India fears renewed risk in Kashmir amid rise of Taliban

India’s leaders are anxiously watching the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, fearing that it’ll profit Pakistan and feed an insurgency within the disputed area of Kashmir, the place militants have already got a foothold.

t Gen Deependra Singh Hooda, the previous navy commander for northern India between 2014 and 2016, mentioned militant teams based mostly throughout the border in Pakistan would “definitely try to push males” into Kashmir, following the Taliban victory in Afghanistan.

Lt Gen Hooda added it was too early to foretell if any inflow of fighters into Kashmir can be “in numbers that destabilise the safety scenario” and push the area right into a navy confrontation.

Neighbours India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir and each international locations rule elements of the Himalayan area, however declare it in full.

Indian officers fear that Afghanistan underneath the Taliban could possibly be a base for organising Islamist militants in Kashmir, a lot of whom are allied with Pakistan of their wrestle towards New Delhi.

The Indian authorities has referred to as the Taliban Pakistan’s “proxy terrorist group”, and supported Afghanistan’s US-backed administration earlier than it was overthrown in August.

Syed Salahuddin, the chief of an alliance of Kashmiri insurgent teams, referred to as the Taliban’s victory “extraordinary and historic” in a voice message shared throughout social media days after the autumn of Kabul.

Mr Salahuddin, who relies in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, mentioned he anticipated the Afghan group to help Kashmir’s rebels.

“Similar manner, within the close to future, India too might be defeated by Kashmir’s holy warriors,” he added.

In the previous few years, anger in Kashmir has deepened after the Indian authorities – led by a right-wing Hindu nationalist celebration – stripped the Muslim-majority area of its semiautonomous standing.

Indian officers say that the Taliban’s rise may draw extra recruits and weapons for Kashmiri fighters coming from the Pakistani facet.

Pravin Sawhney, a navy professional and editor of FORCE, a month-to-month journal targeted on India’s nationwide safety, mentioned: “Pakistan’s geopolitical stature has risen with the approaching of Taliban, and this may end in hardening of its place on Kashmir.”

Pakistan’s highly effective spy chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, travelled in early September to Kabul amid hypothesis that he was there to assist in the formation of the brand new Taliban authorities.

Across the similar time, India’s overseas secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, flew to Washington the place he mentioned the USA and his nation had been “intently watching Pakistan’s actions in Afghanistan”.

Forward of the ultimate US withdrawal, India was one of many first international locations to evacuate its diplomats after Taliban fighters entered Kabul on August 15, fearing for the security for its workers.

Indian officers preserve that Pakistan-based militant teams like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, each believed to have helped the Taliban marketing campaign towards the US, may use Afghanistan as an working base and coaching floor.

In 2019, Jaish-e-Mohammad took credit score for the deadliest bombing in Kashmir’s insurgency – a blast that killed 40 Indian troopers and introduced the 2 nuclear-armed neighbours to the brink of conflict.

“We do have considerations in regards to the free ingress that these two terrorist teams have had in Afghanistan,” Mr Shringla mentioned in Washington.

“The function of Pakistan must be seen in that context,” he added.

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