Why Afghanistan will be a new geopolitical pivot (Pinak Chakravarty, ORF)

The Taliban’s “inclusive” government has turned out to be a farce. It is 100% male, mostly Pashtuns, including some notorious internationally designated terrorists, only two Tajiks and one Uzbek among 33 ministers. Afghanistan’s ethnic, tribal and regional fault lines are apparent, with different Taliban factions vying for power. The pragmatists have been marginalised and the hardliners, like the ISI-Haqqani network, have got an upper hand with help from Pakistan’s ISI. The Haqqani-ISI alliance had bombed the Indian Embassy in Kabul in 2008, killing 58 people, including Indian diplomats. Infighting led to a rumour of Deputy PM Mullah Baradar having been wounded, resulting in his eventual death in a Pakistani hospital. He has since issued a video message to dispel this rumour. The Al Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, a deputy of Osama bin Laden believed to be holed up in Pakistan, has also issued a video message. He too is alive. The Taliban calling the government an interim one is a prophylactic for avoiding international criticism. They have adopted a double-faced policy of catering to international demands and domestic policies. The oath-taking ceremony, scheduled for September 11, has been deferred. Regret has been expressed for the 9/11 attacks. These flip-flops, based on ISI advice, is to seek legitimacy and acceptance, vital for international aid. Afghanistan is sinking deeper into a humanitarian crisis.

Why Afghanistan will be a new geopolitical pivot | ORF (