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Letter from Editor

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Afghanistan Turmoil

Worries for India, Assam too!

 

Our cover story this month is a shift from our normal trend. Normally, we do not cover International events. But one that has taken place in Afghanistan, might have an adverse effect on the seven sisters of North East India. “Kabul’s Fall Endangers Seven Sisters” is the title of our cover story, this month.

 

Assam is the largest state among the seven sisters, having almost 63% of North Eastern Region population. Any political development that takes place in the state of Assam has a ripple effect on other sister states. The worries come from the fact that almost 35% of Assam population comes from minority community in which there are many sympathizer of Islamic law. There are many districts in Assam in which minority (Muslim) are in the Majority. 31 MLA’s were elected in the Assam Assembly from minority community, out of the total 126 Assembly seats in the last assembly election. Take for an example, A MBBS student, a constable with Assam police, a teacher, a journalist, were arrested for supporting Taliban through social media. Not only that, even the General Secretary of AIUDF Fazlul Khan Qasimi, was also arrested for backing and supporting Taliban’s victory. As a damage control exercise, he has been suspended from the party.

 

This clearly suggests that there are takers of Taliban theory in the state of Assam. However, the most efficient Chief Minister of Assam Mr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, was quick to take action and also get it condemned from the minority itself. This is a good leadership.

           

One must not ignore the days of Assam Agitation, when a massive peaceful agitation took place against Bangladeshi infiltrations in Assam, which ended only after signing of the Assam Accord. The earlier government of Bangladesh even allowed its soil to be used for the purpose of training of different insurgent groups of North East in their land, thus bringing headache for North East.

The development in Afghanistan and taking over of Kabul by Taliban has also raised alarm for India. It is more than clear that, Pakistan will have a far better influence over Taliban than India. Secondly, the Kashmir issue will be further exaggerated as Afghanistan has almost 106 km of Border with POK. This will help Pakistan to push more terrorist to India. India has invested over $ 3 billion in the Afghanistan reconstruction efforts since last two decades and the 218 km road between Delaram and Zaranj Salma Dam; and the Afghan Parliament Building, which were inaugurated in 2015, are the biggest symbol of Indian Contribution for the Afghan people. In such catch twenty two situation, India has preferred to remain silent and adopted the policy of wait and watch. The concern for India is also from China and Pakistan, as geopolitical situation has also changed. Taliban representatives are repeatedly stressing that, Islamic law will prevail but the minority rights will be preserved. But there are no takers of their assurance. Withdrawal of USA troops has raised the interest of China and Russia in this conflict zone and both have not closed their embassies in Kabul.

 

Let us wait and watch! North East and India needs to be alert.

 

                                                                                   

                                                                                                     Dr.K.K.Jhunjhunwala

                                                                                                           

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