No Present Threat Of Taliban Entering Kashmir: Officials

(This was originally posted in The Hindu by Dinakar Peri)

There is no immediate threat of the Taliban coming towards Kashmir but there is apprehension that the whole Afghan situation could embolden Pakistan-based terror groups operating in Kashmir, according to assessments, said a defence official.

“What may happen is that Pakistan based terrorists may get emboldened by the manner of U.S. military exit in Afghanistan and Taliban gaining ground. They may do something with the confidence,” a senior defence official said. “Next 4-5 years, we do not see any Taliban coming in,” the official stated.

With U.S. military almost exiting Afghanistan, the Taliban has made major advances in the last few weeks and gained new ground, raising apprehensions of their possible influx into Kashmir.

As far as counter insurgency operations in Kashmir are concerned, India is very strong on the Line of Control (LoC), the official said adding, “Be it troops, sensors or drones we have the LoC fully covered.”

With intense fighting around Kandahar, India has evacuated all Indian staff from its consulate there on July 11. With the advance made by the Taliban and Mazar, there is an increased threat to Indian consulates, intelligence inputs have warned, a second official said.

In a related development, amid the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, Afghan Army Chief Lt. Gen. Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai is scheduled to visit India from July 27 to 29 during which he will meet Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Also on the same day, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be in India on a two-day visit during which Afghanistan is expected to figure prominently in his talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.

Afghanistan has long requested India for offensive military hardware and had on several occasions given a wish list of equipment which included tanks and artillery guns among others. In the last few years, India has gifted four Mi-24 attack helicopters and three Cheetal utility helicopters apart from regularly training Afghan officers at its training academies.

The Hindu

Kartik Sud

I am working as a News Author With the DefenceXP network, Observing LOC and LAC

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