terror-unlimited-on-kabul-gurdwara-attack

Recent attack on gurdwara in Kabul has killed 25 people, mostly members of Afghanistan’s persecuted Sikh minority.

More about the news:

  • The attack was claimed by Islamic State(IS) and as stated by them it was to take revenge for Kashmir.
  • However, The Taliban have denied having anything to do with the gurdwara attack.
  • Recently,UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in theatres of conflict across the world, to enable governments, health workers and humanitarian aid agencies to access those who might be most vulnerable to COVID-19.

ISIS in Afghanistan:

  • To revive its fortune in the country: ISIS attacked the country at a time when it is politically divided and the peace process is hamstrung by the Taliban’s continuing violence.
  • ISIS is concentrated in the eastern parts of Afghanistan.
  • ISIS suffering setbacks: It has carried out several attacks in the past targeting the country’s minorities. But, in recent months, the jihadist group suffered setbacks in the wake of sustained military operations by both Afghan and U.S. troops.
  • Taliban has sometimes attacked ISIS in Afghanistan as it finds it as a threat to their political ambitions.

Violences against minority communities in Afghanistan: 

  • The Hazara Shias were brutalised during the Taliban regime in 1996-2001. 
  • Because of this most Hindus and Sikhs, once spread across the country in hundreds of thousands, have fled the country. 

Implications of the attack

  • This recent attack has reminded again that ISIS is a potent security threat.
  • By attacking the gurdwara and an adjacent housing complex, the IS has not just terrified the country’s minorities but also questioned the peace process and the authorities.

Major concerns of India 

  • It can be concluded after this attack that the US-Taliban deal can not bring peace to Kabul.
  • If the IS claim of attacking Gurudwara is true, then it means Taliban have yet to begin honouring that commitment.
    • The pact says Taliban have committed themselves to eliminate the Islamic State from Afghanistan.
  • Pakistan and Gurudwara attack connection:
    • India’s response:The Ministry of external affairs called the attack “diabolical” and condemned the “perpetrators and their backers” , which directly hints towards Pakistan.
    • Haqqani connection: The Taliban’s operational leadership is now in the hands of Sirajuddin Haqqani of the Haqqani group, which has been blamed for several attacks on Indian targets, including the 2008 Indian Embassy bombing in Kabul. 

Problems faced by Afghanistan:

  • Contested election result: Afghanistan has two presidents now along with the burden of agreement between the US and Taliban which has brought no respite.
    • One led by Ashraf Ghani, who was declared winner of the September presidential election, and the other by Abdullah Abdullah, who has disputed the results and formed a rival administration. 
  • Afghanistan faces two contagions: COVID-19 and the relentless violence.
    • Ineffective US-Taliban deal:The peace agreement reached between the Taliban and the U.S. failed to bring any halt to violence, with the insurgents and the government not being able to reach an understanding even on a prisoner swap.
    • Herat province emerging as epicentre of COVID-19: It shares a border with Iran and the attack could not have not come at the worst time than this.

The leadership should realise the magnitude of this crisis instead of only caring about staying in power.

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Image Source: Indian Express