Context: During the pandemic, open terror attacks have been reducing, presumably because terror outfits lack resources. However with their past resilience, they continue to pose threats to modern society, especially to India and its neighbourhood.

Still a threat for India and the world

  • Once the pandemic eases, we may see a resurgence of terror. 
  • The aggravation of poverty in developing nations due to COVID-19 could offer a fertile ground for recruitment and intensified religious indoctrination, which are dangerous to peace.
  • Al-Qaeda is still strong: In the past few years, it is true that the al-Qaeda has lost many of its leaders in encounters with U.S. agencies. 
    • The al-Qaeda has a robust cadre from which a strong and young leader could still emerge to lead it in order to intimidate the civilised world.
    • Global reach backed by global ambitions: They are present not only in West Asia but also in Africa. The other outfits  JeM, LeT, etc. are confined to the Afghanistan-Pakistan area.

Doha Accord 

  • Withdrawal of troops: The US will draw down its troops in 135 days and the NATO or coalition troop numbers will also be brought down. And all troops will be out within 14 months (all would include non-diplomatic civilian personnel).
  • What Taliban Commit?: The main counter-terrorism commitment by the Taliban is that Taliban will not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies. 
  • Removal of sanctions: UN sanctions on Taliban leaders to be removed by three months and US sanctions by August. 
  • Prisoner Swap Clause :According to the agreements, 5,000 Taliban prisoners will be released by March 2020, the first day of intra-Afghan negotiations, and the remainder in another three months. A possible trouble spot because the US-Taliban agreement and the joint declaration differ.
  • On ceasefire:  The agreement states ceasefire will be simply an item on the agenda when intra-Afghan talks start, and indicates actual ceasefire will come with the completion of an Afghan political agreement.

Implications of Doha Accord for India: The Doha Accord signed between the Taliban and the U.S. is considered a great victory for the Taliban, and to a smaller extent for Pakistan, but has some serious implications for India.

  • The U.S. is now less hostile to the Taliban because it has agreed to a near total withdrawal of its troops in return for the Taliban’s promise to preserve peace in Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban and the al-Qaeda need each other in many areas. 
    • Both are friendly towards Pakistan and could pose a problem or two to India in the near future. This is worrying.
    • Many recent raids by the National Investigation Agency point to an al-Qaeda network in India. 
  • Training support received from Pakistan: This is one factor that makes the al-Qaeda and other terror outfits still relevant to India’s security calculus. 

We should keep a particularly close eye on the al-Qaeda and the Islamic State because there is evidence that their recruitment remains undiminished by the problems posed by the pandemic. 

Image source:

After reading this article, answer the following question for Mains answer writing practice. Also you can get your answer checked free of cost by clicking on the following link.

For Mains:

Q) The Doha Accord signed between the Taliban and the U.S. has some serious implications for India. Explain. (150 words)