ISIS South Asia Taliban

What the Taliban–IS rivalry means for South Asia (Kabir Taneja, ORF)

Afghanistan has vacated the front pages of the global news cycle as the Taliban consolidates its hold on the country after 20 years of war. However, the crisis points in the State and the conflicts that surround it are evolving in a fast-paced and erratic manner, highlighting developing challenges from the perspective of terrorism in South Asia. From a political point of view, the Taliban, an Islamist insurgency, is now responsible for statecraft, security, and bizarrely, counterterrorism.

The steady rise of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), the Islamic State (IS)’s Afghan affiliate in Afghanistan, around the narrative of victory of the Taliban was not entirely unexpected. Throughout the process of the Doha negotiations, which culminated with the United States (US)-Taliban exit deal (February 2020), the IS ecosystem and its online propaganda machinery continuously chided the Taliban for aligning with the US, and by association losing any upper hand in being leaders of the jihad against the enemy (the US, the West). It is interesting to note that the IS’s pushback against the Taliban’s posturing viz-a-viz the US is not exclusive or a first-time event, challenging the West.

What the Taliban–IS rivalry means for South Asia  | ORF (

Iran Middle East Taliban

Enemy of my enemy: Iran and the Taliban (Mohammed Ayoob, The Strategist)

The Taliban victory and the American exit from Afghanistan have shuffled the pack in the region in multiple ways. Several of Afghanistan’s neighbours with major stakes in the country have reacted to these developments with ambivalence. Pakistan, the Taliban’s major external source of support and its primary advocate in the international community, has exulted over the Taliban coming to power in Afghanistan because it serves its strategic objectives vis-à-vis its nemesis India.

Enemy of my enemy: Iran and the Taliban | The Strategist (