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American left Afghanistan and consequently the Taliban took over a bankrupt nation in August 31, 2021. The United States never succeeded in inducing good governance in Afghanistan or persuading Pakistan to stop its multifaceted support for the Taliban.

US President Joe Biden imposed sanctions, announcing that a substantial portion of Afghanistan’s official reserves amounting $4.9 billion held in liquid assets such as US Treasury bonds and gold offshore- would not be made available to the Taliban Government. In addition, Washington directed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to renege on its long-planned release of funds to Afghanistan. As everyone knows that the IMF cannot release any money to a Government that is not recognized by any of its member-nations. It is still not clear by any media report that if the United Nations is asking its state members to lift their sanctions against Taliban. India like other countries is sending relief material including wheat to support the hungry Afghan people who are left with no money. Desperately poor people hit by Covid-19 drought and economic contractors in Afghanistan where 90% of people live in poverty and 30% are acutely food insecure. Deborah Lyons, the UN secretary general `s special representative for Afghanistan said, ‘The Afghan people now feel abandoned , forgotten and indeed punished by circumstances that are not their fault.’

As the world knows it, the Taliban depends heavily on narcotic income. Multiple factors drive opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, such as political instability, scarce employment opportunities, lack of quality education and limited access to markets. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC),there is an increase by 37 percent in 2020 in cultivation of opium in Afghanistan. History is witnessed that brutal regimes like North Korea, Iran, Venezuela or Myanmar can sustain despite blanket western sanctions.

A threat has increased to the world including India from a bankrupt nation. According to a July 2021 media report, Taliban fighters, over the years, had been directed  by the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) to attack Indian infrastructure in Afghanistan.

It is a fact  that Pakistan has always provided a shelter to the powerful factions of Taliban. Al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS) operate under the banner of the Taliban`s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Offshoots such as AQIS in South Asia are better placed to operate in a more aggressive manner than Al-Qaeda’s central leadership. India including western countries must uplift sanctions and release the frozen economic assets of Afghanistan before it slides to the wrong hands. Illicit and informal economies under the Taliban and their further isolation from the world will worsen the situation.  The world leaders must sit and resolve this issue. The sooner it is done the better it is for the safety and security of the world.

Dr. Rahul Kumar, Ph.D. in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi(India), is an independent researcher. The views expressed in this article are personal. 


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