Recently two developments have taken place in Indo-AF-Pak region. First the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. This has unsettled the U.S. and India immensely. The U.S. wanted to come out of Afghanistan after 20 years of remaining over there post 9/11, hence it made deal with Taliban, but at the same time the U.S. didn’t ditch Afghanistan and President Biden rightly said that there were about 300,000 well trained and well equipped security forces of Afghanistan with intelligence and other support from the U.S., hence there was no chance of Taliban taking over Afghanistan. But Afghan security forces including its President Ghani fled in the face of Taliban at Kabul and Biden had no option than to watch it passively because the U.S. doesn’t want to commit tens of thousands of more troops in Afghanistan.
This has created a situation where a militant Jihadi outfit the Taliban is ruling Afghanistan and it is an explosive situation. Everybody knows that when a force brings someone in power then it derives its pound of flesh. Hence, Islam (which installed Taliban in power in Afghanistan) is bound to derive its pound of flesh from the Taliban as Hinduism is deriving, which brought the Hindutva forces in power in India.
Islam will do it by exploiting the Kashmir problem, which has a potential (if not solved) to bring the nukes of Pakistan under the control of Jihadi elements of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir-specific militant Jihadis, for the purpose of waging war for snatching Kashmir militarily from India.
A second development has taken place, which is the death of the Kashmiri so-called separatist and very popular leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
If the U.S. wants then it can still rectify the situation in Indo-AF-Pak region in view of this second development as explained below:
(1) After Geelani now there is only one Kashmiri leader who is popular and has credibility among Kashmiris, namely, Yasin Malik, who is allegedly being persecuted as per his wife Mishal Malik.
(2) Yasin Malik has been granted clemency/pardon by the Indian government for his past violent acts and after that he has not indulged in violence. Hence, presently, Yasin Malik is accepted all over India as a genuine non-violent leader.
(3) Yasin Malik’s health may not allow him to lead a nationwide campaign for a plebiscite in J&K, etc. Hence Mishal Malik on his behalf can do it. Also, being a lady and with the Kashmir problem full of human rights issues, Mishal Malik will be able to mobilize people from all across India for the cause of human rights in the Indo-AF-Pak region.
(4) Mishal Malik has one more advantage in leading such a mass movement from India. She is said to be close to the Pakistan establishment and is from Punjab which is a predominant province of Pakistan. This will make Pakistan comfortable if Mishal Malik leads such a mass-movement all across India.
(5) Mishal Malik will easily be persuaded by the people of J&K on both sides of the LoC and Balochistan to lead this mass-movement in India. But the governments of India and Pakistan may create hurdles by way of passport, visa, etc., to stop her. This precisely here that the Biden administration can help in case she wants to lead such a movement.
(6) Because Afghanistan does not recognize the Durand Line, which is the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, any dispute resolution between India and Pakistan is bound to include Afghanistan, too. This may result in a mini-SAARC and is the only solution for this region post Taliban-Afghanistan.
Hem Raj Jain