With Washington ready to reduce its troops in Afghanistan by 2014, G Parthasarathy looks at how the withdrawal will impact on prospects for peace, stability and economic integration in the region.
The Taliban leadership colluded with the hijackers during the seizure of IC 814 to Kandahar in December 1999
As the United States prepares to scale down its military presence and end combat operations in Afghanistan, there is unease about how the American endgame will play out. India’s perceptions on developments in Afghanistan are based on its historical experiences of having had a very friendly relationship with successive governments, since the days of King Zahir Shah.
But Taliban rule drastically changed the regional security environment. When American Cruise Missiles hit a suspected hide-out of Osama bin Laden in Khost in 1998, they actually destroyed a camp of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, where terrorists were being trained for infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir. During the hijacking of IC 814 to Kandahar in December 1999, the Taliban leadership colluded extensively with the hijackers and gave them safe passage to Pakistan, making available the car of ‘Foreign Minister’ Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil to unload the hijackers’ luggage. In the years following 9/11, the Taliban and Haqqani Network have targeted Indian construction crews, aid personnel and diplomats across Afghanistan and attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul and its Consulate in Kandahar.
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