By Meryem Betül KEBAP
Redacted by Sami BURGAZ
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan created a power vacuum in the region. To fill the void, the Taliban began to carry out attacks and quickly made significant progresses. The Taliban, which initially operated in rural areas, quickly captured city centres by carrying the success they achieved in the countryside to the municipalities.
Flashback: Taliban gained ground towards Kabul on Sunday, August 15, 2021, and captured the capital without any significant resistance. President Ashraf Ghani resigned –citing that he did so to avoid bloodshed– and fled the country as Taliban took over the capital.
- In response Washington deployed 5,000 troops to safely evacuate US personnel from the region. Moreover, important documents were destroyed by US embassy staff before the eviction.
- Similarly, the United Kingdom has deployed six hundred soldiers to withdraw their personnel.
- Other nations are also rapidly evacuating their citizens and embassy staff
On the other hand, Russia plans to invite the UN Security Council to an emergency meeting to evaluate the developments in Afghanistan. By contrast, Russia announced that it will not close its embassy in Kabul as the Taliban gave security guarantees.
According to the report published by the Financial Times, it is assumed that some high-ranking officers withdrew as a war tactic to reunite and initiate an uprising against the Taliban.
Besides, the report includes the following statement of an Indian government official about Afghanistan:
“If anybody thinks it’s going to be a peaceful rule for Taliban or Afghanistan is going to be under their complete control and domination — no, (…) There is always going to be this thorn in their backside.”
China: For China, the developments in Afghanistan are significant in the context of the Belt and Road Project. Regional instability and insecurity have a negative impact on the project. For this reason, establishing peace in the region is crucial for China.
Following the China-Taliban meetings in July, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared that the Taliban is an important military and political force in maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan. This statement provided the Taliban the legitimacy they desired in the international arena. In addition, China has also announced that it will support the Afghan government in maintaining its independence and sovereignty.
On the other hand, the possibility that the Taliban administration would support separatist movements, which is an important issue in China’s domestic politics, can be worrying for Beijing. However, Afghanistan’s impact on China should not be overstated.
- Chinese expert Pan Guang claimed that China has started to cooperate with other countries in the region to prevent the spread of instability in the area and that the only thing China can do for Afghanistan is to support post-war reconstruction. In addition, the expert underlined that the USA should be responsive to the region.
India: It is possible that India will be in a relatively disadvantageous position in the newly formed Afghanistan.While China, Russia, Iran, and Pakistan will be influential in the region, India will have to explore new advantages for itself.
Furthermore, China and Pakistan are expected to diminish India’s involvement in Afghanistan. One of India’s interests in the region is regional connectivity. However, the plan to open a corridor between Pakistan and Kabul within the scope of the Belt-Road Project increases the importance of Pakistan diminishing India’s influence in the region.
Pakistan: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Sunday that they are attempting to maintain good relations with the region regarding the latest developments in Afghanistan.
“When the time comes, Pakistan will recognise the Taliban government in line with international consensus, ground realities, as well as Pakistan’s national interests (…) Pakistan agrees that there should be no military solution to the Afghan issue and wants all problems to be resolved through dialogue (…) Pakistan has always played the role of a facilitator in Afghanistan and will continue to do so (…) It is our neighbouring country, therefore, we want to establish good relations with it.”