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  • Writer's pictureK S Deepak

Good Taliban and Bad Taliban: 2 sides of a “Khota sikha”

Afghanistan has been the focal point of discussions among military strategists and defense analysts for a long time. It is a land with battle hardened people who would fight till their last breath. History is a witness to the fact that whosoever has tried controlling Afghanistan has achieved nothing but failure and despair.

One may think why so many players were drawn to this land to fight a battle in this treacherous mountainous terrain. The one thing to blame for such ill-fated ambitions is the location of Afghanistan itself. It is at the confluence and cross roads of geo-politics.

  • India sees it as its immediate neighbour as part of its concentric circle approach.

  • Pakistan also sees it as its immediate neighbour.

  • For Iran it is part of its West Asia politics

  • For China it is its gateway to Central Asia.

  • For Russia it is part of its extended backyard.

But what’s interesting is the notion of good Taliban and bad Taliban. For starters, Good Taliban is the Afghan Taliban whereas Bad Taliban is the Tehrek-e-Taliban. To understand the dance of geo-politics in Afghanistan let’s break up the events. First, let’s see where are these actors present.

Then let’s dig into the dynamics one-by-one.

  • Afghan Taliban and Tehreek-e-Taliban

Both these actors have pool of leaders from tribals or Pashtuns and hence are very closely related.

  • Pakistan’s and China’s support for Afghan Taliban

One of the primary reasons for Pakistan’s support for Afghan Taliban is because it feels that it can use them as a puppet and influence its relations in getting its hand deep into the world politics.

China’s support for the Afghan Taliban is because of the immense potential it possesses. Whether in case of minerals or its geo-strategic location.

  • Tryst of NATO/ US and Pakistan

Now Combining all these and we get an interesting picture.

And hence, the dance of weapons and river of blood keeps on...

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