15 October, 2010
Afghan militancy may spill over into South Asia: expert
A Pakistani-born insurgency expert fears the current US-Nato-led anti-Taliban campaign in Afghanistan will witness a frustrating future with degenerating political leadership in Kabul and neighbouring Pakistan and ethnic unity and the outfit’s strategic alliance with other regional militant groups.
“The problem will be more and more difficult,” Adnan Bukhari of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research of Singapore-based Nan Yang University said in Dhaka at a dialogue, joined by foreign diplomats and security and foreign relation analysts.
Bangladesh Institute for Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) organised the dialogue while its president retired Major General ANM Muniruzzaman moderated the discussion.
Echoing several western studies calling the military campaign in Afghanistan to be an “un-winnable war”, Bukhari said the Taliban comprised the large Pashtun population dominating a large part of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The outfit has now apparently mobilised more ethnic support from the community.
Moreover, he said, unlike what was seen in the past it was no more a threat from Taliban alone as several groups from within Afghanistan and Pakistan including its Lashkar-e-Taiba had now forged a strategic alliance with them to fight the “common enemy”.
He said the situation coincides with US President Barak Obama’s planned troop pullout by 2011 while European nations are intense domestic pressure to withdraw their soldiers.
Bukhari said Afghan president Hamid Karzai is quickly losing legitimacy because of corruption, lack of good governance and ethnic opposition as his clan now dominated Afghanistan and has wideranging “strong commercial interest”.
The terrorism expert said on the other hand, despite Pakistani troops’ recent success in anti-Taliban campaign in Swat, misrule and eroding Western and US confidence in the Afghan leadership has exposed the nation to political, economic and social turmoil allowing the Taliban to spread further.
Bhukhari identified Pakistan, US-Nato and Afghanistan as the major stakeholders in the Afghan crisis and suggested they reach a solution through talks to evade impending threats.