Russia can’t address militant Jihadi problem from Afghanistan, without launching alliance (with teeth) against religious terrorism & excesses. By Hem Raj Jain

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On October 20  Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Iran and formerly Soviet Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan joined the Taliban in calling for the UN to convene a United Nations donor conference as soon as possible to help rebuild the country. The USA chose not to attend the talks, citing technical reasons, but has said it may join future rounds. The Taliban representatives attended their first international conference (since they took power in Afghanistan in August) where as per Russia  - “[the victory of the Taliban, irrespective of any Taliban intentions, has caused something like a great inspiration for different radical Islamists throughout the former Soviet space]” - as mentioned at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/20/russia-hosts-taliban-for-talks-but-warns-no-recognition-for-now  and 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-faces-difficult-balancing-act-as-it-hosts-taliban-in-moscow-11634722296  

In addition to apprehensions about spread of militant Jihadi movements [not only in Afghanistan border-sharing countries (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Chinese Xingjiang province and even India through its claimed territory of J&K including Gilgit-Baltistan) but also in their neighboring former USSR Countries] -  Russia also fears that a flood of Afghan refugees into Central Asia could provide cover for Islamist militants to infiltrate countries in the region. Hence Russia has taken following steps:- 

(i)- Taking lessons from the military defeat of the USSR in Afghanistan, to avoid another defeated military conflict with Afghanistan, and to ensure that Islamists don’t creep into Moscow’s traditional sphere of influence, Russia is trying to bolster the defenses of Tajikistan and other countries in the region. A Russia-led security alliance including Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is also currently holding military exercises near the Afghan border in Tajikistan.

(ii)- Russia expressed concern over the manifestation of activities by banned terrorist organizations in Afghanistan because notwithstanding the claims of Taliban (that it will not allow terrorist organizations to function in Afghanistan) recently hundreds of people have been killed in terrorist attacks (claimed by ISIS - Khorasan) in Shia Masjids in Afghanistan. A key concern for Moscow remains preventing Afghanistan from becoming a base for terrorist groups . Hence through this October 20 conference in Russia the Taliban are given the chance to solve Afghanistan issues, fulfill their promises not to attack Central Asia and keep different terrorist organizations out of Afghanistan.

(iii)- This Russian conference urged the international community to mobilize efforts to provide urgent economic aid to the conflict-ridden, cash-strapped nation in the interest of maintaining political stability and further called on the international community to unfreeze more than $9 billion in Afghan reserves held in overseas accounts and to fund humanitarian aid efforts.

(iv)- But Russian approach is contradictory because despite Afghanistan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi’s assurance that “Afghanistan will never allow its soil to be used as a base for anyone to threaten the security of another country” one complication is the fact that Russia officially lists the Taliban as a terrorist group despite inviting them to Wednesday’s talks.  

But whatever Russia is doing will not solve its problems unless does the following:-

(1)- Russia should immediately launch a military alliance with teeth (like NATO) of countries from Central Asia, South Asia, China and others who are concerned about militant-Jihadi emanating from Afghanistan may be with name “Alliance Against Religious Terrorism & Excesses” (AARTE).

(2)- Russia should stop looking towards the USA (and even remaining West) because they are racially prejudiced. Russia should forget about the United Nations for taking any effective action on ground to fight religious terrorism and excesses. Moreover Russia should be prepared to enforce the decision, resolution etc of the AARTE even if the UN opposes it. If Russia doesn’t have courage & leadership to rope in the member countries of AARTE for ensuring the AARTE region free from  militant-Jihadis then it should be prepared for another even worst (than what the USSR faced in Afghanistan at the end of cold war)  defeat at the hands of militant Jihadis. 

(3)- The role of China and India (having 2.8 billion people) will be crucial for the success of AARTE. India (constitutionally secular but de-facto communal though mildly) will be hardest nut to crack in this mission due to communal Hindutva forces presently enjoying political power. At the same time Pakistan (where communalism and Islamic radicalization has been rampant and where PM Imran’s utterances and policies encourage militant Jihadis, may be unintentionally ) and Bangladesh (where recently Hindus have been killed and harassed by communal forces) and Iran (which is known for its encouragement of Shia militants) will have to be carefully, intelligently and diplomatically handled by Russia in the interest of making this mission a success. 

(4)- This AARTE  should have a mechanism with teeth to fight religious terrorism & excesses in Afghanistan and in the member countries of AARTE (i)- By establishing “Commission for Eliminating Religious Terrorism & Excesses” (CERTE) having its branches in AARTE member countries (ii)- The CERTE should  file complaint at the human rights commission of the erring member country which will take up the matter with administration / police / judiciary of the erring country for the redressal (iii)- In case the erring country doesn’t address such complaint then the AARTE should intervene militarily to set the things right.

(5)- Decision should be taken in the AARTE on the basis of a formula for voting rights of its members based on their contribution of men (civilian and military), money and material (civilian as well as military) and the record of member country about fighting religious terrorism & excesses.

(6)- Russia should realize that China has become economically and militarily powerful but it is not trying to be the leader of the world (even of a considerable part of the world). Though Russia (rather USSR) failed mainly due to two reasons [namely mistake of adopting exclusive state-capital instead of joint-capital and not deploying (like private-capital) the State-capital profitably in competition] still Russia tried to provide world-leadership through socialism. Hence Russia has the genes of world leadership in its DNA. Therefore Russia should give-up USSR-failure-demoralization rather should provide the leadership of the AARTE.

(7)- Russia should know that non-resolution of some chronic & gory problems have contributed to considerable extent in Jihadi terrorism all across the world (including 9/11, 26/11. Terrorism in Kashmir etc). Hence Russia should try to get these and other following problems solved (through the UN or otherwise) :-

i)- Instead of unjust two-States-solution there should be one-State of Israel-Palestine in which all the displaced Palestinians (including registered refugees) should be allowed to live as citizens. 

ii)- Plebiscite should be in united J&K (as mandated by IoA of J&K to India and also by UN resolution) and in Balochistan (who’s IoA was taken by Pakistan under military pressure) after making both these territories free from outsiders.

iii)- The forced & illegal population transfer has thoroughly communalized the Indian region therefore the ‘dual citizenship’ should be granted by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to about 160 million Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who were forcibly & illegally displaced during and after partition of India. 

iv)- Forcibly & illegally displaced Rohingyas should be rehabilitated back in Myanmar.

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