mandag 16. august 2021

China, Pakistan and Russia set to increase Afghanistan influence

Regional powers will see their influence increase dramatically in Afghanistan as the US executes a hasty, haphazard withdrawal and the Taliban return to power after 20 years.Russia, Pakistan and China have all signalled a readiness to transition smoothly into engaging with Taliban authorities with varying levels of enthusiasm. But the Taliban’s return has also stoked fears in those countries that Afghanistan will once again become a haven for foreign terrorist organisations that could carry out attacks on their own soil.

In Pakistan – long accused of aiding the Afghan Taliban – the prime minister, Imran Khan, said the Taliban had “broken the chains of mental slavery in Afghanistan”. The leader of a key religious political party said the “Taliban has freed their country from superpowers”. China is ready to develop “good-neighbourly, friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan”, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said, but also noted Taliban promises that Afghanistan would not serve as a staging ground for “acts detrimental to China”.

And Russia, which has formulated much of its foreign policy around the fight against international terrorism, reacted to the Taliban’s return to power with cool realpolitik.