrace to the country and have did nothing to stop the Chinese from bullying us. We have been bullied for the last 70 years and now for the first time we understood how Fragile and spinelees the Chinese Aggression is because we took a stand for our country. And yeah it is the time to win back what is ours. We have a long history of Patience and an image of non-aggressor.

It’s time for the Chinese or Pakistanis to go on a cry for help to United Nations, not India. Not Today…! 

A test for the United Nations?

To support our SPEAK UP campaign: https://youngindianrevolution.com/speak-up/

To read on Sino-India war: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Sino-India

 

Huawei Ban by the United Kingdom: Is it the new Cuban Missile Crisis?

The rising tension between the United States and China has managed to raise a few eyebrows. Experts of the field brought to the fore their concern regarding the beginning of a possible “new cold war” that may be largely concerned with the technical arena. The COVID-19 crisis has brought down serious devastation to the world and this situation when compared to the disastrous possibilities that this conflict carry is just about negligible exclaimed several scholars. A layman’s view of the situation would presumably term the ongoing dispute as one that is very similar to the Cold War of 1945. However, even several experts of the field have termed this conflict to be one similar to the Cold War that haunts people around the globe even to this day. An influential economist and Colombia University professor, Jeffrey Sachs, explained the BBC that the deepening of the ‘Cold War’ between the two nations will pose as a bigger worry post the pandemic.  The Economist informed BBC that “the world is headed for a period of “massive disruption without any leadership in the aftermath of the pandemic as the divide between the two superpowers will exacerbate this.” Moreover, BBC has put in writing that the pertaining issues amongst these two nations are “bigger global threat than a virus.”

The worsening relationship between the two countries was sped up by an emergent (technical) issue concerning the declaration of the UK to ban Huawei. Will this turn out to be “the Cuban Missile crisis” of 2020? The answer might not be that simple. The most important distinction that might refute such a claim is that the crisis of 1962 resulted due to deployment of ‘Soviet ballistic missile in Cuba’ that was considered by the United States (US) as a threat. This confrontation is often considered by History as the turning point of the Cold War as this issue might have transitioned into a full-scale nuclear war; whereas the present conflict between the USA and China is a technological one and has nothing to do with warfare. Nevertheless, we know very well that the control of technology is of utmost importance in this modernized world. A nation that manages to do this, in all likelihood, will be the one emerging as an all-powerful and dominant nation dictating the world order and at the same time upsetting the “status-quo.” In this sense, a rough comparison can be drawn between the two crises. Moreover, the sanctions imposed on Huawei have been a result of the rising fears regarding Chinese tech companies spying and promoting global espionage. In response to the sanctions, China said that it would soon impose its sanctions on the US-based defence contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp. regarding their missile sales in Taiwan. These moves provide a glimpse to the rapidly deteriorating situation and how quickly it might take a turn for something cataclysmic.

The limited role assigned to the Chinese company, Huawei, with regards to the creation of 5G infrastructure in the United Kingdom (UK) was put to a stop with the country’s declaration regarding the ban of the company in the UK. Digital and Culture Minister of UK Oliver Dowden claimed to several news outlets that the imposed sanctions by the United States may have “significantly changed” the outlook of the company. “Given the uncertainty, this creates around Huawei’s supply chain, the UK can no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment,” said the Minister. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “the tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.” The decision that might seem to be a big win for the “Trump administration which has been pushing allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks, arguing that the Chinese company is a threat to national security” stated the news outlet, CNN; the United Kingdom might also risk retaliation from the Chinese government which might not be productive as after Brexit, Britain is going to look around for new trading opportunities.  

The review by the nation’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on the impact of the sanctions issued by the United States resulted in this ban. Furthermore, the government has ensured that Huawei is removed completely from the UK’s 5G network established by the end of 2027. It has also ensured that no 5G kit by the company is available in the market for purchase by December 31, 2020. Dowden also made it clear that there was a need to implement a bill regarding Telecom security to implement a “tough new” framework in regards to telecommunications. According to DCMS, this will allow the government to control the “high-risk vendors.” The government made clear that the move has been sole to strengthen national security and is not targeting “one company, one country, or one threat.” The Times of India stated that in response to the ban, the company made clear that “its future in the UK has been politicized.” The company has stated that this not about the security concerns of the nation, but about “United States trade policy.” Several analysts opined that the decision of the United Kingdom came as a shock to the company as it hoped that it would not be influenced by the decisions of the United States government. However, as the Chinese government implemented a “controversial national security law in the former British colony,” indignation against Beijing made the UK “opt against Huawei.”

The decision to ban the Chinese telecommunication giant was termed by Beijing on July 15 as “America’s dupe.” Moreover, it vowed to take steps to protect the interests of Chinese companies. The Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made clear “China will fully and solemnly assess this matter, and will take a series of necessary measures to safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests.” Hua said, “Any decisions and actions (by Britain) must come at a cost.”          The spokeswoman of the foreign ministry claimed London “(acted) in coordination with the US to discriminate against, suppress and eliminate” Huawei, and accused the nation of “America’s dupe.” Along with this, Beijing made it clear that Britain most probably would face “repercussions for the move,” and announced that Chinese companies should think twice before investing in the UK. “This is an issue that seriously threatens the security of Chinese investment in the UK, and is also a question of whether we can trust the UK market to remain open, fair and free from discrimination,” said Hua. “We have also reminded all Chinese enterprises to attach great importance to the increasing political security risks they face when conducting business in the UK.”

CNA, a news outlet, explained that the United States government “requested the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on fraud charges, worsening relations between China and Canada, where she is currently under house arrest.” Such pieces of news reports show that the walls of China-USA conflicts are no more impermeable; it involves other countries as well no matter if it wants to take a side or not. The issue regarding Huawei highlights how it is emerging as an extremely significant determinant of the ongoing geopolitical war. The crisis back in 1962 ended as a result of much deliberation and a few compromises from the countries that decided to go toe to toe, indirectly. Such steps were taken to prevent an ill-fated future and catastrophic conditions that would not have been handled easily by any nation. Proper research in this arena may reveal more information regarding this speculation and how it can be averted, but such preventive measures are the need of the hour even today. Although analysts around the globe might have different takes on who is to be blamed for the hostilities, it is time that each nation, no matter their position or standing, introspect and retrospect as to stop this war once and for all. The result of this “new cold war,” no matter how different it is from the previous one, could be fatal and too costly to bear irrespective of how big economy a country has.

                                                                                                                  Sagarika Mukhopadhyay

Battle of Tibet for a sense of identity

Tibet is one of the biggest victims of Human Right Violation to date. It was once an independent state headed by Dalai Lama (Spiritual and political Head of Tibet) but was forcefully annexed into China by then ruling of the People’s Republic of China. Since 1959, people of Tibet have been struggling for their rights such as Freedom of Expression, Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of Identity.

“These 50 years have brought untold suffering and destruction to the land and people of Tibet. Today, the religion, culture, language and identity … are nearing extinction; in short, the Tibetan people are regarded like criminals deserving to be put to death … However, the fact that the Tibet issue is alive and the international community is taking a growing interest in it is indeed an achievement. I have no doubt that the justice of Tibet’s cause will prevail, if we continue to tread the path of truth and nonviolence.” – The 14th Dalai Lama, 2009.

Tibet is a region on Tibetan Plateau in Asia, covering 2.4 million square kilometres, about ¼ of Total Chinese territory. It is the highest region on earth with a mean elevation of 4900 meters. Tibet holds strategic importance due to its proximity with India, the type of terrain it holds and It also is a centre of Buddhist Religion.

Tibetan dispute dates back a century, Tibet declared independence after falling of Qing Dynasty and kept function as Independent protectorate till 1959.

Tibetans signed a seventeen point agreement, handing over their sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China. Now China uses this very document as their validation over Tibet.

HISTORY OF TIBETAN UPRISE:- Timeline

1959- In Lhasa full-scale uprising broke out, tens of thousands die in brutal suppression by Chinese. Tibet was invaded by some 30000 Chinese troops who tortured, molested and raped an estimated 1.2 Lakh Tibetans. Dalai Lama’s government was exiled.

Dalai Lama was offered refuge by India. About 1 lakh people followed Dalai Lama to India and took refuge here, they were made to lose their homeland, to preserve their cultural and religious identity.

1965– Chinese authorities recognized Tibet as T.A.R. (Tibetan Autonomous Region). China retaliated the Indian move of providing Dalai Lama refuge by waging war against India.

1987- Dalai Lama asks to establish Tibet as a zone of peace and reinitiate dialogue for betterment of Tibet and it’s people.

1988- China imposed martial law in Tibet after a serious of riots as the initiations of Dalai Lama failed considerably.

1989- Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as the International community recognized his contribution and selfless efforts to establish peace.

  • Present Scenario

This region is administered by China as T.A.R..Tibetans accuse China of carrying large scale Human Rights Violation and changing the outlook of the region by promoting large scale migration of Han people.

Chinese authority always responds to demonstrations by Tibetan people by further restricting already strict norms and snatching basic rights such as freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of religion. Journalists and Reporters are not allowed to report matters of Tibetan people, their grievances often fall on deaf ears.

It is a famous saying that to destroy any society one needs to destroy their faith, this very plan was appointed by China and about 6000 monasteries were destroyed.

In recent turns of events, United States planned to recognize Tibet as Independent as a way out to pressurize China, this move is purely political but still, it serves its purpose of concentrating Global Attention on Plight of Tibetan People for Independence.

By Shubham Yadav