A conflict – geographical, political or ethnic – is always fueled and supported by external forces. There is hardly a place in the world where the conflict, even though it may have originated from legitimate grievances against the state, remains indigenous in spirit and intent. Conflicts have always been exploited by hostile adversaries. Fishing in troubled waters is the global norm.
Pakistan’s proxies in Kashmir are gloating over the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The recent developments in Afghanistan are likely to have a direct impact on the overall Kashmir situation. External forces, particularly Pakistan, are desperately on the lookout to create more trouble in Kashmir.
The situation demands prompt, pro-active response from the state. The state cannot afford to repeat the past mistakes of ignoring the undercurrent. Some problems have become deep-rooted in Kashmir partly because the state did not respond when the challenges were the undercurrent.
The thrust must be on the security scenario. Politics can wait. One cannot limit the outlook to the assessments and observations of political or defense analysts. The state cannot afford to get caught in the morass of assumptions and presumptions. The challenges are real.
The Taliban fighters of Pakistani origin or from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir are leaving Afghanistan. According to credible intelligence reports, many have returned to Pakistan with the intention to engage the Indian security apparatus in and outside Kashmir. The weaponry left behind by the US-NATO forces is coming in hordes from Afghanistan to Pakistan. This is a huge concern. In the Taliban’s quest of Kabul lies the bloodbath in Kashmir. People have started correlating the folk tale of “Kabul Kandhar beye Kashmir (Kabul, Kandhar and Kashmir)”. According to the folk tale, the fate of Kabul, Kandhar and Kashmir is the same.
After the Friday prayers on September 10, someone wrote on social media, “Mullah k tewar Badlai Badlai se hai.” The Mullah appears changed.
The challenges are multi-pronged. It is imperative to address the internal simmering. The state cannot afford to allow the external forces to sneak in. The state must remain alive to the enormous challenges posed by the reinforcement and realignment of the disruptive forces. This is a critical time. It vests immense responsibility upon the state.