will terrorism increase in india after taliban’s takeover of afghanistan

will terrorism increase in india after taliban’s takeover of afghanistan

Writers: Ajay Sahni
20 years have passed since the September 11 terrorist attack on America. If we look back, in these two decades, because of this one incident, the world changed completely. It is also no less dramatic that when the 20th anniversary of this terrorist incident was approaching, America was preparing to leave Afghanistan. In the end his return turned out to be completely chaotic and contrary to what was predicted. Perhaps it would be correct to say that Afghanistan was served before the Taliban.

Daesh’s influence diminishes
America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is being seen as the last battle fought in Saigon in 1975. However, after that incident, America strengthened itself as a global superpower. Even at this time, questions are being raised about American power, but its power remains intact. It still accounts for 23 per cent of global GDP and nearly six times the per capita GDP of China. There are certainly concerns about America’s policies, but the truth is that it will continue to be a force that can influence the world for a long time.

Paramilitary personnel out on patrol in Kashmir’s Srinagar (Photo: BCCL)

The war waged by the US in the name of counter-terrorism, spread chaos throughout the Middle East. Western countries moved to Iraq, Syria and Libya, which cannot be called logical in any way. As a result, where there was a valid reason for America’s entry into Afghanistan, its power was weakened. The worst effect of all this was the rise of terrorism. For a short time, Islamic State or Daesh emerged, which occupied large areas and spread terrorism around the world. Global terrorism was at its peak in 2014. Daesh was the most active in this, but since then the influence of this organization has diminished. It was feared that thousands of fighters returning home after the fall of Daesh in 2017 would bring violence to the West. However, nothing of the sort happened. Despite these estimates, there have been no organized terrorist attacks in the US or Europe. Now the major threat in the West is domestic right-wing terrorism.

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India was also affected by these events going on in the world. When America was attacked in 2001, that year also proved to be the worst for India in terms of terrorism. That year, 5504 people died in terrorist incidents. 4011 lives were lost in Jammu and Kashmir only. There has been a decrease in deaths across the country since 2011. In 2020, this number had come down to 591 and this year till September 5, the figure is 366. Jammu and Kashmir had the least number of deaths in 2012, only 121. However, later their number increased. Till September 5 this year, 162 people have lost their lives in terrorism-related incidents. The reason for the rise in these cases is the politics of polarization and questionable domestic policies.

Osama bin Laden called for jihad in India on behalf of Al Qaeda in 1996. After this, similar appeals were made several times. In 2014, Al Qaeda created an organization for the region. Despite some success in Jammu and Kashmir, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind failed to make any effective network. It has not been able to commit any major crime on Indian soil.

Daesh released its map in June 2014. This map used to show where the dominance of this terrorist organization is in the world. In this India was included as part of ‘Vilayat Khorasan’. This gave rise to fears that there could be large-scale terrorist attacks. Seven years have passed since then. Daesh or its affiliates did not commit any major crimes. A group influenced by Daesh had carried out an incident. On 7 March 2017, an explosion took place in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train. 12 passengers were injured in this. One proof of the declining influence of Daesh is that only 169 Indian nationals went to Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan to join it. Of these, 56 have been confirmed dead.

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military readiness
The reality is that Islamic terrorist organizations operating from the soil of Pakistan and backed there are the main threat to India. They too have lost their influence in the last two decades. There are many other reasons behind this including increasing international pressure on Islamabad. There is a flying speculation that the terrorists fighting the war of jihad in Afghanistan are now empty. After the Afghan victory, they may move towards Jammu and Kashmir.

Terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir did not decrease because Pakistan did not have people or because it lacked resources. The reason for the decline in terrorist incidents was the Indian Army and the support it got at the local level. After the withdrawal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, it would be unwise to dismiss outright the fear that terrorist incidents could increase. Similarly, it would be unwise to jump to any conclusion by panicking.

(The author is Executive Director, Institute of Conflict Management and South Asia Terrorism Portal)

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.

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