Rise of Taliban: Threats of terrorism surface again

Published : Tuesday, 17 August, 2021 at 12:00 AM

The Taliban forces have regained control of Afghanistan on Sunday by entering its capital Kabul. Their 20 years long effort has gained results on the verge of the withdrawal of the US soldiers. With all these news, one thing may come out as a concern for Bangladesh as the DMP commissioner on Saturday said, few people have left the country to join the Taliban forces as the group called for help in their fights. Hardcore Islamist ideology, trademark of the Taliban and ISIS, drove towards terrorism in the past in the South Asian region. Hence, we need to be very careful that such attempts do not take place again in our country with the Taliban ideology flying high.

After 20 years of US intervention, thousands of deaths and at least $1 trillion dollars, the Taliban’s advance in the country has been strikingly swift. The US administration declared to withdraw their troops by September, 2021 on last April. After that, the Taliban forces started movement from May. During the intervention of the US troops along with NATO forces, it seemed like the Taliban forces were controlled to an extent and their power was reduced as their troops were scattered. But all that claims and assumptions now seems false as the Taliban forces regrouped and gain political power only within few months.

The role of the US administration remained under questions with this shift of power. Many thought that the US was allowing the Taliban soldiers to come out in broad daylight so that they can launch attacks. Few thought the US administration was emphasizing on their need to be on the Afghani soil. Few even claimed that, the US administration is patronizing the Taliban forces to gain power due to some unheard dispute with the Ashraf Ghani administration.

Many assumed that the US will launch air strike on the Taliban force especially when images showed the fleeing people living in open fields rather than taking shelter in buildings but that did not happen. But in reality, whatever the reason is, this re-emergence of the Taliban force is the greatest defeat of the US after the Vietnam War. The US has invested a lot in Afghanistan, many US soldiers died over the years on Afghan soil and all went to vein. It is now to see what strategies the Joe Biden administration adopts in the upcoming weeks.

Moreover, the US administration is moving out its citizens from the Afghan soil. But there are thousands of Afghani, who supported them for years and will be now targeted by the Taliban. The scenario seems very much like the ‘Saigon’ incident during Vietnam War, where the US moved its allies by helicopter. But, in these recent events, the US administration seems to abandon its allies. Additionally, these Afghanis could have already left their homeland. But due to the US prediction of when the Taliban might take control of the Afghan government, they did not. Now, if they are abandoned and harmed, the Biden administration will not be able to avoid that responsibility.

The top leaders of the Taliban hail from the ‘Mujahideen’, who were patronized by the US once and fought against the Soviet forces during the 1980s. But their relationship with the US was destroyed after their deceased leader Mullah Omar provided shelter to the deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Now the Taliban destroyed all the efforts of the US administration and exposed the region towards vicious global politics.

Now Russia and the US are expected to engage in political discussions over Afghanistan and China will also appear as a strong part this time. Russia has already called for discussion over the situation in the UN. Turkey has also declared to engage in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan as large numbers of Afghan people are trying to migrate there. Turkey also committed them to work with Pakistan over this matter. All these political movements may create turbulence in the South Asian region.

The Taliban force is guilty of connecting themselves with Islamist terrorism. They had been connected to Al-Qaeda and the ISIS. Though they take resort to Islamic ideology for the sake of their own establishment but in reality, stay far away from such. They have tortured people, oppressed women, stood against modern education and many things else in the past. Their activities and heavy dependence on armed conflicts makes the global people to believe that, they are trying to take Afghanistan and the whole world to the dark ages. We can never offset the risk of spreading terrorism with the Taliban force in power. The Muslims are also afraid that, the Taliban will bring only curse for them.

Moreover, polarization between the Muslim world and the rest of the world might create further chaos as the Muslims have been victims of ill deeds of the few in the past. The recent turn of events can led towards further victimization of the followers of the peaceful religion, named Islam. As we mentioned, the DMP Commissioner told the media that, few people from Bangladesh left for Afghanistan, even on foot, to join the Taliban to achieve their goals. He also told that, few Bangladeshis were captured in India while attempting to reach Afghanistan. The Taliban leaders called for help few days ago over the web and along with many, few Bangladeshis responded. It is very alarming.

The terrorism was rising alarmingly in Bangladesh before our law enforcers acted strongly to contain that after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared ‘War on Terror’. ISIS even wanted to establish one of their bases in Bangladesh. But it was Bangladesh PM’s visionary and courageous leadership which never allowed that intent to turn into reality. Now, with the Taliban on the scene, we are afraid that, terrorist activities might jump up. The Bangladeshi people joining hands with the Taliban in Afghanistan will return to the country someday and may start spreading terrorist activities.

The terrorist organizations heavily rely on recruitment of new ones to spread their so-called ideology. The whole world is fighting with the COVID-19 pandemic for almost two years. Many have lost their jobs in our country. The madrasa and university students are sitting idle at homes. They are easy recruiting options for the terrorist networks now. This vulnerable group can be easily influenced and that may create havoc in our country in the near future. With a COVID-19 torn economy, we cannot take further burden of terrorist activities in our country or in the region.

Not only Bangladesh, India and Pakistan also remain vulnerable to such threats. The global politics may also contribute to further vulnerability. Hence, it is very important now that, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh remain united in handling such turbulence in the upcoming days for the sake of the development of this region as terrorism and global oppression cannot be fought alone.

For now, the Bangladesh government should focus on few things. It is important to open the universities and madrasas should be opened fast as priority so that our youth remain at their educational institutions and do not remain idle. This will also help to keep an eye on their movement as now they are not scattered throughout the country. Moreover, the law enforcers and intelligence officials should remain on high alert to monitor every odd movement. We cannot act lenient on that. The government should also work on creating employment soon to bring the unemployed people to productive works, which will significantly reduce the risks of future terrorist activities in our country.

We sympathize with the people of Afghanistan as the country is constantly under civil war and foreign intervention for decades. The global forces should avoid playing politics over the fate of millions of innocent Afghanis at least from this time onwards. In terms of our country, we believe, our law enforcers and relevant authority can realize the potential risks and focus on maintaining internal and regional stability. We trust the farsighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to keep us away from any threats due to these events. We hope the rights of the Afghan people remain protected and fundamentalism as well as extremism fails at every corner of this world.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and
Chief Patron, Bangabandhu
Shishu Kishore Mela

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