Naser Koshan

The likely transformation from White to Black


As ISIS is rapidly cherishing fame and brutality at volatile regions across the Middle East, the Taliban, on the other hand, in order to remain relevant have began to transform as a face of the so called Islamic state in regional politics. Unfortunately, the semi- functioning governments in Afghanistan so far have been extremely naïve in strategizing their reconnaissance of state enemies and thus, act accordingly when it comes to its national security and that of its regional relations.


The intrinsic similarity between the rookie ISIS, and the, seasoned Taliban, is the bond linked to their Salafi-Wahabi ideology. Taliban at the prime of their rise in Afghanistan started killing the Shiites and left no stones unturned in demolishing ancient monuments, the destruction of the Great Buddha sculptures was as one of their headiest criminal act ever, while they were also not in good terms with the majority Sunni Muslims in the country. ISIS, on the other hand, has the same approach towards other religious groups and no doubt could easily influence and attract fighters within the declining Taliban ranks and launch deadly attacks in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region. Recently a group of Taliban has already announced their allegiance to Al-Baghdadi and has gradually started replacing their white flag to that of ISIS’s black banner. Both the state TV and other private channels are repeatedly showing a group of masked men fighting the local army, burning houses and public executing, these men are believed to be behind the recent kidnappings of 30 hazara ethnics, the fate of whom are still unknown.


The predecessor to President Ghani, assuming that by overlooking Taliban’s brutalities and calling them die heart brothers would eventually incite them to come to talking terms and denounce violence, nonetheless resulted in further escalation of their deadly attacks on civilian and military targets and proved that they have no regards whatsoever for any reconciliation. Now the Pakistanis are confident enough to tally a fraction of its puppet, Afghani-Taliban, in the recently formed national unity government under soon to start peace talks in China while keeping a greater portion under the banner of ISIS to resume its ongoing proxy war and keep its strategic foe the Indians at bay in Afghanistan.  No doubt, Taliban had miserably failed in delivering an acceptable alternative to the Afghan people since ousted from power in 2001; they lacked the autonomy over their actions and intentionally exploited to the fullest by its flag-bear the ISI and Pakistan’s army establishment.


In his recent interview, former Pakistani president Musharaf openly admitted its country’s role in engaging in a proxy war with India in the last decade in Afghanistan. Apparently, the Indian embassy bombing, kidnappings of Indian road engineers, suicide attacks on the Indian consulate in Herat as well as numerous attacks on Indian diplomatic sites in eastern Afghanistan are a few examples worth mentioning. He subsequently blamed the Karzai administration for its utter inclination towards India and welcoming hostile assets in his administration towards Pakistan. The old general reiterated that there is a viable chance of re-igniting the so called proxy war if the national unity government ignores their concerns and does not work in close proximity with the state players in Pakistan which is known to be the ISI and the army.  India on the other hand, has openly rejected such claims and has overruled it baseless and Pakistan’s self-made theory to cover-up the destruction and misery its policies have caused the Afghan people.


In fact, the Pakistanis have a tremendous track record of playing around with the Afghan officials in the past as well. They intentionally divided the then Mujahedeen groups under ethnic and linguistic lines with the sole intention of debilitating their unification and avoiding any probable disobedience against their orders. They repeated the same technique with the Taliban, organizing them under different leaderships to encourage disunity among them and if one group showed tendency for any reconciliation with the Afghan government, the other group would retaliate and undermine the efforts. It is widely believed that certain elements within the electoral commission had the same assignment which resulted in non-formation of a democratic government in recent elections, emptying its place to the current two-headed coalition sharing.


Author: Naser Koshan

Washington, U.S.

March 2015

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